Build client relationships one unexpected detail at a time

Making the small things count to make your clients feel valued

When you’re selling high-end homes and delivering luxury service, it may be the little details that matter most. And while these details can be tangible gifts or aesthetic touches, they don’t have to be: it can be enough just to connect with clients through sincere, authentic interactions.

For Ingrid Hart, sales associate at Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, nothing is more important than active listening during the buying process — and once her clients move into their new home, she’s mindful to touch base periodically. “I keep in contact with them monthly, and then every three months, six months, and then a year,” she says. “It’s very important to have a balance in keeping in touch so you’re not overbearing.”

Hart has more advice for her fellow agents. For instance, she always makes time to send clients a handwritten note once they’ve lived home for a month. She cautions colleagues never to pre-write what they’ll say to a client, as canned messages can come across as disingenuous.

“Big accounts, small accounts — they all count,” she says. “And it really is important for people to understand that it wasn’t just a transaction and a commission; I actually care to go the extra step to make sure they feel valued.”

About Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit

The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.