How to turn your database into an instruction goldmine in seven easy (ish) steps

I met with an agent last week who was charm personified.
His agency is award winning, successful and expanding his office has very comfortable chairs and a proper espresso machine.
He has a system in place for pretty much everything.
Everything except for making the most out of his database – which came as a surprise to me as this guys is good.
His agency has more than 3000 names on its database built over five years. That’s a bloody big bundle of potential clients. Sure there’s a percentage of duds but trust me (he did) there’s money in that list.
To cut to the chase we agreed on a way of making the most of his database in a systemised and thoughtful way.
Here’s how I advise my clients on how to turn a list of email addresses into a steady stream of enquiries, valuations and ultimately instructions.

Have a compelling reason for someone to part with their email address. ‘Sign up for regular updates’ is a little lame. Offer a useful guide of some sort. For example – How to get your home ready for a successful sale and / or A landlord’s guide to lettings without the pain.
Once you’ve earned their email address, respect it. By that I mean don’t bombard them with sales info. Which leads me on to the next point – and it is a very important point.
Have a plan to send a weekly email that does a lot more telling than selling. Think of what problems you can solve for the reader and how you can share your expertise with them to make their lives easier. Once a month simply ain’t enough – once a quarter – forget about it.
Stick to that weekly plan and have a set time when the email will be sent out. For those of you who have signed up to Peter Knight’s excellent emails on agency excellence you’ll know that when you open up your emails after 7am on a Monday his thoughts / ideas for the week await you.
It takes time. Don’t expect instant miracles. But I’ve seen with EVERY client that has an email marketing system that it pays big, inexpensive dividends.
End every email with a call to action – offer to help the reader with any property related questions. Be seen to be helpful.
And don’t worry about people unsubscribing from your emails – it happens all the time for a myriad of reasons. Think of useful email updates you’re signed up for – if they help you and entertain do you unsubscribe?
For me this kind of marketing is the best value for money over the course of 6-12 months and is also highly trackable.
I follow an agent along the south coast, let’s call him SA (he reads these emails, he’ll know who he is).
He sends out weekly emails filled with interesting, useful and handy information and property news. If I lived in his patch and I was selling he’d definitely be on my list to call in for a valuation as, although I’ve never met him I feel like I know, like and trust him from his email updates. That gives him a huge head start in the battle for the instructions.
There’s also something absolutely devilishly brilliant about producing weekly engagement emails that will 100 per cent, guaranteed, without doubt, cast iron, no questions, make you and your agency stand out head and toes from your rivals.
But you’ll have to send me an email with the subject line – ‘What’s this bloody great secret you rascal?’ to find out.
Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.
PS: I practice what I preach and send out a weekly email to estate agents and over the course of a year it’s worth on average £1200 a month to me. For an agency this approach would be even more valuable.

Jerry Lyons

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