The most successful real estate agents are clear on one thing: their business’s success is largely dependent on the quality of their business relationships.
For a people-centered industry such as real estate, this is to be expected.
It’s extremely important to go beyond closing a deal. If you want to enjoy a long, lustrous career in this field, it’s imperative to build relationships with your clients. This will ensure repeat business and the all-important referrals.
At times, this is often easier said and done. So, how do you cement client relationships? Read all about that here.
1.Industry Events and Mixers
When organizing client events, you should not only have prospective clients on the guest list. Your old and existing clients should make up part of this group.
Think about customer retention vs. customer requisition. While the percentages vary, most research on the subject has concluded the same thing: it costs less to retain clientele than to win new ones.
Make your existing clients part of all your industry events. It does not have to be all of them at once, but you can figure out how to stagger them on events over a work year.
You can request your old and existing clients to speak on your services at the mixers as well. While advertising works well, word of mouth is even better.
People expect you to say good things about your business in adverts. Hearing the same from people you have dealt with adds a layer of credibility. This can help win over new clients.
However, relationships are two-way. As you get existing clients to speak on your behalf, find a way to give something back.
This takes us to the next point.
2. Real Estate Marketing Postcards
If you go silent on clients only to call them up when you need them to give testimonies at industry mixers, this is bound to backfire.
No matter how well-meaning they are, they will soon recognize a pattern and how one-sided your relationship with them seems to be.
One way to ensure this does not happen is to find non-intrusive ways to stay in touch with your clients throughout the year.
The main concern most realtors will have with this, and understandably so, is the issue of cost.
Real estate marketing postcards are one way to keep relationships open cost-effectively. You can use these to inform your audience whenever you make a sale or a new listing.
These can also be mailed to your audience in times of strife, as has been during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this scenario, you can use these postcards to let your clients know you are thinking about them.
If you get these from a company that specializes in real estate mailers, you should also get the option to customize what you want to say to your clientele. Yes, you will send them in bulk, but they will speak to who you are as a realtor.
3. Connect on Social Media
Are your clients active on social media? If they are, this is yet another way to remain connected and cement a working relationship.
Make a point of liking and following your clients on social media. If they are businesspeople with business accounts, this is even better.
Liking and sharing their posts help increase their visibility, which they will undoubtedly appreciate.
When your clients feel like you care about them enough to promote their businesses, they tend to develop an emotional connection with you.
This forms a basis for a loyal working relationship. Not only are they likely to come to you for repeat business, but also, they will be more than happy to refer you to others.
This is simply the law of reciprocity at play.
4. Provide Support
Have you ever dealt with a business or a professional that chased you down for your business, then went cold after you gave them your business?
If this has happened to you, then you know that it can be quite unpleasant. Long term relationships require just the opposite.
Go over and above duty to advise and help your clients out even after you have concluded your business and gotten your commission.
Clients might still require help with movers, home inspectors, and so on. These are typically things you can help with without them taking much of your time.
The payback can be enormous, however. If such a happy client was to refer a client or two, then providing occasional support is a reasonable trade-in.
5. Be Transparent and Honest
One sure way to endear yourself to your clients is through being transparent and honest.
Clients appreciate someone who owns up to their mistakes and gives them accurate information to make informed decisions.
Some realtors have given the trade a bad name by employing underhanded tactics. Things like colluding with home inspectors to conceal problem areas might work for the short term, but that is where it ends.
Soon enough, the truth comes to light, and you are left with a string of disappointed clients. Not only will you never get any repeat business, but you can also forget about referrals.
Instead of going about it this way, be upfront in all your dealings with your clients. This might cost you a few deals here and there, but they will appreciate your integrity. This is what long-term client relationships are built on.
Avoid the shortsightedness of the current deal and think about how much further running your business ethically will push you.
6. Find Ways to Connect Outside Business
Granted, you cannot spread yourself thin enough to engage in the activities your clients engage in. However, you can make an effort for your top clients.
If you have clients involved in community service or play golf at the local club, these can be additional avenues you can explore to strengthen your relationship.
At the end of the day, clients are human. People always tend to look out for people with similar interests. Having shared values and hobbies is one sure way to gain common ground with your clients.
Ultimately, this can give you an opening to grow and maintain a long term working relationship with them. It also increases your visibility, making you the go-to person for all their real estate related needs.
Many businesses set their sights on getting new customers and, at times, lose focus on the customers they are losing. This is a counterproductive and expensive way to run a business.
Instead, approach each customer the same way; treat them like they are your only customer and your business’ lifeline.
Customers quickly pick up on businesses that value them and are more likely to bring repeat business.