Email marketing is a real simple way of reaching out to new potential customers, but is it worthwhile? That is what one business owner questioned on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Interestingly enough, another lawn care business owner who is also a licensed real estate agent, responded with some insight that will surely help your business get a bigger bang for your marketing efforts.
He wrote “I need help coming up with a professional email to send to local realtors. I have already been in contact with realtors and handed out flyers and business cards to them, but I want to try and reach more through email.
What I have done so far is test e-mailed 12 realtors this week, offering them a free mowing. If they don’t like the work we do no harm, no foul. But if they like it, they have the option of hiring us or referring us to others they know. So far I have gotten one response. The realtor said he doesn’t choose the lawn care companies for his clients but he would refer me to them. Not very good results in my opinion.
That’s all I’ve gotten so far out of talking to a few realtors and I am guessing those results are typical. But that single contact could still lead somewhere!! You gotta think positively!
I’m trying to pick up realtors to help with houses that are sitting on the market and potentially being passed on by the potential buyers. Mowing, trimming, and all the normal services will be offered. I also offer a free mow with a signed yearly lawn care agreement.
I am looking for more suggestions or ideas on how to handle this better.”
A second lawn care business owner wrote “I’m a licensed real estate broker as well as operate my own lawn care business. After reading this, I do have some observations/suggestions to share.
First off, I would not email any real estate agent unless I already had a relationship with him/her. There are a few reasons for this. MANY agents will view these emails as spam. Secondly, many will think it’s lazy marketing and be turned off by it. Thirdly many may not even get the email as it could get trapped in a spam folder.
Instead, here’s what I’d do:
- Visit each office and ask to distribute flyers in the agent’s mailboxes. Don’t go with black and white printing, instead go with a professional looking color piece.
- Most offices have a weekly monthly sales meetings. Offer to bring donuts (agents love food) and plenty of cards & brochures to go along to a future meeting.
- Visit an agent at a model home or open house and speak with them ONLY if they are not busy and aren’t interacting with customers at the moment.
If you live in a big metro area or small town, you’ll obviously have to adjust your marketing plan of attack to agents. I’m by no means an authority on the subject, just trying to offer some insight from what I have experienced.
In the past, I had dealt with one lawn care business owner that I’d call for mowing work on vacant houses with out of town sellers. The seller would OK the work/price and the mow guy would direct bill the seller. This owner was kept very busy.
As far as other services, I did not have a list of people I’d use, but many realtors did, so I’d ask around. If the seller still lived in the same town, they’d usually handle the lawn care on their own, which brings up another marketing opportunity. Sellers may want to have someone take care of their yard as they’re busy house shopping, packing, etc. Especially if they move out of town.
Here’s another tip: Talking to realtors is good, but what I found to be BETTER and bring you FASTER results is to talk to the property management branch of whatever realty companies are in your area. In my area, for example, there are 3 major realtors who handle property management. Find the agents who specialize in this area, and present your business directly to these folks. I have done good with this, and I have held a $ 38,000 / year contract with one of them for 9 years now and running. You will be targeting shopping centers, office complexes, medical buildings, and multi-family units. Aim high and ask for more than you think you can handle. Really, if you land an account that’s too big for your operation, take it and treat the customer with the same friendly attitude you would have as if you were sealing the deal on a $ 40.00 residential job. Don’t get freaked out by the larger sized jobs. You will quickly get used to them and remember, people can sense when you are in over your head, if you let it show.”