How many of your real estate clients have used you before in a home sale? A survey by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) said 91 percent of buyers would likely use the same real estate sales agent again or recommend them to a friend.
Unfortunately, that number is much higher than clients who actually did use the same agent again. This incredible gap is ultimately caused by lack of follow-up, not staying in touch, and poor client tracking on the part of real estate agents. Here are four ways to make sure your real estate clients choose you as their go-to agent for life.
1. Stay in touch with real estate clients
Too many agents close on the house, send a closing gift (sometimes), and then disappear from their client’s radar. In other cases, a client may reach out to a former real estate agent and discover the agent has moved, has outdated contact information, or is out of the business. The easiest way to turn your clients into future business is to stay in their lives.
A good way to do this is by sending out a monthly newsletter to past and present clients—either via email or print. To entice people to read it, add in a trivia game with a prize. Doug Breaker, CEO of HomeFinder.com, suggests appealing to their interests. For example, “Do you have DIY-loving customers who want to build a patio for their new home? Check out your favorite gardening, interior design or home improvement sites and forward any information that would appeal to their interests.”
Other ideas include sending a memorable closing gift or inviting them to a party or event. Here’s another idea: Give them a call. Yes, pick up the phone!
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2. Be the educated resource for real estate clients
It’s likely that first-time home buyers and first-time home sellers will have a number of questions regarding the intricacies of the real estate transaction. Being a trustworthy, educated resource for these clients will prompt them to come to you with future business. For example, if you have clients who are debating a move, providing them with positive updates on the local market could convince them to list their home.
Another way to become the go-to resource for your real estate clients is by keeping them up-to-date on community activities. Providing them with dates and times of seasonal festivals, maps of the best hiking trails, a list of restaurant recommendations, or other neighborhood activities will not only help to boost the local economy, but it will also cement your status as a local authority. The more you know about your community, the more your clients will trust your judgment.
3. Send your real estate clients goodies
One of the best ways to get repeat clients, particularly if you have just closed a sale, is by showing you appreciate their business through a thank you note. It may sound old-school, but handwritten notes are few and far between in today’s digital world. Whether it’s a congratulation note on a home purchase or sale, or even a quick birthday wish, the time and effort demonstrated by a handwritten note will recommend your dedication to your client and will make you stand out from your competition.
Also, consider sending them a small gift. This could include anything from a gift for their new home, perhaps in reference to a point they expressed during their home search, to a gift certificate to a local retailer or restaurant. However, it’s also important to be cautious with gift-giving. If you are a REALTOR, you need to remain compliant with the statutes set up by the National Association of Realtors. Be sure to consult your state’s laws and regulations before making a purchase for your real estate client.
4. Use social media to connect with real estate clients
A great way to gain repeat business is by connecting with your clients on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Although real estate has been somewhat slow to embrace technology, not having a social media presence is no longer an option. Interacting with your followers on social media often makes them far more likely to recommend your business. Utilizing social media channels to endorse your business generates both repeat and new clients.
The Pew Research Center estimates 72 percent of all online U.S. adults visit Facebook at least once a month. Millennials, who are the most active Facebook users, also happen to be the largest group of homebuyers.
In order to create repeat business with social media, there are certain strategies you should consider as well. For example, streamline your presence on these social networks by scheduling your Facebook posts, tweets, or updates for a specific day and time during the week. This way, you know that your content and messaging are reaching your clients on a consistent basis. Adding some spontaneous posts can also be beneficial, just be sure that you are engaging with your new audience, but are also reaching out to past clients as well.