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The psychology of losing something

A few months ago, I received a very nice email from Gist. They basically said, “Hey, we miss you”, you haven’t logged on lately or something like that. (Ignore…too busy…)

Two weeks later I received another email from them basically saying, if I didn’t log on my account would be suspended in 21 days. They hoped I would stay, but it was a nice warning.

Oh no, I didn’t want my account suspended, I was just busy, or had gotten out of the habit of logging on.

So I went and logged on and do so just about every morning.

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PSYCHOLOGY

I am not a Psychologist, and don’t pretend to be one. But, there is something about being told my account was being suspended for lack of use that compelled me to log on. I didn’t want to lose my account.

Fear of loss can be a powerful motivator in life.

LEADS

So I thought to myself, hey if this worked for me…perhaps it would work for some of the buyers that have been searching for homes for years on my site but never bought or responded to any emails. So I chose about 15 or so, and composed an email.

Hi

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You have been logging on and searching for homes on my site, SearchAnnArborHouses for 350 days. We are cleaning up our data base and if you are not in the market to buy or your plans have changed let us know as we are going to be deleting your account.

We hope you will stay, just log on and let us know what is happening in your home search.

THE RESULTS

Overwhelmingly the results were positive with the consumer telling us a little more about their plans, saying they enjoyed the site and were just not in a position to buy. Some were getting familiar with the area, some were looking for their college bound kids, in a few years.

One had already bought, and one was not moving here.

There was only about 3 we didn’t hear from and that is pretty darn good. So we heard from 2/3’s by merely contacting them and asking for a response or their account would be deleted.

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Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you think you are going to lose it.

Written By

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Ben Fisher

    May 17, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I LOVE this idea! Wondering if my IDX Broker will have something built in to automate this process. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Mimi Foster

    May 17, 2011 at 10:40 am

    What a wonderful idea! Sometimes it is just the contact, but even better for you is that you have an idea of how people are using your site and how effective you are being. Good post!

  3. Missy Caulk

    May 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Ben, I would not automate this, just send them a personal email.

    MiMi Thanks!

  4. Tina Merritt

    May 18, 2011 at 11:53 am

    ha ha! i was thinking of the tragic circumstances if Visa did this to me!!!

  5. stephanie crawford

    May 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I got the same email from Gist. Amazing idea. I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks ;D

  6. Dan Boyle

    May 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Sharp observation, MiMi! Has anybody tried something similar with listing that aren't getting any action? i.e. "Lower the price or we're going to de-list you."

  7. MH for Movoto

    May 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Hmmm, VERY interesting. The psychology of it makes sense, but where money is concerned I would have thought it would have the opposite effect

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