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The Power Of A Phone Call - It could change your world

I have written posts in the past where I have mentioned that I have never mailed out postcards or newsletters and yet my business has flourished over the years.

What I do is make A LOT OF PHONE CALLS.  I also write a lot of hand written "Thank you" notes and if something major takes place related to real estate I will send information to a select group of clients.   The phone calls however are my bread and butter. 

I will call my past clients at least 5-6 times during the year and I go against all the rules by never asking for business.  I make all my calls about the client or customer and never about me.  I ask them about their families, health, hobbies, etc.   The result is a tremendous about of repeat business.  I have even had a man actually cry on the phone earlier this year because he could not believe I was calling again.  I had sold their land 3 years prior and was still calling them to see how they are.  3 days after a called this man I received yet another referral from them.

I was talking to a Realtor friend in another state early this year and she explained to me she was really struggling with her real estate career.  She said she had been sending out postcards on a regular basis for over a year with very little to show for it.

She asked me what the #1 lead generation tool was that I used.  I told her hands down it is the telephone.  A close second is hand written thank you and other types of notes.  I explained several positive things that had happened to me by calling current and past clients a lot and she was amazed.  I have not taken floor time since 1997 and these calls and personal notes is all I do.

My friend decided to try this and around the 1st of April she started making a lot of phone calls to current and past customers.  Each time she was careful to not ask for business but to make the call all about the client/customer.  She also started sending out a lot of hand written notes as I suggested.

My friend called me yesterday to tell me that since she started calling current and past clients on such a regular basis starting April 1, 2007 she has had 9 referrals and has closed 5 of the referrals. Not bad for just making more phone calls and for only a 7 month time frame!

"When people see how much we care it develops a trust that no number of postcards or newsletters could ever do"  My friend and I are living proof of it.

Go out and make some calls!

 

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Comment balloon 42 commentsGeorge Tallabas • November 08 2007 01:22PM

Comments

Hey George - it is a great idea to follow up with past clients.  I think the appreciate the fact that you are not giving them the hard sell.  Keep up the good work.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 11 years ago
Maureen - Thank you my dear friend.  It's good to hear from you and I hope all is well.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
That's Awesome!! The telephone is a powerful tool, and rightfully so. What a great way to remind your past clients that you haven't forgotten about them. I know you enjoy speaking with your buyers, and they definitely appreciate the effort you make to keep in touch with them. Referrals aren't so bad either! 
Posted by Vero Tabares (SymphonySEO) over 11 years ago
George---you always inspire us to be better people. It is true that verbal contact is always better and more effective- and more importantly more sincere and appreciated.  
Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) over 11 years ago

Vero - Thank you dude...have a great day!

Michelle - Thank you my friend.  Personal phone calls mean so much to my sphere!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Great tips.  This is a personal business and with e-mail and the postal service it is too easy to forget that.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago
I try to stay on contact, but not as good as your are doing. thanks for the support and I must get back on the phone.
Posted by Susan Trombley, Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs (Trombley Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Randy - Thank you my friend

Susan - Don't forget this is a very powerful tool my friend an the clients love it.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George, great idea. I send emails to my past clients most of the time. I think this is fantastic and something I need to start doing. Encouraging results for both you and your friend.
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago
George, Good old fashioned communications will always work. And folks love talking about themselves. No need to ask for business if you genuinely care about your past customers. Show them you care and they will not forget it. Good job George.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 11 years ago

Missy - Good luck to you my friend

Bryant - Thank you my friend and all my best wishes

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Telephone?  You mean you actually talk to people?  You don't just email?  IM?  Text message?  Radical!!!

Thank you notes?  You mean you actually send mail through the postal system?  Not just impersonal post cards?  You don't just email?  IM? Text message?  Radical!!!

Hope you don't mind my sarcasm.  I think the hand written notes and actual telephone calls go a long way.  And they will remember you when because you didn't just talk about you.  Back to old school communication.

(I also try to remember birthdays.  People always remember that you called them on their birthday.)

Posted by M A over 11 years ago
Martin - I also remember birthdays and special occasions.  That is part of the hand written notes I send out. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George,

People do not care that you know as much as they want to know that you care.

Posted by Herb Hamilton, Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) over 11 years ago
Herb - Good morning my friend and thank you.  Have a great day!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Hi George,

This is hands down the best way to reach out.  We never could wrap ourselves around asking for referrals but we are working the calls into our new business plan for 08' because I totally agree with you.  Thank you for sharing more great ideas!

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 11 years ago
Lisa and Robert - This method has been my bread and butter for years and I would not drop this method for love or money! God bless and I hope all is well.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Jessica - Thanks my friend.  I always use the FORD method since I learned it in 1997.  I hope you are having a great day and have a blessed weekend Amiga!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George, you're right... the phone call and personal letter are a lost art.   People who use these tools have the personal touch that you just can't give through e-mail or mass mailings. Thanks for highlighting the more human side of communication and marketing. I will try to remember this post next time I have the urge to 'just send an e-mail'.

Wendy Casey - Vancouver, BC

Posted by Wendy Casey (A-List Home Staging & Decor) over 11 years ago
Wendy - Thanks for stopping by.  Everyone wants to feel valued and know that someone cares.  Once clients know how much we care the referrals will roll in more than you can imagine.  Have a wonderful weekend and thanks again for your comment.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George - Kudos to you for make a personal touch to your clients. There is nothing like receiving a phone call.
Posted by Chuck Dellorto, "Talk To Chuck" (Coldwell Banker - Serving INDIANA & ILLINOIS) over 11 years ago
Chuck - Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George:  It's amazing how something so basic can make such an impact.  When most of us get in this business, we don't have the marketing budgets that we acquire after a few years of success. 

Touching the lives of others in such a personal way is a form of marketing that money can't buy!  Great post.

Posted by Sue Nelson, Broker/Associate Las Vegas Real Estate ~Team Rhino~ (ERA Sunbelt Realty) over 11 years ago
Sue - Thank you....these telephone calls have touched many lives and I have not taken floor time since 1997 yet my business flourishes due to these phone calls and personal hand written notes.  Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George, Great advice!  I think this is great customer service!
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTORĀ®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Roberta - Thank you and good luck to you.  Have an awesome day
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George- Thank you for the reminder.  Calling past clients is something I need to work on and I'm glad to use you as an example as to why it's so important.  I have to admit though, I've never heard about FORD, what is that?
Posted by Matt Moxhay, Moorestown Real Estate (Prudential Fox & Roach) over 11 years ago

Matt - FORD stand for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams.  When I have conversations with my sphere I always use FORD and it's never about me or business.  Thanks and have a great day.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George - A great reminder. It really is about the basics, isn't it? People appreciate being remembered by someone thoughtful enough to actually let them know that you think of them and care about them!
Posted by Rhonda Hay Rawlins (Glastonbury Home Staging) over 11 years ago
Rhonda - Thank you and yes, people do appreciate being remembered and these phone calls are like gold.  Thanks for the comment and I hope all is well.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George, I know I have to overcome my barrier about making phone calls. I so much prefer writing cards, but I know that talking to people is so much more personal. You article gave me the encouragement to pick up the phone. Thanks.

Sandy

Posted by Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor (Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.) over 11 years ago
Sandy - You are very welcome and I wish you well.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George- Great post!

Thanks for sharing your success story with all of us here. I know that there is great power in the personal phone call and the handwritten note. Luckily for me my handwriting is so terrible that it is impossible for others to read. That way I just write a note that would translate out to

Dereae Gioiuaer,

It wuaor guart toae serjhoey you aiojlkr!
wjerlk shoaj dfjsdklads toaghe

Gehta,

Scot....

 

I think I need to work on my penmanship =)

 

Excellent Post!

Scott Cowan
Rainier Real Estate
www.scottcowan.com

Posted by Scott Cowan (RE/MAX Professionals) over 11 years ago
Scott - Thank you and have a great evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George- I think it is a wonderful idea. I do a lot of calling but I need to ask more than I do know how my clients are feeling instead of trying to get a referral/lead. And I am definitely going to start doing the handwritten notes. Great post.
Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) over 11 years ago
Lanrae - Thank you and good luck to you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George- Thank you for sharing what FORD stands for, I appreciate all the help & insights you offer.
Posted by Matt Moxhay, Moorestown Real Estate (Prudential Fox & Roach) over 11 years ago
Matt - You are welcome and good luck to you
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George,

You are right, sales is a contact sport and the phone is one of the most effective ways to make contact!

Thanks, 

Posted by Rick Turner, Puts People In Their Places!! (Key Realty) over 11 years ago
Rick - Thanks again for stopping by and for your support.  I appreciate your support.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
One of the most successful agents I know writes handwritten cards.  I can't figure out why I haven't followed her lead - maybe now!  Thanks.  
Posted by Laura Haseman (Real Estate Masters) over 11 years ago
Laura - Phone calls and personal handwritten note are it.  Go for it and watch your world change!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

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