You know that the loyalty of your clients can be the factor that determines what kind of year you have in real estate sales. But do you know how much of a difference loyal real estate clients make to your business?
Consider this; a 5% increase in your customer retention can increase your profitability by 75% (Bain and Co). In spite of the astounding value in retaining clients, many REALTORS® struggle with gaining loyalty that translates into repeat business.
The foundation of building loyalty with your real estate clients is in offering them value. Check out this list of 10 ways you can offer value and foster relationships that result in more home sales.
1. Homeowner’s Check-Up
Primarily intended for the top 20% of your clients who generate consistent referral and repeat business, a homeowner’s check-up involves meeting with a client to provide information about their home. This may include a local housing market update, simple inspection of the house, review of the current mortgage, discussion of the client’s home goals, and more. It’s a strong way to offer ongoing value to your client.
2. Send Monthly Newsletters
Relationships are nurtured through communication, so what better way to stay top of mind than to send monthly newsletters to your contacts? Build rapport and establish yourself as a home expert by including relevant information for home owners and a customized message. Many successful agents send the top 20% of their contacts (or their “A list”) a mailed newsletter while sending the remaining 80% an email version.
Monthly communication is easy for IXACT Contact customers. Professionally written and designed emails are included in your subscription and Email Campaign Reporting can show you exactly who opened and clicked your email.
3. Home Seminars
A seminar is a great way to educate your clients on a wide variety of useful topics concerning home ownership. In addition to building loyalty, this type of event further positions you as a knowledgeable “home expert.” You can conduct a seminar on your own, or invite another expert, such as a kitchen remodeler or interior decorator to participate.
4. Client Appreciation Days
As social events, client appreciation days can strengthen your existing relationships as well as help you make new contacts. You can organize a client appreciation day around a particular program, such as a movie, BBQ, bowling, bingo, fireworks, pumpkin carving, winter hay ride, and more. The possibilities are virtually endless.
5. Learn Their Goals
The next time you speak with your past clients, ask them about the goals they’ve set regarding their homes. Chances are some of them are planning to make some home improvements in the year. Take the opportunity to recommend a contractor or designer. Even if they don’t take you up on it, they’ll appreciate your offer of help.
You can use the Business Directory built into your IXACT Contact real estate contact manager to quickly pull up the name and contact details of a reputable professional.
6. Wish Them a Happy Birthday
Most people really appreciate a Birthday wish or home anniversary card. It’s a thoughtful gesture that makes your client feel special and remembered. Enlisting the help of your real estate CRM makes Birthday greetings a breeze. You’ll be reminded of your contact’s special day, allowing you enough time to send a card, gift, stop by or give them a call.
7. Give Holiday Treats
Who doesn’t love a gift? Holidays are a great opportunity to remind clients that you appreciate them and that you’re around for any of their real estate needs. Drop off seasonal treats or token gifts like a welcome mat, baked goods, candles, garden supplies or a coffee table book. The size of the gift will vary depending on your relationship with that particular client. Remember, the more thoughtful the gift, the better!
8. Pick Up the Phone
When you cruise past a past-client’s home and see they recently did some landscaping or have gone above and beyond with Halloween decorations – give them a call! Let them know the house looks great and let that serve as a reminder that you are doing business in their neighborhood. It’s a good practice to give your top contacts a call quarterly to remain top of mind and calling with a compliment is a great way to stay in touch.
9. Share Resources
When you work with someone on something as meaningful as purchasing a home, you’re bound to learn a lot about their interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Keep an eye out for articles that may interest them, new restaurants you think they’d like, or books and websites they’d enjoy. Don’t hesitate to pass the resources along. A key way of staying on top of your contact’s interests is by building a rich contact profile in your CRM, to remind you of the points they’ve shared with you.
10. Be Reliable
Of course you’ll return a phone call or email if it’s a hot lead, but what about less pressing inquiries from past clients or “C list” contacts? A large part of your reputation depends on how reliable you are with every contact. Keep in mind that your loyal customers will refer you to their contacts, so be diligent about returning phone calls, emails and text messages in a timely fashion. It’s a simple way to make your contacts happy and establish trust. Being a reliable communicator can have a positive impact on your reputation.
Building loyalty with your clients means building a relationship with them, and like any relationship, that can take some time. Stay in touch regularly and practice being a good listener and you’ll be on your way to retaining more clients and making more sales.
With the help of a powerful real estate CRM, you’ll easily be able to follow the steps above and gain the loyalty of more clients. By maintaining rich contact profiles (including your contacts interests and hobbies), automating monthly real estate eNewsletters and reminders for birthdays and home anniversaries, you’ll have the tools to reach out to your contacts more meaningfully and effectively.