To maximize your referrals and be known as the “go-to” agent in your community, there are things that you absolutely should and should not be doing. In this article, I’ll outline three key business practices to avoid.

1. Lose touch after the transaction ends.

If you work hard to get leads and convert them into clients just to lose touch after the initial transaction ends, you’re making a big mistake.

The National Association of Realtors found in its 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Report that 70 percent of all closed buyer leads came from a “trusted resource” or face-to-face contact.

And it costs five times less time and money to retain an existing client than to acquire a new one. One client can bring you a wealth of referrals and repeat business down the road if you build the relationship and continue to provide value over time.

Consider this: According to NAR, the average person knows between three and five people who will move each year. Think about the next 10 years and the value of the relationships you’re building with your clients.

If you believe that it costs a lot of money or sucks up too much time to keep in touch with all of your past clients, you may want to think again. With tools like a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can send out a monthly real estate newsletter, automate some important email marketing (a great way to stay “top of mind” when combined with other communication channels) and more.

And about the cost: $30, $40 or even $50 a month produces a fantastic return on investment when you consider all the referrals and repeat business you’ll get long term.

2. Manage client and prospect contact information in a variety of places.

All too often Realtors have contact data scattered in a mix of places — on their iPhone, on a piece of paper, in an address book on their computer, and a range of other places. When this is the case, it’s hard to come across to clients as a professional, organized and proactive agent they can trust. It can also be difficult to follow up or find contact info when the time comes to reach out to past or potential clients.

Conversely, when all of your information is managed in one consolidated database, staying organized is simple. And you’ll come across as the professional you are.

Having all your data and transactions stored in a CRM for Realtors will make it easy for you to do things like quickly pull up a phone number or email address, record notes about a conversation you just had, schedule a follow-up call, and take advantage of listing and closing activity plans. But perhaps most importantly, managing your business in one place helps you provide a higher level of service to your clients.

3. Invest in marketing blindly.

Entrepreneur and founder of GoDaddy, Bob Parsons, was right when he said, “Anything that is measured and watched improves.” If you’re not tracking where you’re spending your marketing dollars and the results you’re getting, you’re not bringing your business up to its full potential.

You need to understand where your referrals, leads and clients are coming from, and how much money you’ve spent where. This way, you can cut back in certain areas and invest more in others to make sure you’re spending your money in the best possible ways and improving your business success.

A good CRM system will generate reports for you so you can visually see all your sources of business and which areas are the best and worst performers as far as lead-to-client ratio go.

Top Realtors understand key best practices from a real estate contact management and marketing standpoint. Be sure you’re doing the right things to capitalize on your business success.

Matthew Collis is the marketing manager at IXACT Contact, a real estate contact management and marketing system that helps Realtors keep in touch with past clients, and stay organized and in control.

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