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#11 – (Step 2) – The Common Connection Strategy™

Today I want to share with you one of the fastest ways to add hundreds of quality people to your House List – and because of the way this works, it’ll start spinning off client-after-client within days.

It’s actually a subset of “The BIG LIST™” strategy you learned in article 9, and you can use the “Follow-up Survey System™” letter I gave you in Article 10 to get everything going.

I call this “The Common Connection Strategy™” because it leverages off the “something in common” you have with people.  It’s important you understand this marketing principle, so let me explain further with a quick story…

Several years ago my wife and I were traveling through remote parts of Europe.  Now, at the time, there were very few Americans traveling these areas.

And because of the foreign environment and very few Americans around, a very interesting dynamic emerged…a dynamic that relates directly to your real estate business.

One day when we were mostly keeping to ourselves, we overheard people nearby speaking English.  And at the same time, I suppose they also heard us…because they came walking up to us as if we were long, lost friends.

It turns out they were other Americans (from Chicago), and when they heard us speaking they felt comfortable approaching us and making friends.

Long story short, they turned out to be a very nice, interesting couple, and we spent some time visiting sights with them while traveling. And since then, we’ve kept in touch over the years.

But what’s interesting about this story is…it was NOT the first time this had happened.  On that very same trip we made friends with 2 other American couples, a nice Canadian couple…and we’re still good friends with a couple we met from Sydney Australia!

Now…do you see the dynamic at play in each of these situations?

Yes, it’s nice to be open and meet nice people.  And traveling in foreign countries can expose you to many interesting folks.

But the “thing” I want you to focus on here is…

Why Did We Become Good Friends with
People Whom We Probably Wouldn’t Have
Even Noticed Had We Been In The States?

The answer is simple, yet profound.  We had a “common connection” with these folks.  You might think the connection was that we were both American – which would be correct for our Chicago friends.

Or you might think the common connection was that (at least for the Canadians and Americans) we were both from North America – which would also be correct.

But the real common connection that brought strangers together as friends (in this situation) was that…

We ALL Spoke English!

There’s an interesting cultural dynamic that exists in humans.  We naturally search-out and associate with people whom we believe are similar to ourselves.

You notice this in cities, where there are ethnic neighborhoods.  You notice this in communities where people associate with certain religions or specific churches or synagogues.

You even notice this in professions that create their own associations and organizations (such as the National Association of REALTORS®, right?)

The reason we do this is we feel “safe” with people, or cultures, or religions, or languages, etc., that are FAMILIAR to us.

There’s a whole lot more safety by associating in numbers than by “going it alone.”  The old saying…“birds of a feather flock together”…is actually quite true.

You see…having a “common connection” with another person – whether it’s the same language, ethnicity, religion, background, occupation, etc. – actually BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS and almost instantly endears that person to you.  And that’s a crucial dynamic when it comes to building your House List and growing your business.

So how can we make all this apply to your real estate practice?

It’s really quite simple.  Do you think people would prefer to do business with a complete stranger…or someone with whom they feel a “common connection”?

When meeting another person, you learn you’re ancestors are both from a small Irish community…or that you both attend the same church… or that you’re both Red Sox or Yankee fans.

Doesn’t that “change” the way you look at them?

You’re out to dinner and you meet another couple who have a child attending the same school as your child.  Or you’re traveling and you meet a person on the plane who’s in the same professional association as you.

Doesn’t that make them a little bit unique…a bit closer to YOU in your eyes?

Of course it does.

And the question you need to ask yourself…as it relates to your real estate practice…is…

What Organizations or Associations Can I Tap Into to Locate
People who Have a COMMON CONNECTION with Me?

I want you to LEVERAGE your ability to add tens or hundreds of people into your House List almost overnight, AND have an instantaneous rapport with those people.

This way, you’ll be adding large numbers of quality people.

Size and quality – that’s the secret here.  So where can you look for adding folks with a “common connection” with you?  How about…

  • People who also live in your neighborhood…
  • Other members of your church or synagogue…
  • Community boards you serve on…
  • Civic organizations in which you participate…
  • Golf or country clubs you belong to…
  • Alumni from schools or universities you’ve attended…
  • Hobby groups…
  • Breakfast or lunch groups…
  • PTA or other school associations you’re involved with…

Are you getting a few ideas?

Once you’ve gotten a few groups identified, the next step is to get contact information from them.  Frequently you can locate mailing lists or membership lists and add these folks into your database to send an “introduction” letter similar to the letter I gave you in Article 10.

But there are a few small modifications and things to consider with your newly added “common connection” House List members…

  1. In your initial contact, you need to make a connection quickly.  This helps give people a reference of who you are and lowers their resistance.  So you’ll need to reference the common connection you have with these folks fairly quickly.For example…in the “Survey” letter I gave you in Article 10, you’ll want to simply modify the letter to put reference to the common connection in the very first sentence: “As a fellow [alumni of XYZ University], I’m writing to introduce you to an enormously-valuable resource for living a healthier, more prosperous and fun life.  Best of all, it’s Free.  But I need a little assistance in order to deliver it to you.  Let me explain…
  2. Say something that only an “insider” in the common connection would know.  This will help cement the connection to your new House List member.For example, if you’re part of a PTA fundraiser program, say something about the progress of the program to help further connect you with the reader and highlight the common connection.  Or if you’re tapping into your college alumni list, say something about the school, such as how well a certain sports team did.
  3. Tell WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.  The letter I gave you in Article 10 gives a good “reason why.”  Don’t play games with your House List – it will backfire if you’re not perfectly up-front and credible.
  4. Follow-through each month.  Having a “common connection” is just a starting point.  If you start building your House List (or even if you farm) and you tell people you’ll be sending a monthly newsletter or other valuable contact – DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO.Don’t go telling people you’re going to give them “Service For Life!®” and then quit 5 months later.  That will guarantee you never get the Personal Market Share™ or the traction needed to grow your business.  And it will hurt your credibility because people will see you’re not following up on your word.

The good news is…once you start this program and begin harvesting solid clients, referrals and repeat business…the LAST thing you’ll want to do is stop.

You must stay with it long enough to gain some traction with your House List.  For some agents it takes only a month or two, and for others it could take over a year.

It all depends on the QUALITY OF YOUR EXISTING RELATIONSHIP when you start the process.

If you’ve had little contact with them…if they don’t know your name when mentioned to them…if you’ve given them little value up till now…it’s going to time to get these folks active with you.

But either way, once you get there…life will be glorious!  You just need to…

Trust the Marketing

Now…if you still question the “profitability” of this strategy, just go back to Article 5 and work your Critical Mass Targeting System™.

You’ll see, for example, that if you harvest a kindred alumni or PTA group of, say, 200 people (make sure they’re all homeowners), and the average person in your area owns their home for 6 years on average, then 33 transactions will come from this group each year (do the math: 200 divided by 6 = 33 each and every year – NOT including referrals they could send you!).

The only thing missing will be your Personal Market Share™ with these folks.  At first it’ll be very low – as expected.

But over time and by giving regular, value-oriented, welcomed contact…you’ll start progressively increasing the quality of these folks and harvesting commission after commission from them.

Does this make sense?

The great thing about “The Common Connection Strategy™” is you can add hundreds of people to your House List almost overnight.  And because of your “common connection”…you’re seen as different from everyone else trying to “sell” them.

The only question remaining is…will you go for it?

Today’s Action Plan:

One thing I forgot to mention when explaining this system…


Too many agents get so intense or have very little patience and persistence…and as a result they give-off a “tense” attitude with folks.  The agents who are most successful with this system have FUN with it.

So…before you even start this process…get your attitude straight.  After all, no one wants to refer a friend to a dull, serious or intense REALTOR®.

They want someone who’s going to make them feel good about their referral – an agent who’s personable…competent…professional and FUN.

OK…so promise me you’ll start “The Common Connection Strategy™.”  Think about all the organizations or groups with which you have a common connection.

Get hold of the membership directory…use the letter I gave you in Article 10 (including using a “Second Notice”)…and get the process started.

Promise me you’ll do it, OK?