It’s no surprise that real estate agents are in the business of building relationships. Ask any successful agent, and they will tell you just how important these connections are. In fact, 90 percent of buyers said they would use their real estate agent again in the future, and 39 percent of sellers refer their agent to friends and family.
This goes to show that every step — whether it’s nailing the first client consultation or signing closing documents — is crucial to making a good first impression with your clients.
However, an agent’s job isn’t finished once keys are handed over. What sets great real estate agents apart from the pack is how they manage long-lasting relationships with their clients that extend beyond the initial transaction.
Although it might sound simple, it takes more than an occasional phone call or email to past clients to stay top-of-mind. So, let’s go over some tips on how to effectively reach out and maintain contact with your clients.
Create a plan
Once your clients buy or sell their home, you should immediately create a plan for staying in touch with them. One way to do this is by curating a custom drip campaign to keep them up to date with changes in the market, updated home valuations and more.
A buyer can easily turn into a seller in a few months — especially in this market! Don’t feel afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone. Mix it up with fun, relevant articles that your clients want to read. These could consist of interior design tips, best ways to refinance your home or holiday greetings. The key here is relevant information.
Amy Brickey, a Realtor with Red Door Agency in Tennessee and Virginia, uses the buyer and seller profiles the National Association of Realtors puts out to better segment her clients. “By placing clients in buckets, I have a better idea of what is important to them and can then create drips they want to read,” she said. “I’ve seen my open rate increase dramatically by doing this.”
Most CRM systems have the ability to include this information at the lead level. Pair this with a custom drip campaign or a manual calendar reminder to streamline your workflow and ensure that no one slips through the cracks.
Although every agent is different, being able to send personalized messages to clients makes you stand out from the crowd and remain top-of-mind. As Realtors, we have an innate tendency to sell. After all, this is our stock and trade. Once the deal is done, the conversation needs to shift from selling to providing value.
If you look through your personal email inbox, there’s bound to be an endless supply of spam or promotional emails trying to get you to buy something. The difference between emails that get opened versus those that don’t comes down to two things: a strong introduction or subject line and a reason the recipient should bother reading what you’re sending.
This is true for any form of communication — not just emails. When you begin reaching out to past clients, put yourself in their shoes, and think of what they would find helpful.
Remember: Homeownership isn’t always easy, especially for first-time homebuyers. Consider putting together a list of local experts to give your clients when they close on a new home. This will help them in case something goes wrong, but it will also give you the opportunity to partner with other trusted and established local businesses — something your client is sure to love.
Snail mail is another great avenue to send personalized postcards that are guaranteed to be seen. Nathaniel Trott, a Realtor with Red Door Agency in Tennessee and Virginia, said he uses a spreadsheet with each of his clients to keep track of birthdays, life events and more.
“I write down anything I think might be important to remember,” Trott said. “A few years ago, I sent one of my clients a happy birthday card for their daughter, and they were so surprised and appreciative that I remembered — they ended up selling their home with me.”
Real estate agents are trusted experts in their field. Between conducting open houses, showing properties and working tirelessly to make their clients happy, they learn a great deal about their family and personal situations. In many cases, real estate agents become close confidants to their clients.
“Just the other day, I saw a home that went up for foreclosure,” said Colby Hurd, an agent and broker. “I sold this house to one of my clients just a year ago. I always tell my clients to reach out if they feel like they aren’t going to be able to make ends meet, especially in this climate. We have options that don’t involve foreclosure or bankruptcy, but there is an element of pride at play here.”
Making yourself available to past clients as a subject matter expert and resource can make all the difference, and all it takes is a little communication.
Don’t give up
As the real estate market adapts to meet the unique needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to keep in touch with your past clients. The first step is to ensure you have a plan in place as to how you’ll stay in contact with them. Although many real estate agents rely on drip campaigns, there’s no right or wrong medium to use.
In some cases, you might have a closer relationship with your client and choose to utilize text messages or phone calls. Once you’ve decided on a method to reach out, make sure your message suits the needs of your client.
Start getting in the mindset of asking questions that will help you remain in contact down the road while working with your client. This will feel more natural, and it demonstrates to the client that you’re invested and sincerely interested in them. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to developing lasting relationships with your clients.