That 90 percent of real estate consumers claim they will not only use their agent again but recommend the agent to others is evidence that you are doing a lot right.
But when it comes down to it, only 12 percent actually carry through on that promise.
Something happens – or doesn’t – between closing on a transaction and the need once again for an agent’s services that effects real estate client retention. Consumers forget about you and are only too eager to take up with the agent who is closest at hand.
Sure, you’re busy and, yes, filling the pipeline with new real estate leads is an important aspect of your business. But neglecting the lion’s share of those most likely to do business with you is a bit foolish, don’t you think?
Let’s cure that disconnect between “real estate client” and “retention.”
Do you forget about people with whom you have a relationship?
The closing table signifies the successful conclusion of a real estate deal. Sadly, it also concludes whatever relationship you built with your client.
You move on to find the next client and the next client and the next. You gather more leads with whom you’ll be tasked with building rapport, trust and all of the other things that go into a quality relationship.
In the meantime, those warm, fuzzy people who you worked with in the past are forgotten.
Who does that? Really. . .who dumps relationships when they aren’t currently of use to them? You see how this looks, right?
Shallow, phony, callous – all the things many in the industry are trying to change.
We all know real estate success is a long game, so why live in the now? You have to be three steps ahead if you want to make it in this industry, and that means paying attention to future prospects as well as present ones.
When it comes to real estate client retention, take a cue from the industry’s dinosaurs
I’m not sure if this is still a popular saying in the real estate industry, but a decade or so ago it most certainly was:
“Until they list or die”
It was the motto of every successful listing agent I knew – a promise to follow up with listing leads until they listed or died.
It should be the same for every former client that is a homeowner. They will list their homes someday and who better to do that with than someone with whom they are familiar?
Marketing to them is far more comfortable. You never have to sell them on your services as an agent, a phone call from you will most likely be welcome and they just might read your emails.
The grass is always greener where you water it
Check this out: It can cost up to 25 times more to get a new client than it does to retain a former one. “… you just have to keep the one you have happy,” according to Amy Gallo at Harvard Business Review.
That’s just one more reason to focus on real estate client retention – they’re less expensive than what it’ll cost you to chase after new ones.
The best real estate client retention strategies start during the transaction, before these people become “former clients.” Over-deliver customer service as much as possible. Build rapport, trust and a genuine relationship with the people in your real estate funnel.
Make it a point to remember every family member’s name, the name of their pets, what they do for a living, where they went to school, their favorite sports teams, foods, etc.
Keep these details in your CRM. You never know when you’ll come across an article, a TV show or anything else that references one of these life details that you can share during one of your touches.
Additional real estate client retention strategies
Sure, you become more memorable with a more expensive retention strategy, but many cheaper strategies, spread out over time, will make you just as memorable.
These least expensive methods are the tried-and-true:
- Birthday, anniversary and holiday greetings cards
- Newsletters, either snail-mailed or via drip email campaigns
- Quarterly or annual market updates and/or CMAs
- Seasonal home maintenance reminders
Even face-to-face strategies, such as meetups for coffee, cocktails or lunch can be inexpensive to do.
The next step-up in watering that grass is the annual client event. Even these can be successfully executed on a budget.
A “touch’ is a “touch,” whether it costs a couple thousand dollars or the price of a cup of coffee. Reaching out consistently throughout the year is what will make you memorable.
Whether you’re reaching out to old clients or new leads it pays to have a great marketing strategy in place. Here are 200 ways you can seal the deal with unique marketing strategies
What’s the most important tool you need to be successful in today’s market? In this video, Chris covers everything you need to know about succeeding online: