Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan


Professionals Don't Need Drips, Part 2

Earlier this week I posted a blog asking the question "if YOU were a potential seller, would you be impressed that an agent took the ... ahem... 'time' to put you on an automated email campaign?" with the promise to return and elaborate on my statement that "Professionals Don't Need Drips."

Let me share a personal story with you. 

Earlier this year I approached a real estate agent about listing a property of mine. The property was tenant-occupied and would be for another month or so, so it was not readily accessible for viewing and obviously not ready to be marketed. 

But this agent and I (I will call her Mary Beth Bonacci* since that's her name) chatted a bit about the property and she promised to drive by it soon, do a little research and get back to me with her preliminary thoughts. 

Later that week I heard from her with some comments on the location ("wow, very close to the highway but how awesome that it's within walking distance to the pedestrian bridge,"); her thoughts on who the ideal buyer might be and an assurance that she'd preview the competition over the weekend. 

"Cool," sez  I. "Looking forward to your feedback."

As promised, Mary Beth emailed me on Monday with the details of her previewing expedition and gave me a ball park range of where my property might fall. 

The following week, she contacted me to ask if I knew when the tenant would be moving out.

A few days later she told me about a new listing that had come on the market in the same complex as my unit and promised to preview it right away. 

The next day she emailed me to let me know she had previewed the property and that it showed very well. And that there were already multiple offers on it. 

Fast forward a month or so. After my renter moved out, Mary Beth took a look at my property, and afterwards emailed me with her suggestions on what needed to be done to it before marketing, and offered up a few service providers. 

A week later she contacted me to... 

Get the picture? 

At no time did she send me an email espousing the importance of hiring the "right Realtor," warning me about the Dangers of Overpricing or even gently reminding me how much she LUVS referrals. No, she communicated with me as the real estate professional she is... and as a real live human being who actually cared about my upcoming home sale. 

"But Jennifer, all that personal communication takes time! Imagine if I took that much interest in all my clients?! I'd never have time to prospect!"

Well, um... 



*watch this space for a blog about how amazingly professionally MB handled my transaction. That's how real estate oughta be...


More thoughts here: 

It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!









Comment balloon 29 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • October 05 2015 08:21AM


I agree the correspondence should be RELEVANT. No-one, not even Realtors, want to be bombarded with a sales pitch. 

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Exactly Pat! And if an agent is so darned busy that he can't personally communicate with potential clients (who have the potential to bring in a significant payday), something is WRONG with that business model. At least, that's not an agent I would want representing me in a transaction.

I KNOW Mary Beth was very busy during our time together but never once did I feel like an afterthought. I felt important! What a concept!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 5 years ago

I completely get what you're saying here.  And agree 100%.  

What I need to do is organize my CRM (Realty Juggler) to nudge me with reminders to reach out to so and so after a certain time - sometimes I get so caught up in my day to day stuff that I forget - it's not that I don't have time for it, but I honestly forget if I don't have a nudge.  I can even program RJ to tell me to reach out to someone either in x amount of days, and then re-reach out in a different amount of days (such as if she says I wont be available for 3 days, then I can put in - contact again in 4 days etc) or every x amount of days on a recurring cycle, such as reach out every 2 weeks or something.  

My problem has always been reaching out to someone when I have nothing important to tell them - and some of my sellers say they want me to contact them even if it's to tell them there is nothing to report - but that goes against my grain. What do you say "Hi there, I'm still thinking about you, but we haven't got anything new going on?" Seems dumb to me, to do Which is why I was trying to come up with some kind of "canned" campaign that I make myself, with some kind of reason to contact them - other than to say "I have nothing new to say."  :/

Posted by Karen Rice, Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales (Davis R. Chant, REALTORS) over 5 years ago

Karen - I can probably help you with that! And it doesn't have to be "canned" just "planned." 

Hmmmm... I just made that up. Might have to copyright it, lol. 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 5 years ago

"Planned, not canned". Sounds like a future blog and/or teleseminar, Jennifer!

Posted by Sue Gabriel over 5 years ago

Great story in the importance of "value".  You are right... a drip campaign probably woud not have provided that to you.  Actions truly spoke louder than a broker bio!

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale (Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE) over 5 years ago

Purposeful, direct, frequently as necessary....nothing else.   Point well taken!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 5 years ago

I agree.  Canned Drip messages are a poor way to communicate your value proposition.  I do use them but only in the circumstance of a client or prospect needs more time.   We plan on selling next year...But then things pick up personally about 3-6 months in advance to prep home, preview competition, and such like she did.  Great post!

Posted by Erin Kavanagh, Loudoun County Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 5 years ago

Jennifer, that's great for an active lead like you were for MB but when you have hundreds of contacts in your database that you want to stay in touch with, even though you don't know if they'll ever have an active need, you have to do something if you want them to remember you when the time comes and it's just not practical to send personal notes or make calls to that many people, esp. because you're devoting so much time and attention to active clients.

Posted by Bob Krus, What About Bob? For All Your Real Estate Needs! (Keller Williams Foothills Realty) over 5 years ago

You are RIGHT ON TARGET.  Good to hear someone cautioning agents against the "if you build it they will respond" approach.  The fact that the agent didn't send the same canned messages as everyone else helps set things apart as, I am here to help you (rather than I'm putting you on autopilot, don't you feel special?).  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc, "RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation (NEPTUNE REALTY) over 5 years ago

Value, value, value.  That's what it's all about.  I have done just this for folks and they so much appreciate it.  When writing a movie script, it is important to always "show don't tell."  The same holds true for being an effective real estate agent.  Let your actions speak about the professional you are.  Great post!


Posted by Austin Seagrave, Concierge Real Estate Services (Austin Seagrave Realty) over 5 years ago

Great post!  Your approach to the topic at hand is wonderful.  Your information and details show that this really a post about what we all need and want- Attention to the details that matter.  So nice of you to mention the top quality service you received from Mary Beth Bonacci.

Posted by Anna Hatridge, Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC (R Gilliam Real Estate LLC) over 5 years ago

"But Jennifer, all that personal communication takes time! Imagine if I took that much interest in all my clients?! I'd never have time to prospect!"

I submit that you wouldn't need to prospect (much), clients would be knocking down your door to do business with you...

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) over 5 years ago

Jennifer, we hear a lot of talk about ways to stand out from the crowd. Well, you just gave us a great one. I believe in the current climate of the Internet, that having a personal touch will make a difference.


Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA over 5 years ago

Used with the right mixture we can use some drip marketing, but keep in mind that we should treat others as we would want to be treated.  So, set up a system where you make contact with personal contact and be ready and able whenever a prospect contacts you the first time around.  Don't just set them up on a drip ... drop them another personal email, text or a real phone call and talk and find out how you can be of assistance ... listen to the response and follow up according to their unique message and/or needs. We are in a personal business and should treat each one individually. The drips work better on the looky looz ...

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) over 5 years ago

I recently watched a webinar where the presenter said, "Agents don't have time to prospect because they're too busy servicing their clients. Service clients less and prosect more." Little does he know that servicing our clients eliminates the need to prospect. I love your example. It's a gentle reminder to us to do what's necessary for our clients and we won't have to prospect again. 

P.S. I'm currently working with a couple who purchased a $940K new construction home with me and listed their $500K home also with me. Last night, I got a call from one of their friends. She said my clients had given me rave reviews and that's why she called. Need I say more?

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 5 years ago

Great double post jennifer, no wonder you are as successful as you are, you know exactly how people think and why they want to do business with you, congratulations

Posted by Geoff Grist, Author of Sold Above Market book (Mosman Neutral Bay Realty, Sydney Australia) over 5 years ago

I like reading stories of agents who are doing things right. Drip campaigns treat everyone as if they are the same and are inconsiderate and why I don't use them. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 5 years ago

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post - well done!    Communicate always !! 

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Wow. Kind of makes me take a step back and evaluate my follow up.

Great post. Thank you!

Posted by Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (Professional Realty Services®) over 5 years ago

If a person or couple care enough about us to give us their time, attention and their trust for one of the most important moments of their life, we owe them our best.  

Posted by Pat Braithwaite, E-Pro (Braithwaite Realty) over 5 years ago

Nobody NEEDS a drip campaign but some of us send one just as a reminder that we still exist. This is not a replacement for providing excellent service. Your agent did a great job but you afforded her the oppotunity, first. Is she going to keep in touch after the transaction ends? You didn't mention how you came about calling this agent in the first place. Had you been getting emails from agents who you've known before? Was the agent you called a friend of yours or had you just met her? Just curious.

Posted by Alyse "Aly" Sands (Village Real Estate Services) over 5 years ago

Jennifer, this is an exceptional example of how to stay in contact with as many people as possible.  I love "Planned, not canned!"

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 5 years ago

Thank you for all the comments! 

Alyse - I practiced real estate in Denver so yes, I know a lot of great Denver agents. Mary Beth and I stay in touch via social media mostly - I know she's out there doing her thing (and doing it well) and it's not likely I'll forget about her should the need arise again to hire or refer an agent in her market place. But you raise a good question - I do know A LOT of good agents in Denver, so why did I contact MB first? Hmmmmm... will give that some thought. 

Tammie - I just don't even know how to respond to that. Well, yes I do, but this isn't the platform for it. Unreal, huh???

Pat & Wayne - YES!!!!! One of my mantras is: "The clients I have today are more important to me than the ones I hope to have tomorrow." And yes, that IS a viable business development strategy.

Bob K - thank you for your comment - let me clarify that the topic of this little series is communicating one on one with a client or potential client. My strategy for communicating with a  sphere of influence on a mass level is much different (although still not "canned" or "dripped"). I'm happy to share if you're interested!

The whole concept of NOT taking the time to communicate personally with someone who is considering hiring you (or HAS hired you!) baffles me. Not just because it's good for business but also because it just makes sense. In the conversations between me and MB described above, we were working together to get my property ready for market... there was no need for an incessant albeit subtle(?) sales pitch - no, intelligent conversations and communications "sold" me on her! 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 5 years ago

Jennifer - finding you, and subsequently AR in 2011 kept me in Real Estate. I thought there was something wrong with me  -  can't cold call, can't spam - you get the idea. Yes, it takes time to stay in touch with the "personal touch" but it's the only way that makes me comfortable. Mary Beth sounds like a great agent. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 5 years ago

Dear Jennifer,

Drip mailing sounds good, but does not really work that well. It sometimes takes a minute for new clients to get that they are only contacted, when there is something substantive to be said, but especially millenials seem to appreciate the lack of bull.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) over 5 years ago

So, what about web leads? Can I/Should I drip on them? My thoughts... 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 5 years ago

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn , 


Personal is always best. If you interviewed 3 agents you may get 3 of the same auto generated emails:)

Posted by Vera Gonzalez, Gonzo For Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban, Inc.) over 5 years ago

As I read through your story I was thinking...that's great, MB had good information to share and she did. The challenge is when you don't have updates or information. So what do you do??? My first thought is to keep a schedule so that you can communicate "something" on a regular basis...based on that specific situation.

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 4 years ago

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