I was watching a video done by Chris Smith and Jimmy Mackin and I heard Jimmy say the phrase, “scaling authenticity through systems.”
He was referring to having a system to engage people on Facebook, but I thought this was really good advice for the real estate assistant.
As an assistant, we have so many tasks that are repetitive that it just makes sense to capture those tasks in a system that is repeatable and duplicatable. The key though is to make those systems so good that the clients’ experience is one of authenticity. In other words, the clients feel like you are paying personal attention to them and that you care about them. Being authentic means you are connecting and building relationships.
How can an automated system make it seem like you care?
It’s all in the messages you are sending.
3 Ways a Real Estate Assistant Can Build Systems to Scale Authenticity
1. Use Video to Convey Confidence and Likability
We’ve all heard the adage, “People work with those they know, like and trust.” As a real estate assistant, you may or may not be introduced to the clients before you begin working with them. Personally, I rarely actually meet clients. But how can I get them to trust me and come to me with their concerns rather than wasting my agent’s time with questions easily answered by myself?
The answer lies in video. Here’s the video I send to seller clients once they sign a listing agreement.
This works amazingly well. I went to seller’s house to put up the sign and lockbox and the sellers were home. (Typically the sellers are not home during the day and leave the open lockbox on their door with email instructions about how to put their key inside. This is why I don’t usually meet our sellers at all.)
When I knocked on the door, the husband answered and the first words out of his mouth were, “I know you!” I had only sent him a couple of emails and this video, but he felt like he knew me. That’s authenticity!
2. Use Email Templates as Reminders and to Set Expectations
Email is the essential tool in the real estate assistant’s toolbox. If video is the screwdriver, email is the hammer.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed if you are not using templated emails. In fact, it’s rare that I send an email to a client does not come from my templates.
Here are some of the subject lines from my email list:
- MUST READ pointers when filling out your listing paperwork
- How We Show Your Home
- Ron Henderson & Associates – Allow me to introduce myself!
- As a Buyer, What 5 Features Would Most Excite Me About Your Property?
- Getting Ready for Your Staging Appointment
- Moving Out of Your House
- Inspection Results
- Home Warranty for Your Listing
- Appraiser Appointment
- Your Home on Realtor.com
- Your Home is Now Active on MLS
- Executive Summary of the Offer
- Thank You For Selling a Home With Us! (request for review on Zillow)
- Important Information About Your Closing (sets expectations for next steps once under contract)
Every timeline is different, so I don’t have these set to go out automatically. Some information within the emails needs to be changed for each individual client, but for the most part, they go out without much effort.
To the client, it feels like we are on top of everything. I don’t get a whole lot of questions because we have already anticipated those questions and answered them before they can even be asked. And the vast majority of this is handled through email.
To create and use these email templates, try using the Gmail lab “Canned Responses” or Yesware. Yesware is also free and allows you to track email to see who opens it. You only get to track a few emails a month, but if you want to make certain someone opened an email, this is a great tool.
Communicate with Clients Personally Using an Automated System
Using the words personally and automated in the same heading seems like an oxymoron, but I swear it’s possible!
One of the best things I’ve come across is Happy Grasshopper.
Before we started using Happy Grasshopper, we were sending email drip campaigns. Every lead that came in got the exact same email no matter what the lead source was. They got dripped on with the same messages which were something along the lines of “we are here for you when you are ready to buy or sell”. Conversion of these leads only happened when the lead answered our phone calls.
With Happy Grasshopper, the lead gets imported into the Happy Grasshopper database automatically. Then the lead receives email based on the lead source. Additionally, the lead receives custom emails filled with personal content about our lead agent Ron Henderson. Here’s one of the emails I’m talking about:
Some real estate agents sell a home every three weeks; for many, it’s every three months. So how does Ron Henderson & Associates sell a home every three days?
I wish I could say it’s simple, but it’s not. We take a sophisticated approach to valuing houses so they are priced to sell while still getting a nice return for our clients. We bring on a staging expert to work with every homeowner to get the house in salable condition. We hire professional photographers and, when the situation calls for it, videographers. And then we market the heck out of the home.
The result: One home sells every 3 days.
Your “sold” day is coming,
After a few positioning emails like that, the lead starts receiving much more personal emails like this:
What do you like to do when you have some spare time? Do you like to get out of town and visit some nearby sites? Or do you just want to catch up on some rest that you’ve been missing?
For my wife, Elaine, and I, a trip to downtown Kansas City is always in order. We especially love to explore the museums in the area. Whether it’s the Kansas City Museum, the American Jazz Museum, one of the art museums, the fascinating Negro Leagues Baseball Museum or any of the other great options, it’s a cool way to spend the day.
What’s your favorite Kansas City attraction?
Soak it all in,
When I first proposed using Happy Grasshopper, Ron didn’t really understand all the details. But I knew that this would be ideal way to communicate with leads AND with past clients.
As it turns out, this has been one of the best decisions we have made. Rarely were we getting responses from our previous automated drip campaigns. Now, it’s unusual if we DON’T get a response from someone each time these campaigns go out.
What I love about it too is that you get a daily report of what emails went out, who opened them and who clicked on any of the links within the email. The tracking is super helpful in identifying the people the agents should be calling and following up with.
And what I most love about this system is that I can create a one-off email blast. So if I want to invite everyone to a client appreciation event, or send out our weekly newsletter, it’s just so simple!
The important thing about an email drip campaign is that it needs to be authentic. When a lead or past client receives these emails, it feels like we are writing specifically to them. It just doesn’t feel canned to them. And that’s the key: automated and authentic.