As a real estate agent, you’ve invested months of time and energy getting to know your clients. You’ve examined all the angles and tended to every detail of their home purchase. Now that the deal has closed, what happens next?
A closing gift feels right, but chances are, it’ll get tucked away in a drawer, quickly forgotten.
When the goal is to leave a lasting impression, a celebratory dinner or branded knick knack may not be enough.
Some agents go the extra mile and offer their clients highly personalized insights, advice or services instead of a predictable keepsake or gift basket.
“You have to read each client in their own way,” said Robynn Masters, sales associate with Coldwell Banker in Salt Lake City. “Some are moving away, some are moving in. Sometimes the transactions are bittersweet. You have to read each scenario and make a decision on how best to offer closure.”
Every transaction is different, just like every client and his or her needs will vary. Below, you’ll find a plethora of ideas for leaving a lasting impression with your clients, sorted by client type.
These clients want to make friends and get involved right away. If it comes naturally to you, offer to host a housewarming party to introduce them to the neighbors.
For a lighter touch, some agents design a postcard to facilitate introductions, or they might find out how to connect to Nextdoor, a private social network for the neighborhood.
For some agents, it’s easy to play the role of local tour guide. You could recommend events and activities that make the new home a special place.
Is there a popular farmer’s market in town? Where can you see fireworks on the 4th of July? Don’t forget to mention the community picnic, county fair, tree-lighting festival or any other must-attend event.
You also might share firsthand reviews of aquatic centers, tennis clubs, yoga studios or the best fitness facilities around.
Find something you’re comfortable with and knowledgeable about to leave a lasting impression on your clients.
For example, on a whim one year, Jamie Madison, founder of Jamie Madison & Associates, wanted to bring some of her clients together in a meaningful way.
“The year my business took off, I had so many wonderful people moving to Davis, and they were coming from elsewhere and didn’t know anybody,” she said. “I tried to think about how to help them find their way in a new community.”
So she decided to start a book club. A dozen people joined, from young mothers to grandparents, and more than a decade later, the group still meets to discuss the latest good read. The friendships have endured, and the referrals continue to roll in.
Insurance, health care and emergency services are difficult to navigate in a new neighborhood. If your clients have moved from out of state, they’ll need to change their auto policies as well as add homeowner’s insurance.
You can do some of the legwork by researching the best-bundled options available to them. Share links to informative FAQs and how-to articles that make it easier to line up these basic needs.
For example, The Wall Street Journal has a personal finance website with helpful guides to home, auto and health insurance. Provide your personal recommendations for a local insurance broker, the nearest hospital, a reliable plumber and on-call heating technician.
Consider how you can help with other aspects of getting settled in a new home by answering common questions. When is the bulky item trash pickup? Where do residents take their leaves in the fall? How does recycling work? Every bit of information you share helps your clients get settled.
Parents almost always appreciate entertainment for their children while the family settles in. Find the nearest library, and get an events schedule. Scout the best parks and playgrounds nearby.
Better yet, find a babysitter who can take them there. We’ve even heard of agents who will give year-long memberships to the local zoo. You could look into local children’s museums, zoos, recreation centers and other memberships for your clients’ kids as well.
“These people have struggled to find the home, get moved in … and continue with their jobs,” Madison said. “It’s a hectic time, and they are going to storm in, drop their bags and run.”
Your mission: help them get going fast. Get the house set up with internet service. Provide contacts for window washing and yard care.
Have a locksmith meet them at the door. Best of all, treat them to a move-in cleaning. No one wants to pay for it, but everyone wants it.
For another time-saving gesture, the Updater moving app is a handy tool for the endless list of accounts that need to be changed in a move. You’ll save the day by encouraging your buyers to use it.
Masters provides all her clients with comprehensive service provider lists — including the nearest pet wash, a dentist and a hair salon.
“Those little things mean a lot,” she said. “It helps if you can settle into the neighborhood with ease.”
What are the must-try eateries in your town? Share your list of favorite coffee shops, breakfast venues, taco shacks and bakeries.
Are there popular food trucks in the area, or could homeowners join a farm share for local food? Alternatively, turn your clients to the newest hotspot or a celebrated chef for a memorable first meal.
Masters and Madison both conclude that a strong relationship starts on day one.
As agent and client get know each other, they usually find something in common, and the rest comes easily enough.
“For me, it’s a natural process to figure out what makes clients happy,” said Masters. “Years later, I might be asked to recommend a contractor or help with property taxes. I don’t often say goodbye.”
What strategies do you have for leaving a lasting impression with your clients? Share your ideas and success stories in the comments below.