• The best way to snag a client is to be a superhero.
  • Real estate superheros provide value that 'saves the client's day.'
  • It could be as simple as helping a first-time buyer figure out down payment solutions, helping a widow with a reverse mortgage or saving someone from foreclosure.

Agents spend millions of dollars on lead generation companies, sending out postcards, cold-calling, holding open houses and a host of other activities. But what if there was a way to generate a customer for life with just one single action?

Last week, my column argued that it’s time to shift from the “33 Touch” approach — mailing out just listed and just sold cards, doing pop-bys and sending out promotional items such as calendars — to implementing a “33 serve” program that focuses on attracting business by being actively involved in your community, helping others, being the most professional agent you can be and providing every single one of your clients with a five-star customer service.

Characteristics of a superhero

Back in 2013, my husband and business partner, Byron Van Arsdale, did a great five-part series on our Real Estate Coach Radio show called, “Newsflash — Real Estate Agents Are Superheroes.” Granted, a huge proportion of agents would never qualify for this designation, but there are plenty who do.

In that series, Byron outlined four main characteristics of a superhero: they are unique, humble, resolve conflicts and play well with others. They have developed their business based on their strengths; they are authentic and avoid falling into the everyone-else-is-doing-it trap.

They are also the problem-solvers, the ones who go the extra mile to get the deal done and actively pursue giving back to others in their community.

How to gain a customer for life

Every agent has certain critical moments in his or her career when he or she can make a tremendous difference to one of their clients. These extraordinary moments can create customers for life. Here are five examples of how to become a superhero to your clients.

1. Save their home

Several years ago, I received a marketing letter that promised to train me how to be the first agent on the scene to solicit a listing immediately following the death of someone’s spouse. The reasoning was, “They’re going to sell anyway. Why shouldn’t you be the one to get the listing?”

I can think of little that an agent can do that is more abhorrent than this.

By contrast, assume that a past client shares that his father just died, and he has no choice but to move mom out of the house because she can’t afford to stay there. The family is a wreck from the loss, and his mother is shattered at the thought of having to leave her home.

Assuming your client’s mother has 50 percent equity in the property, imagine the gratitude everyone in the family would feel if you showed them how a reverse purchase mortgage would allow mom to keep her house and have no mortgage payment.

It’s no sale for you, but at the moment, you are a superhero who has probably just converted a whole family into customers for life.

2. Prevent a foreclosure

Even in today’s strong market, some owners are still facing foreclosure. Also, many markets are slowing down, and negative interest rates might lead us into the next downturn.

If you come across someone on the verge of foreclosure, share this link that explains four strategies on how to slow down or to completely avoid a foreclosure.

3. Extricate them from a mess

We recently met a woman at a party who described how her builder guaranteed a specific finish date on her new home. The builder was 30 days late, and the delay cost the woman $4,000 in hotel costs.

To make matters worse, the builder refused to reimburse her. The woman decided to hire an agent to represent her (the builder’s agent was in a dual agency situation.) Two years later this woman is still raving about the remarkable agent who extricated her from this mess and got all her money back.

4. Help first-time buyers with their down payment

Most first-time buyers struggle to save up a down payment. Only a small fraction of first-time buyers are aware that that they might be able to purchase for less than 5 percent down, nor are they aware that up to 80 percent of the properties in the U.S. might qualify for some down payment assistance.

To discover what type of assistance might be available to your first-time buyers, visit DownPaymentResource.com. Assistance may be in the form of a grant, a lower interest rate or some other combination of programs provided at the federal, state and local level. Chances are high you’ll be their hero and that their first-time buyer friends will soon be contacting you for help as well.

5. Use crowdfunding to create a miracle

Two years ago a close Realtor friend lost her husband in a tragic accident and lacked the funds to bury him. One of her friends suggested using GoFundMe.com to raise the money to pay for the funeral. In just 24 hours, the real estate community contributed more than $12,000 in donations to cover her costs.

If one of your clients or friends is going through a horrific ordeal, this can be a terrific resource for raising money to help them. It can also be a great way for young people to fund part of the down payment, especially if they are getting married or having a baby.

There are hundreds of ways to be a superhero to your clients, none of which require cold-calling, door-knocking or spending any money.

Are you up to taking the leap?

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and www.RealEstateCoach.com/newagent

Email Bernice Ross.

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