Keep in Touch for the Long Haul
If you want clients to recommend you to others, stay in their lives
well after the transaction. Here are tips to earn their loyalty.
Your best chance of ensuring a steady flow of future business
is to build a legion of satisfied clients who will drive referrals to
you. But beyond the transaction experience, what you do after
the deal matters, too. Do you check in with your clients to see
how they’re doing, or do you disappear?
People recommend those they know and trust, and for
many, that’s a small circle. But earning that trust involves a
delicate balance between too much and too little contact, says
real estate coach Jared James, CEO of Jared James Enterprises
in Milford, Conn. He advises reaching out at least quarterly—
and making sure to keep it up long-term. “It’s probably going to
be five to seven years before they move again, so you can’t stop
reaching out after 18 months,” James says.
Give Undivided Attention
The quality of your communications with past clients is a factor
in whether you win repeat and referral business. Technology
can help you stick to a system, but don’t become a robot,
sending generic follow-up e-mails that sound like spam. Find
ways to personalize your contact so that you remain just as
important to clients a year after the sale as you were on the day
the sale closed.
For quality, nothing beats face-to-face contact. And since
busy practitioners don’t always have time for one-on-one
follow-up, the client appreciation party has become a popular
way to connect with many people at once. Ideally, each
person you invite gets some quality time, though in a room
of 50 people, that may prove di;cult. Bridget Martin, broker-associate at Heritage Texas Properties in Houston, organizes
small events around clients’ interests. She might throw a pool
party for families with kids or host a happy hour for her single
clients. She also holds movie nights and ornament exchanges
around the holidays. “It’s fun, but it’s strategic fun,” Martin says.
Or you can aim for intimate one-on-one interactions. Renee
Mascia, a sales associate at RE/MAX Right Choice in Milford,
Conn., believes taking clients to dinner o;ers a better opportunity to get personal. “It makes a lasting impression,” she says,
and it’s an appropriate environment to ask questions that inspire deeper conversation than you might have in other venues.
Keep Adding Value
Whether you’re sending a casual note or a newsletter to past
clients, always include something that reiterates your value as
a real estate professional. David Kent, ABR, CRS, broker-owner
how to . . .
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