Whether you’re talking romance or real estate — relationships are tough.
Even when the real estate market is booming, it can be a treacherous field to navigate: Good leads can turn into bad flakes, loyal clients can dump their agents and, even if a client and agent make it far together, sneaky agents are always on the lookout for clients to poach.
Agents need to be at the top of their game to keep a client for the long haul, and here’s how:
1. Don’t accept flakes
The first step to gaining a loyal client is getting good leads and screening out the flakes.
Some clients can start off good but end up being bad news. Some try closing deals behind their agent’s back, while others are just waiting to jump ship for a boat they like better.
Agents in today’s world need to develop a method for screening out flaky clients who are waiting to dump them, and they need to do everything they can to not get dumped by the good ones.
This is a generalization, but millennials may not start off as the most loyal clients.
2. Develop a lead management system
Once you start getting leads, you can implement a good lead management system. If you don’t have a quality system in place, you can’t blame other agents when you lose your leads.
A lead management system converts a diligently acquired lead into a faithful client. On the most basic level, it helps organize leads, capture contact information, provide alerts when the client is trying to contact the Realtor and generate auto responses.
3. Keep promises
When signing on with new clients, set clear expectations. To do this, you must understand the needs of the clients and assess whether you are able to meet those needs.
If you don’t think you can, it’s probably not going to be a good relationship. If you decide to move forward, then lay out the plan and deliver.
4. Be available
Many clients dump their agent because they feel neglected. They call, email and text their agent but get nothing in return. Or the agent can never even make time for the client in the first place.
All of these signs point to “dump!”
5. Put the client’s needs first
It’s not about you — it’s about the client.
Sometimes agents get pushy and try to steer their buyers in the direction of houses they are selling because they want to collect both sides of the commission.
Most clients are smart enough to spot this and realize that all the houses the agent is showing them have one thing in common — and it’s not that they’re all exactly what the client is looking for.
6. Do more than the minimum
Great agents should help their clients navigate the entire homebuying process, not just show houses from time to time. Help your clients while they get mortgage pre-approval, negotiate the deal, schedule home inspectors, etc.
Be there every step of the way; if you’re loyal to them, they’ll be loyal to you.
7. Don’t let wolves steal your clients
There are a lot of dirty tricks out there. Even loyal clients get poached by other agents, but there are ways to avoid this.
Focus on building client loyalty using the tips above, and learn some of the sneaky Realtor’s ways so you’re ready for them.
Here’s one example of how easily a bad apple agent can steal a client:
A new agent is excited to show some eager buyers a great spot. The agent finds that great spot on an internal Realtor email list and contacts the listing agent to arrange a drive-by or a showing.
The listing agent says, “No problem, let me get the buyers’ names so I can register them with the seller.”
The new agent sends the client’s information and never hears back from anyone again. Client stolen.
Don’t let this happen to you.