To be clear, when we refer to “orphan” clients, we mean company clients that have been “abandoned” by agents who have left your organization. In the business, we call those orphans because, with the previous agent gone from the company, those clients no longer have an official “liaison” or contact point at your company.
One of the things I love about this is that it’s not something most agents, or even brokers, even think of, but it’s so powerful all the way around. By reaching out to these underserved buyers and sellers and developing a solid service-based relationship with them, you can help build your business. Plus, your company ensures past clients and customers receive service, and the consumers now have a resource they can turn to for their real estate questions and needs.
Talk about your win-win-win! This strategy is perfect for newer agents who are just starting to build a business or agents looking for a jump-start to stalled productivity. There’s never been a better time to take advantage of every opportunity to drive listing and sales leads.
The 6-step strategy to nurture orphan leads for now and future business
Step 1: Ask for help
Get with your broker, and see what orphan files might be available from the past one to five years.
Step 2: Get permission
Get permission to send a letter from your broker explaining that you will now be servicing those clients for the company. An alternative to the broker letter is to send your own letter explaining that you’ll be taking over service from the prior agent on the company’s behalf. (The broker letter is a more powerful marketing tool.)
Step 3: Follow up
Follow up the letter by calling the company’s past clients (orphans). Start by explaining the reason for your call is to apologize for the fact that your company had lost touch. Share that the agent who had previously serviced their account has left the organization, but you would personally like to be their new representative. Let them know you are there to help in any way possible or answer any questions they might have.
Step 4: Get to know them
Build rapport, and find out what their commitment is by asking open-ended questions. You can ask questions like:
- “How are you enjoying the house?”
- “Have you made any major improvements?”
- “What do you like best about the neighborhood?”
- “Have you ever thought of moving? If so, where?”
- “Have all the changes in the market made you curious as to what your home might be worth now?”
Step 5: Offer value
Offer a free updated annual “Neighborhood Market Report” (a next-level CMA) so that they can find out what their home is worth in this crazy market (and even know what their neighbors are getting for their homes!) Share how getting an annual report on their home is much like getting a physical each year. It helps them to know the health of their home value.
Step 6: Keep it going
Set up a campaign to follow up with these folks every few months via email, snail mail or in person. Or best yet, a combination of the three. The goal is to develop a relationship with them and transition them from being a prospect to being a part of your sphere of influence. The difference? Someone in your sphere is someone who knows you, likes you, trusts you, and is willing to work with you and refer you.
Getting creative with your prospecting strategies in a market that continues to be crazy-competitive is the mark of a savvy business professional.
Consistently ask yourself what you can do to bring value and raise your exposure in your area continuously. Determine how you can effectively differentiate from your competitors and how you can promote yourself as the service provider who makes the most sense for buyers and sellers.
Getting the correct answers for your business often starts with asking yourself great questions, being open-minded, and looking both at the traditional sources for leads and the outside-the-box ideas that can lead to extraordinary results.
Keep learning and growing in mindset, tools, strategy and skills. That’s what we are here to help you do!