For the next 22 days, everyone you know is talking to everyone they know
It's the most wonderful time of year.
Everyone you know is talking to everyone they know, right now.
Friends and family are calling friends and family.
People who maybe haven't seen each other in months (or all year!) are catching up to exchange niceties before breaking for Christmas and their end of year holiday.
As an estate agent, mortgage broker (or anyone who works in people based business), you have an equally wonderful opportunity to make the most of the festive period.
The more opportunities you have to interact with your clients, the better.
The end of the year is the best time to reach out and reconnect with these people to ensure you're top of mind during those property conversations that will inevitably happen around the table during a Christmas catch up.
There's a reason why Boxing Day is always a busy day for property portals. People realise how close (or maybe how far away) they want to live from their loved ones. They realise how much they want to host Christmas lunch next year and know they'll need a bigger place to do it.
Imagine what it would mean for your business if you were the first agent thought of when these conversations happen.
Below, we're going to discuss a process for how we'd suggest you might go about having productive conversations with your clients as the year comes to a close.
These conversations don't start when you make the call or bump into a client on the street – it starts back in your office as you review details on their property and the conversations you've had with them in the past.
Attention to these details will help you carefully prepare for the call, and help you identify talking points that will help your client understand you remembered them and that you aren't just calling "becuase you're in their road and are offering a free valuation."
It’s always important to make sure you’ve done your homework so you can ask more intelligent questions, give information of actual value and show your clients you care.
Setting the Stage
Now that you’re prepared for the conversation, it’s time to set the stage.
Since it’s happening at the end of the year, it’s a great opportunity to review the market activity for their immediate area (keep it solely relevant to what they'd care about) over the past 12 months and discuss how that has affected their own value and how you're the best person to keep them updated come the new year.
It's usually at this point that they'll tell you if they're planning on moving, a much better conversation that you asking (like your competitors probably do) "are you thinking of selling/letting in the new year?".
Take the conversation naturally from here, ask follow up questions where appropriate.
Depending on the answers and information they've given back to you, you can either recommend a meeting or let them know you'll keep in regular touch to make sure they're as informed as they want to be on their local market.
Once you present your recommendation, shut up. Give them the opportunity to respond. Too many agents rush to end the call here when it's the perfect time to gauge how well it's gone. If you've done a great job, they'll thank you before you thank them. That's a big step in the agent/prospect relationship.
This is how you know if you're now on better speaking terms than before the call, or whether you're still just the "estate agent that wanted something."
Regardless of whether your client takes action or not, your end-game activity should be the same.
Summarise the call in as few words as possible, confirm the appointment or let them know you'll be calling again (and when), and proceed to the most important step – asking for referrals.
The point of asking for a referral on this call isn't actually to get one. If you do, that's a bonus!
The point is to make sure they know they have the opportunity to give you one.
If they see value in speaking with you they will want to return the favour, and the best way to do that is through providing you with qualified referrals. They may know of someone else with an immediate need or they will think of you first when, at Christmas lunch or on boxing day, someone says they're thinking of moving in the new year.
The added benefit of asking for referrals at the end of the conversation is that it sets the expectation for you to ask again when you next talk to them.
Getting into this routine and adding this step to your contact process will be extremely beneficial to your business.
Bringing it all together...
Agents tend to get lazy as it comes to the end of the year.
Don't be one of them!
Make the most of the easiest time to reconnect with the people who will make your 2020.
With proper preparation, setting the stage, recommending action, and outlining next steps, you'll be surprised at the amount of positive opportunities that arise between now and the new year!