6 Easy Ways to Stay in Touch with Clients
I’m sure one of the first things you started doing after – or maybe even before – getting your Real Estate license was collecting contacts. Building a database of leads and clients is usually high on a Realtor’s to-do list. But after you’ve collected leads and helped clients sell or purchase property, what then?
Most people don’t purchase just one property throughout their lifetime. According to HomeInsight, the typical homeowner sells his home every five to seven years and the average individual will move 11.7 times during his or her lifetime. You can see why it is important to stay in touch with clients well after closing day.
The type of real estate client you are working with will give you more insight into their future purchases. Many young couples will buy larger, more expensive homes after having children and growing more in their job roles. Seniors may be downsizing the square footage of their homes, but look for premium features (e.g. – golf community, luxury condo). If a client purchases a primary residence but mentions wanting income property in the future, they may end up buying several properties over the next decade.
Happy Clients = Happy Realtor
Over 50% of active buyers and sellers are previous clients or come to an agent through a referral, according to Properties Online. While finding and reaching out to new leads is very important, keeping in touch with past and current clients is just as important.
The key to returning clients and gaining valid referrals is two-fold.
One – you have to solve the client’s problems and make them feel secure during the transaction.
Two – after the property closes, you have to stay in their mind.
Instead of isolating yourself from good real estate clients by not staying in touch or using automated non-personalized messages, make sure to reach out to them in ways they know are valid, unique and honest connections. Read on to learn six ways you can keep in touch with clients, and keep the referrals coming in.
6 ways you can stay in touch with previous and current clients:
We are going to tackle the most intimidating of our recommendations first – email marketing.
You may already have a regular real estate email newsletter going out to your leads and clients. There are many email template programs where you can add a client to an automated schedule. And they may work – if you take the time to update the content so that your clients find the information relevant. If it’s obvious that emails are templates and not personalized, they are most likely junked and deleted.
Sending email blasts is a great way to stay in someone’s mind. Now you want to make sure the client is thinking good things about your emails. Getting another un-useful email is likely to cause a bit of irritation for your clients. Personalizing your email newsletter creates a sense of purpose for the reader, but that’s where it may get tricky.
You should have four types of people in your email database: new leads, active home buyers, active home sellers, previous clients. Each type of client may not be interested in the same thing. For someone who just purchased a primary residence, an email of active listings is not useful. But for a new lead or active home buyer, an email without active listing will be quickly deleted. Take some time to think about the types of people in your database. Then, create customized emails for each type (we can help). It takes more time, but also gives your clients more value from you – which should turn into client loyalty.
Friend them on Facebook
First, if you don’t have a personal Facebook account and a real estate Facebook page – get them now! (Have questions about getting your business on Facebook? Ask us.)
It’s a good bet that many of your clients are on Facebook multiple times a week, if not daily. If you’re working with recently college grads, I bet they are consistently posting on Facebook about their home buying adventure.
While the return on your time investment in social media ‘grass roots’ marketing is not widely agreed upon, not having an account – or having an inactive one – can turn some clients away quickly. Now days, its a good rule for a service business to set aside limited time to create and maintain a Facebook page.
If you didn’t become ‘friends’ with your client on Facebook during your last real estate transaction, take time to find them now. Make a list of your clients who you have found on Facebook and schedule 30 minutes a week to make an honest and useful comment on their page, photo or post. Let them know that you care about their life and they are more likely to refer someone they care about to you.
Now is also a good time to re-evaluate your personal Facebook profile. Remember, your clients can see many of your photos and comments and you want to represent the best version of yourself.
Follow them on Twitter
Unlike Facebook, not as many of your clients maybe on Twitter. But, it is still worth following the ones who are. Tweet and retweet timely real estate information and local events.
Retweeting useful items from your clients lets them know you actually read their tweets and can add bonus points for you in their trust bank.
Connect on LinkedIn
There are two good reasons to find a client on LinkedIn. First, if your real estate client is a professional business person they could send more good leads your way. Being connected on LinkedIn will make it that much easier to find your contact information.
Second, ask a few of your best professional clients to give you reviews on LinkedIn. Real reviews work wonders to help convert new leads, with 79% trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.
Be genuinely friendly
Connecting with local clients face-to-face is one of the best ways to earn their referrals and additional transactions.
We don’t mean you have to be best friends with all your clients. And, some clients want to keep it 100% professional.
Running into a client at the grocery store and remembering to ask about his son’s baseball season or giving honest compliments on her fashion, career advancement or accomplishments establishes you as someone they can count on. Don’t be afraid to ask them to meet for a cup of coffee or lunch just to catch up. You’ve got to eat anyway, and you never know what opportunities may come up over a quick meal.
Write to them
Yes. Pick up a pen for something other than real estate contracts and closing papers.
Find some nice stationary note cards and send clients a handwritten note. You can send a ‘Thinking of You’, ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Just Staying in Touch’ note. Anything that you write by hand and clients can tell is genuine works.
The Realtor who helped us buy our first house would send a letter with a handful of stamps each time the postage increased (before Forever stamps). Three years after we bought our house, we were not actively looking for a new home. The Realtor found out we were expecting and dropped by with a baby gift basket. Guess who we called a few years later when we were ready to sell the house. That same Realtor.
Putting plans in action
Above are six tips on how to connect with your real estate clients. The key to successfully connecting is to put any or all of these ideas into action. Set time aside to work on the online and written ideas each week. Make it easy by scheduling how to and who you’ll contact ahead of time. When sales pick up and you’re busy, don’t overlook the importance of staying in touch with past clients. Connecting now can lead to real estate transactions months or years into the future.
These are ways we have found that work to connect with clients.
What are the most successful ways you stay in touch with past clients? Let us know.