NEW YORK — A real estate agent’s job doesn’t end after the sale. Because referrals are so crucial to meeting new clients and expanding your base, a sale is just the beginning of a long-term relationship between agent and client.
“I believe [our success with referrals] is due to all of the practices put in place after closing,” Caroline Bass, a broker with The Corcoran Group, explained at Inman Connect New York on Thursday afternoon. “It’s so important to stay in touch with contacts.”
Don’t just wait for a client to reach out to you. It’s imperative to take the lead in building that post-sale relationship, according to Bass and Ari Harkov, a broker with the Harkov Lewis Team at Halstead, who joined Bass on stage at Connect.
1. Follow-up gift
Both brokers send a follow-up gift — Harkov sends tote bags with a bottle of champagne, a branded first-aid kit and branded tape measure, while Bass channels her inner George and Mary Bailey from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life and gives a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine and a box of salt.
“The goal of that product is to have something that’s going to live in their home for years to come,” Harkov said.
2. Social media
Bass also immediately adds clients on social media and said, if they’re willing, you can take a picture with them at closing to post on social media channels.
Another way to build that relationship is to remember each client’s important milestones.
“I call or text my clients on their apartment-versary to remind them when they closed on their home,” Bass said. “It’s wonderful to reflect on such a major life event.”
“People love it,” she added. “I usually immediately get a response.”
It’s also particularly beneficial to know the milestones of renters and landlords. They’re eventually going to have lease expirations.
4. Handwritten notes
Harkov’s agency also holds a huge holiday party annually and invites its entire contact list.
Holiday parties aren’t the only time you can invite your clients to events either. Bass’s agency hosts informational seminars throughout the year, invites clients to the event and encourages them to bring friends and family.
You can also stay connected with clients via valuable content.
Harkov’s agency sends out quarterly reports about neighborhoods, a yearly sales report and monthly newsletters, and Bass’s agency sends out informational newsletters, with questions as the headline that she believes will drawn in their clients.
“You should be putting a newsletter out there that has to be opened,” Bass said. She explained that her agency titles newsletters with questions like: “What’s a better investment, a co-op or a condo?” or “Should you buy in a small building?”
Regardless of what methods you choose, be sure to nail the follow-up and secure the referrals that will keep your pipeline full.
Read all of our coverage from Inman Connect NY 2018.