“Only with a predictable flow of leads can you expect a predictable flow of business.”- Juliana Lee, Keller Williams Mega Agent, Palo Alto
How well are you communicating with your database? Think about it. On a scale from 1 to 10, where would rank? According to a 2011 study by The National Association of REALTORS®, an incredible 91 percent of real estate agents would probably fall short of the 10 mark. The studyfound that 72 percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend them to others. Amazingly, only 9 percent of agents stayed in touch with those clients!
Juliana Lee, a mega agent in the Palo Alto, Calif., market center, is among the 9 percent. Her constant contact with a 16,000-person database has catapulted her to millionaire status, landing her the award for No. 3 individual agent ranked by GCI in the Keller Williams system in 2011. Maintaining her No. 3 status and reaching her goal of being No. 1 in the Keller Williams system comes down to one thing: a pipeline of business. And the communication systems she has set up through eEdge are helping her reach her goal. Lee shared her lessons on how she is communicating with her database to get more leads.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Like many smart, systems-oriented mega agents, Lee turned to technology to get her contact management system (CMS) in place. Living in Silicon Valley made it easy. She hired a software engineer who custom-built a unique system to manage her contacts, automatically send emails, provide reminders and keep track of transactions.
There was only one problem: it cost $10,000.
Financially, the system was a big investment, but Lee faced bigger problems when her software engineer retired. She was back at square one, this time with outdated software. “There were changes in laws, property search capability, and I really wanted to expand the email capability.” She tried other solutions, including a second custom-built CMS, but was frustrated by their limitations. That led Lee on a search for a new database management system. In September 2011, she found her answer in eEdge, Keller Williams Realty’s complete lead-to-close system that only cost her $15 a month. She also signed up for the Market Leader Pro add-ons for an additional fee of $99 to track lead behavior on her website. At 87 percent less than what she paid for her other CMS, the mega agent and her staff switched immediately.
Real estate agents face a variety of different challenges. Perhaps the biggest is juggling the day-to-day duties of helping current clients with the constant communication to their database to generate the next lead. Lee solved all that by delegating the task of managing eEdge to her staff, who follow specific systems, scripts and training that she has learned over the course of her career and from key Keller Williams programs such as KW MAPS Coaching’s BOLD. Not only do they manage the emails, phone calls and direct mail pieces, Lee’s staff is there to capture and convert leads when it comes in.
Don’t Underestimate Behavior
Lee’s communication system is rooted in consumer purchasing behavior. “It’s about predictions and prioritization,” she explains. “I estimate what my client, or potential client, will be doing in one day, one week, one year or one decade. And then I reach out at the right time with the right message.” Among the most important features for Lee and her staff are the reminders. Using them is one part art and one part science. The art is in knowing how people are going to behave. And the science is the eEdge system that reminds her to communicate at the right time with the right message. “Take a rental client,” says Lee. “Their lease is going to expire in one year. My reminder is going to be one or two months before they decide to renew.”
“Here’s another great scenario,” she continues, “I have many clients who leave for vacation to India or China over the Christmas holiday and put off any big decisions until January. I set a reminder to contact them as soon as they get back. They don’t want to think about buying or selling a moment sooner, and so I look like the hero for having come to the rescue at the right time.” It happens over and over again, Lee explains. Birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions occur almost daily and her subtle touch reminds them she is there to help. “I set reminders to contact my clients 10 years after they bought a home from me.” That does two things says Lee. “One, it’s a good excuse to reconnect and, two, it’s a great opportunity to see if they want to move up.”
Do Understand What Drives the Business
“My job is to write contracts and keep a constant pipeline of business,” she says. “The technology is what allows my staff to prioritize and stay in touch while using my time effectively. You only have 24 hours and 365 days. Your time is everything.”