• Have a repeatable 90-day plan to stay in touch.
  • Your list should have past clients and your sphere of influence -- even if they aren't buying or selling at the moment.
  • Pick up the phone and call. If you're consistent with it, it's easier to do.

It’s no secret that your past clients and sphere of influence are your best source of business. Getting the best return from your database, however, is a secret. Here are five ideas for a consistently terrific return:

1. Expect a 10 percent return from your list annually — if you work it properly

Two sources — repeat business plus referral business — should generate 10 transactions over the next year if you have 100 names in your records.

2. Here’s a simple six-step plan to work your list correctly

  • Call those on your list every 90 days, give them a market update, and always ask for referrals.
  • If they are not home, leave a simple message. Follow-up again in 90 days.
  • Send one surface mail item every 90 days (third-party company sourced or self-produced). A personal note is even better.
  • Email monthly with a market update (pre-formatted or individualized by yourself).
  • Consider using video email to communicate with everyone periodically. It’s highly effective. Expect about a 50-percent higher open rate with video.
  • By all means use social media to stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texting, etc. Just don’t use it to replace personal contact.

3. Consistently focus on building your list

Start adding one name per day. Add everyone you can think of that you know personally and those you meet through regular prospecting.

4. Critical point: remember, they don’t have to be moving to be part of your list

The average person moves every five to seven years. The average person also runs into six to seven people every year who are talking about moving. Because of these odds, you have a much better chance of getting a referral. When in doubt — add to your list.

You must perform two main tasks every time you contact one of your past clients or centers of influence.

  1. Provide added value regarding the market such as one current MLS statistic — for example, the number of homes sold in the past 30 days, percent increase in prices, number of homes on the market currently, etc.
  2. Ask for referrals every time — no exceptions. You are not pushy; you are doing your job — they expect you to ask. Here’s a very easy-going and conversational approach:

“As you know I’m always looking for more people to help in real estate; so I was wondering, who do you know that needs my help to buy or sell a home this year?”

Bonus point: Here’s a simple agenda to follow when you contact someone in your database.

  • How have you been?
  • Provide added value regarding the market (see point 5).
  • Do you have any questions about real estate?
  • When do you suppose you folks might be moving next?
  • Ask for referrals (see point 5).
  • Say goodbye. Plan your next follow-up call in 90 days.

Remember that “the business of business is still people.” You must stay in touch on an ongoing basis. Do not fall into the trap of hiding behind emails, social media and newsletters. Be sure to call them every 90 days. Creating this habit will pay off big time. No excuses.

Bruce Keith is a speaker, sales coach and author at Bruce Keith Results. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Email Bruce Keith.

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