From maintaining relationships to fighting property tax bills, successful real estate producers shared their top tactics for winning over clients at Inman Connect Now on Thursday.

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The lifetime value of clients is in the six-figure range, so it pays to have winning strategies on meeting their needs over a long period of time.

Jennifer Wauhob

That’s according to Jennifer Wauhob, a team leader and top producer in Houston, who shared her insights on maintaining relationships with clients over the long term, during an Inman Now panel discussion on Wednesday.

The top producers shared some of their strategies on winning homes for clients, maintaining relationships with those clients and winning in today’s market. They said some of the strategies can help in a…should we call it a crazy market?

“Stop calling it a crazy market,” said Wauhob, a team leader with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene. “This is not a crazy market, it’s a complex market.” 

There are indicators of multiple shifts in recent months including increases in inventory, home prices and interest rates that have put a squeeze on home affordability.

But agents can win if they fill the role as a strategic adviser to their clients, Wauhob said.

“I need to know my numbers, I need to know what’s going on in the marketplace, I need to know what’s going on with interest rates,” she said. “It’s our job to know all the options that are out there, be able to explain them and what’s going on, [and say] ‘Here’s what we can do to get you in a home.’”

Here are the top tips as shared by Wauhob and Phil Sexton, a co-owner of the Sibbach Team at eXp Realty in Phoenix.

Focus on existing relationships 

The lifetime value of a client is about $125,000 in commission, Wauhob said.

For that reason, teams can expect a higher return on investment from maintaining meaningful relationships with existing clients than spending money to meet new people.

Phil Sexton

Sexton called that type of approach “stranger marketing.”

“They first want to go out and spend money to meet people that they’ve never met before,” Sexton said. “When I talk to them about, ‘OK, how much are you investing on the people that you already know?’ They look at me like I’m the crazy one.”

“Let’s make sure we’re taking care of those people first, then we can go out and invest more money in stranger marketing,” he said.

Provide meaningful service to clients

As gas prices spiked to record highs, Sexton offered more than 1,300 people a $50 gift certificate to their preferred gas station.

It was his team’s way of showing that it was thinking of them, while they felt more pain at the pump. (It also kept him top of mind with an existing pool of business.)

“That ended up costing us $10,000, $12,000,” he said. “I expect a 10-to-1 return on that, because that’s communicating with existing business.”

Wauhob had another strategy that had a lower price point but a high response rate.

“We offered everyone in our database help protesting their property taxes,” Wauhob said. 

With property values rising rapidly, tax bills followed suit. Many municipalities let owners fight a high assessment, and Wauhob’s team offered to do that for them. 

“I got a higher response to that than I think I have to anything else we’ve ever done,” she said. “It was value to people, and it was helping them.”

“I spent $0 on it,” she said.

Email Taylor Anderson

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