Written by: Ashley Halsey
Published: August 20, 2020
Real estate is built on relationships. As a real estate agent, you are at your clients’ side during one of the most important decisions of their lives. Clients confide in you about what they are really looking for. They will tell you why a certain area is important to them and what they want in a home. Then, when they settle on a property, it is you that they will call for updates, and it is you they praise when the sale is complete. Any seasoned real estate agent knows that the closing of a sale should not be the end of your relationship with your client.
Keeping in contact with your clients after the sale means that they will remember you and refer you to others. Most real estate business comes from referrals, so maintaining relationships is important. Getting to know your clients and avoiding your service becoming impersonal and transactional could be the difference between a booming business and a struggling one.
Be the local to know.
When you are selling a home, you are also selling the community. One of the benefits of selling in the area where you live is that you know it well. As you get to know your clients and what their lifestyle needs are, start recommending local amenities that fit those needs. Research the things that you think they would enjoy most and then mention them during your calls and viewings with the client.
After the sale, send them a bespoke calendar of local events like summer fairs, pumpkin harvest, Halloween celebrations, and Christmas shows. You can have these printed and hand-deliver them or even pop them in an email. Make sure there’s a link to encourage them to share it with friends.
Keep good records.
Every client is different and wants to feel like they are receiving a personal experience. This puts a lot of pressure on you as your business grows, and you have more and more clients to remember. Make life easier for yourself by keeping detailed notes about your clients. Include their household type (e.g. family, young couple, retirees) and also their interests—are they sporty, crafty, social?
Keeping good records will help you tailor your communications with your clients in the years after the sale. Update your records as you learn about changes to their lives, such as new arrivals, kids starting school, and job changes.
Invest in a decent CRM.
To stay on top of your records and use them effectively, it is worthwhile investing in a decent CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tool). A good CRM enables you to keep all the information in one place and to have client details available to you when you are out and about in the community. Better still, a CRM easily sorts the clients into categories. For example, you could group clients who like sports events together or clients with young children into one mailing list. This will help you send relevant information to the right people rather than blanket mailing everyone with information they have no interest in.
“To get the most from your CRM, look for one that has marketing mailing functionality as standard,” advises Kellie Stevens, a CRM expert at Draftbeyond.com and Lastminutewriting.com, “That way, you can track open rates and see who is engaging with what you send.”
Use social media effectively.
Social media is a great selling tool, but it can also be used for keeping in the minds of your clients. Rather than just posting about the homes you have for sale, share more varied content that will be relevant to new and old clients. This could include local areas of interest, places to eat, or even live video updates during local events.
Instagram is a great tool for real estate as it allows you to showcase the visual aspect of the job. “Use Instagram to share handy DIY tips, home features that you love and want to share, and client success stories,” recommends Gary Alsop, a real estate blogger at Writinity.com and Researchpapersuk.com.
Being organized in advance of special dates will help you to maintain client relationships better and manage them in a way that you can sustain. Create a 12-month content calendar that is updated every six months. This calendar should be full of all relevant dates and occasions. This will help you plan what kind of message or gift you are going to send to clients ahead of time. Planning ahead this way lets you see opportunities for potential events that you could hold, such as an annual client BBQ. It will also help you send the right types of messages and communications at the right time, to the right people.
Ashley Halsey is an editor at Luckyassignments Manchester and Gumessays.com who invests in properties for flipping. She enjoys DIY, community events, and is a member of her local business forum.