As a real estate agent, it can be tough to build long-term relationships with the clients you’ve previously worked with. Even if every step went smoothly during their home buying process, once the deal is closed and they’ve moved in, the real estate agent tends to be the last thing on the homebuyer’s mind.
Building a long-term relationship with your previous clients can help drive new customers to your business through word of mouth advertising. By continuously engaging your previous clients over the long term, they will think of your business first when friends come to them for real estate advice.
Here are a few clever strategies that you can employ to keep your previous clients engaged in order to help boost future referrals:
1. Stay connected with clients via social media channels
Social media is a must for businesses in every industry these days, and real estate is no different. By maintaining an active social media presence across various platforms, you establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry.
Simply ask your previous clients to follow, like, or friend your account on social media. By occasionally liking, commenting on, or sharing your previous clients posts, they will be reminded of their pleasant transaction with you on a recurring basis.
2. Host client mixers and events
While online interaction is great, many people still prefer to gather and network face to face. As a result, you can generate real estate lead events as a great way to gather new leads.
Hosting events and mixers where your previous clients can get together, socialize, and network with others in their local area. They will probably talk about their experiences working with you as a real estate agent during the event, which could help your company generate real estate leads.
Here are a few things to consider when planning a local event:
- Make sure you invite the correct individuals.
- Understand your specific goals for the event and have a plan to achieve them.
- Send invitations in a timely manner so your clients can prepare accordingly.
- Choose a venue that is in a convenient location for your clients.
- Ensure proper planning for the safety and security of your guests.
- Plan in advance any catering or third-party contractors that will be required.
- Plan creative ways to get the audience to engage and interact with each other.
3. Direct Mail or postcards
Despite most people’s first assumptions, direct mail and postcards are still an incredibly effective marketing strategy today. By sending happy birthday or holiday cards to your previous clients, you can remain in the back of their minds for years to come.
It’s also a good idea to send a postcard to the client whenever you help them purchase or sell a home. What should you include on the postcard?
- A high-quality photo of the property
- A professional photo of you
- Your contact information, website URL, and social media handles
- The address of the property
- A few important details about the property
Another option to consider is hiring a direct mail company, who will handle the entire mailing process for a small fee.
4. Be a reliable source of valuable information
Home buyers will need a reliable person to turn to when needs arise on the property. Stay on your client’s minds by being able to link clients to the best local resources for property services.
For example, create a list of the most dependable agencies in your area for things like plumbing, electrical, heating, landscaping services, and more. When a client is in need of a referral, this will make them think of you and help establish a long-term, trusting relationship with your previous clients.
By making the client feel like you are there to help them, they will be much more likely to recommend your services to a friend or family member in the future.
5. Honest and effective communication
One of the most important factors of any long-term relationship is honesty. If clients find out that they can’t trust the things you say, they will be unlikely to continue doing business with you. Even when the honest answers can be difficult, it’s important to be able to clearly communicate any challenges or issues during the home buying process.
6. Build an email list
Growing an email list can be a great way to keep your previous customers engaged with your business. Email lists are a simple way to keep in touch with clients, even if their mailing addresses change in the future.
Send previous clients an occasional email that touches on your current projects or anything else the client may have an interest in. You can also send happy birthday, happy anniversary, or holiday emails instead of direct mail. Overall, using email for this can be more cost-effective and less time consuming of a process.
7. Give away free merchandise
People love free things; take advantage of this by sending your clients occasional free merchandise that includes your branding and contact information. A few ideas of the type of things to send include:
- Scented car fresheners
- Coffee mugs
8. Be available
Clients want to be kept informed of the current status of their home purchase or sale, and of any changes or issues that arise. Be sure to give clients ample ways to contact you in order to receive a prompt response, whether that’s email, text, phone, or another channel.
When clients reach out to you, they’re usually looking for a prompt response. If a response to a client can be made quickly without disrupting another important task, take the time to do it. This small step will go a long way in establishing rapport and trust among your real estate clients.
You don’t need to make daily contact with your previous clients, but by staying engaged with them on a regular basis, they will be much more likely to refer you to people they know who could use your services.
If you can establish a great relationship, your previous customers will be doing your marketing work for you at no cost. Creating long-term relationships with your customers can be a cheaper and more effective strategy than focusing all your efforts on traditional marketing strategies.