The best way to achieve long term success in real estate is to maintain repeat and referral business. So, if you’re new to the business, how do you develop these relationships? If you’re an experienced real estate agent, how do you build the trust that results in continued referred business?
Let’s take a look at some sure-fire strategies to build clients for life:
- Be their guide: The process of buying and selling real estate is stressful and confusing for consumers, especially first time homebuyers. Make sure to meet with your clients before listing their home or showing houses. Make sure to answer any questions they have and let them tell you their expectations. This will make your clients feel like you are a team. Showing that you care will go a long way in building a more permanent relationship.
- Be their friend: Take your clients to dinner and/or drinks. You can celebrate their closing or just go over any status updates you have during the process. Show your personality! To gain their trust it’s important that you become their friend as well as their business associate.
- Keep them informed: Before, during and even after closing keep your clients informed on local events and current market trends. The average consumer wants to be educated, so be their professor. What’s happening locally? Tell them about loan information, interest rates, buyer credits and more.
- Provide your contacts: Make sure to let your clients know you have the “in” with every contact they may need for any house work they need done. Give your clients access to your inventory of electricians, plumbers, painters, handymen and more. Start a relationship with your clients by guiding them through the buying and selling process, but make sure you build on the relationship by providing them access to your many contacts in the business.
- Stay connected: Today’s consumers crave instant gratification, so you must make yourself available. Keeping your clients happy and continuing to meet new ones is much easier when they are not waiting to hear back from you. A good practice is to make sure you can return emails and texts immediately.
- Stay in touch: After closing, show your clients the importance of the relationship you have developed through the process. Let them know that you have been and will continue to be there for them. Call after the closing to see how their move went or a year later to “check in” on the house and ask about their children or pets. Let them know you didn’t forget about them. Even the smallest effort is a nice reminder so that when they are ready to buy or sell again, you will be their first call.
- Be present in Social Media: There is no way to escape interacting on social media sites anymore. Being connected through sites like Facebook and Twitter is a must. Not only will you gain new business, but it is the easiest way to stay connected to old clients. According to recent studies by Universal McCann half of adults in the US now use some form of social media online. See our blog “5 Tips to Succeed at Social Media” for more information.
- Send Direct Mail: Send periodic mailings to clients in your community, including recent list prices,sold information and new houses on the market. Even if they aren’t looking to buy or sell they will be interested in what the “going rate” in their neighborhood is. After all, direct mail is a great way to remind them that you’re still in the business.
Follow these tips and you will be rolling in referrals and repeat business. To be a successful agent you must keep your clients coming back for more. These steps may even help you keep a balanced life, try not to let real estate consume you as it so easily does. Stay balanced and be a steady source of information and friendship then those clients will stick around for life!