Q4 tends to be the the quietest season of the year business-wise, but it’s probably the most important one when it comes to relationships – because you have the opportunity to finish the year strong and to fill your pipeline for the upcoming year.
Our VP of Marketing Lisa Fettner recently held a webinar with Dan Smith, a former top-producing agent and now a coach, consultant and speaker. They discussed how to make the most of your Q4 to ensure that you hit the ground running in Q1.
Q4 is filled with both industry and community events – all of which represent great referral opportunities. Dan encourages agents to use these events to prospect for 2019, “Plant those seeds today and harvest them in the next year.”
The key is to act strategically and have a plan. While you might simply want to go to an event to learn and/or mingle with your friends – you can’t afford to NOT take advantage of making new connections. Be sure to think about who you want to meet and what you want to get out of every event and conference that you attend.
Real Estate Events:
- Introduce yourself to new people and make referral connections – everyone is there to do the same thing, so they’ll be relieved when you make the first move.
- Try to sit with people you don’t know and strike up a conversation.
- Email people you want to meet prior to the show – if you know someone who’s coming from a different market, make plans to meet up – and bring a friend along with.
- Set yourself a goal of speaking with a specific number of people during each event.
- Always wear a piece of logo-wear that immediately identifies you as an agent. Bonus points for creating an “ugly-logo-wear sweater!” during the holidays.
- Once people know you’re an agent or a broker, they’ll naturally ask you about the state of the real estate market because people love to talk about real estate! Dan suggests asking them what their real estate plans are for the coming year – it’s less salesy than simply asking if they’re planning to buy or sell property.
- Try to provide a 5-minute favor (providing someone with a small item of value that only takes 5 minutes). Offer to send recent sales prices in a specific neighborhood or the name of a good mortgage consultant.
Q4 provides agents with great opportunities to reach out to past clients in a “non salesy” way. Think about different and fun ways to expand your personal professional sphere.
- Identify your raving fans – Dan reminded us that 90% of an agent’s referrals come from 10% of their friends/family members/past clients, etc. Agents absolutely MUST follow-up with those folks the most frequently and not take them for granted.
- Consider creating Facebook Lists of people you know. Bonus points for creating different lists for different types of contacts.
- Use the information you learn on social media to a make a personal connection with people when you see them at events.
- Dan emphasizes effective social media usage is about engaging with other people’s posts – by “inserting” yourself into the sphere of other’s lives, you make a more authentic connection.
- If you are going to post – make it engaging. Consider holding a holiday decorating or fun family photo contest.
- Don’t forget the holiday cards – which can be sent any time in Q4. Try to make them as customized as possible – either with an insert, short note, or unique image.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for testimonials during this time as well. People aren’t as busy, and they have time to write or record (video!) a short testimonial for you.
Q4 is also a great time to update your photos, online information/profiles and marketing materials.
- Create a Google doc containing all sites and locations where you have a profile or listing. Make sure that all posted information is current and consistent.
- Create a document of client testimonials and stories – and add to them throughout the year.
- Take a new professional headshot. You want to be sure that if someone is meeting you at a coffee shop, they will recognize you based on your photo.
- Update your lists and feeds – add new clients and prospects as needed.
- Dan suggests sending yourself a calendar invite for the first Monday of the month. Take some time to update your information on a regular basis. Doing so makes the process much less time consuming and overwhelming.
Trying to prepare for the coming year can be overwhelming, but Dan suggests doing at least the following 3 activities during Q4:
- Identify your raving fans and make contact.
- Organize your database.
- Engage with people on Facebook or Instagram on a regular basis – but limit yourself to a short amount of time. At the end of the day – and especially in Q4 – being a successful agent is about taking advantage of those in-person connections!