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Client loyalty has a significant influence on sales. Even a 5 percent improvement in your customer retention can increase profitability by as much as 75 percent. With this in mind, you should consider a client retention strategy that provides value to your existing contacts.
To that end, you have a diverse variety of techniques to choose from. Many of the traditional methods that others have used in the past are still effective, and the widespread adoption of digital technology has created new avenues of exploration. Each option has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.
This is essential to note, as a client retention strategy that works for another real estate agent might not work for you. Depending on your unique set of circumstances, you might find that some of the techniques below are more or less beneficial than others. It’s advisable to experiment and try something you’re unfamiliar with.
6 ways to ensure client loyalty
1. Send monthly newsletters
It takes time and effort to build a lasting relationship with a client. You won’t secure their loyalty by asking for it, and you won’t earn their trust with just a firm handshake and a smile.
A monthly newsletter will help you stay in touch with clients, of course, but it will also position you as an industry expert when you provide insight and information about relevant subject matter. Consider a snail mail newsletter for the top 20 percent of your contacts and an email newsletter for your remaining clients.
2. Host client appreciation days
A “client appreciation day” is essentially a social event where you strengthen your existing relationships and network with new contacts. These events can take many forms, whether you host a backyard barbecue or bingo night. The concept remains the same: You’re meeting your clients outside of work.
When you spend time with clients in a casual setting, they’re more receptive to forming an authentic connection. That same client would otherwise see you as just a real estate professional, instead of the person you are when you’re flipping hamburgers on the grill. This subtle shift can make all the difference.
3. Get additional certifications
When you acquire additional certifications and expand your knowledge of the industry, you’ll find it’s far easier to establish trust and strengthen loyalty among your clients.
The real estate industry has many different kinds of supplementary training programs to choose from, and regardless of goals, you’ll likely come across a program that catches your attention.
In terms of scheduling, you can move at your own pace and complete programs at your convenience. With that flexibility and the broad spectrum of training programs to select from, you’ll expand your skill set and improve your abilities as a real estate professional. This, in turn, will reflect in client retention.
4. Do homeowner’s checkups
Your clients are more likely to maintain contact with you when you offer ongoing value. This value can manifest in many ways, like the monthly newsletters mentioned above or homeowner’s checkups. A checkup is when you set a meeting with a client to discuss their current housing situation, and whether they’re happy with their situation.
More specifically, you’ll reach out to a past contact to provide information, touching on the local housing market, their current mortgage, their goals for the future and similar subject matter. Much like your monthly newsletters, you should reserve homeowner’s check-ups for only your top 20 percent of contacts.
5. Show displays of gratitude
After you’ve completed the buying process, let your client know you appreciate them with a small gesture. A simple display of gratitude will show your investment in the relationship. It only takes a bottle of wine or a gift card to a local restaurant to reinforce your commitment to their continued satisfaction.
In short, you want to thank them for choosing you. How you show your thanks will depend on the clients themselves.
For example, if you’ve learned over the course of your communications that they have an interest in gardening, a houseplant with a handwritten card is a thoughtful and relevant gift.
6. Be a resource
On the subject of personal interests, you’ll come to learn those of your client as you build your relationship. They might talk about their occupation or hobbies in passing, and you should do your best to remember what they say. When you show you care about their life outside of a professional context, it’s humanizing.
Maybe they’ve expressed their curiosity about a new restaurant opening on the other side of town. If your intuition tells you a gift card would go over well, send them one in the mail with a brief note. It’ll increase retention among your clients and improve your reputation as a real estate professional.
Start planning your strategy today
Whether you intend to design a monthly newsletter, organize a client appreciation day or pursue additional certifications, you can feel confident in your future success.
The six suggestions above will take you beyond a 5 percent improvement in client retention, and, in time, you’ll see a marked increase in your profitability. As you move forward, evaluate your options, and start planning your client loyalty strategy today.