By Maddie Jostol, Senior Marketing Manager
Repeat and referral business is the heart of your business, which means every real estate agent should be thinking about how they can keep clients coming back time and time again. Referrals convert at a significantly higher rate than cold purchased leads, so nurturing everyone in your database over the long run will generate business continually, capturing opportunities with past clients and their friends and family.
Here’s the reality: it takes work to keep in touch with clients over the years that go by in between transactions. It’s a combination of automation, following a methodology, and utilizing systems that enable real estate agents to foster a client base that continually brings in business. Because, not taking advantage of your existing client base is like leaving money on the table. Here are a few tips to keep your clients coming back.
1. Start early.
What not to do: close a transaction successfully with happy clients, wish them well, and then ping them a year or two later because you realized you should probably keep in touch. Instead, plant the seed early. While you’re working with them, be sure to mention all the ways you’ll be able to support them throughout the transactions and after. Then, immediately following the transaction, start those activities so that they’re well received rather than coming out of the blue.
2. Be their go-to expert.
The second someone considers moving, they won’t even consider who they’re going to work with because you’re already they’re go-to real estate expert –– you have been for years. How do you make this happen? Be consultative in your sales process, and in your touchpoints after the sale. Programs like automated market snapshots are a great way to stay relevant and be seen as an expert so that when someone hears “real estate” you’re the one who pops into their head.
3. Automate, automate, automate.
For those regular, repetitive tasks, automate as much as you can. Those automated market snapshots that we just mentioned are a great example. It’s a simple way to keep your clients in touch with their market, with a subtle reminder that you’re there if they have any questions. In addition, set up email drip campaigns to keep your clients engaged by delivering tailored content at the right time with set-it-and-forget-it systems.
4. But, don’t be robotic.
People want to work with people. So, while automation should be a key strategy, make sure you don’t rely solely on automated programs. Sprinkle in personalized touchpoints every once in a while, such as a handwritten card for their house-versary, a congratulatory note on a life achievement, or a quick email recognizing that the home next door just sold, and you wish them well with the new neighbors.
5. Take advantage of special dates.
Speaking of handwritten notes, special dates are a great excuse to reach out to your clients to stay in touch and keep them coming back. It’s a relevant, thoughtful reason to let them know you care, even long after the transaction is complete. During the sales process, take note of any special dates your clients mention such as birthdays or anniversaries. Log special dates in a system that reminds you of these dates and records your touchpoints (your CRM should do this).
6. Use a proven sales methodology.
Following a sales methodology is a simple, effective way to run your real estate business. Methodologies like Ninja help agents follow a proven process to grow their business. Good sales methodologies guide you to generate repeat business through effective management of long-term sales cycles. Plus, when you follow a proven method, you have access to training and resources to support your business and improve over time, rather than creating a process from scratch.
7. The best CRM is one that you use.
Leverage a CRM to help manage your sphere of influence effectively. Again, keeping track of the hundreds of people in your contact database takes time and effort. Relieve that burden a bit by using a system that helps you manage that work, reminding you who to reach out to and tracking your relationship and activity with each contact. No, it’s not enough just to have a CRM. You actually have to use it. And when you do, we think you’ll be excited about the results you see.
8. Ask them to refer their friends.
When you not only work with them, but you also work with their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and in-laws, it solidifies you even further as their go-to person when anyone mentions real estate. Plus, those referrals will refer their friends, who will hopefully refer their friends, and the trend continues. Now that’s how you grow a killer sphere of influence.
9. Stay relevant.
Stay relevant in the lives of your past clients by publishing content that is useful and engaging to them. A blog on your agent website is a great way to do this. Not sure where to start? Here are some easy blog topic ideas for real estate agents.
10. Share helpful content on social media.
Publish those great blogs as well as other content relevant to homeowners in your local market on social media. It’s a great way to stay in front of that audience with engaging, sharable content. Grow your presence in your clients’ newsfeeds to remind them you’re there to help.
As a real estate agent, you’re a pro at building and maintaining relationships, which is the heart of repeat and referral business. Keep your clients coming back with these simple tips for managing ongoing engagement with your sphere of influence.