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.

Caroline Bass

“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.

Ari Harkov

3. Milestones

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

Holidays are also a great time to reaffirm your relationship with past clients. Bass and Harkov both send handwritten cards around the holidays; Bass uses a professional service called Thankster.

5. Events

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.

6. Content

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.

Email Inman

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription