When they started The Echea Group in 2009 (now with RE/MAX House of Real Estate), the brother-sister team of Thomas and Lisa Echea knew they didn’t want the kind of real estate office that went from transaction to transaction, simply ending one deal and starting another. They wanted to build a relationship business.
Lisa had owned restaurants, where customer service was second only to great food. Thomas had over 25 years sales experience under his belt and understood the value of a strong connection with the customer. So, they agreed their goal was to build a business where client relationships reigned supreme.
The problem: How to do it? How do you start that kind of relationship when you’re dealing with hundreds of prospects you don’t know but want to convert into clients? How do you continue the relationships when clients may not need your services again for 7, 10, 15 years…or longer?
Successful businesses start with a great system
They knew if they wanted to build a successful business they’d need to start with a great system.
Two years ago they found their answer and it’s been up, up, and up ever since! “In 2014, we doubled down on email!”
“We knew that we needed a system that was easy and automated or it wouldn’t get done. We investigated “drip email” tools, but everything on the market seemed canned, impersonal and way too “salesy” – you know, the kind of marketing messages that cause you to hit the delete button the minute you see them in your inbox.”
Then they met Dan Stewart from Happy Grasshopper and it changed everything.
“The program we created with help from Happy Grasshopper is simple. We have our database broken into 2 groups: our past clients/sphere and our leads.”
To their sphere they send a fun, friendly message once every 3 weeks. “You wouldn’t believe the responses,” says Thomas. “We get email replies, phone calls and are even stopped on the street by people we haven’t seen or worked with for years. They actually want to tell us how much they enjoy our emails.”
“For our leads we set up an automated campaign. It begins with a brief message that simply greets the prospect immediately. An hour later, a ‘positioning’ email that lets the prospect know why they should set an appointment with us. Prospects get three positioning messages the first week of the campaign. That’s the heart of it. The magic begins a week later.”
The ‘magic’ is the nurturing portion of the campaign. Every few weeks, Thomas and Lisa’s prospects receive “off-topic,” short, fun and friendly messages about things they personally like in the Fort Lauderdale area. Lisa notes: “The messages don’t sell, and that’s why they work!”
And that, the Echeas insist, is how to build relationships and massively grow your real estate business year after year. In 2016 they are averaging a sale every 3 days.