Past real estate clients can become your personal lead-creation machine. However, that machine will only produce if you make the effort to stay in touch.
A hard fact: If you forget your past real estate clients, they will forget you.
Even if they loved you while you were helping them, you aren’t a part of their daily lives. They might mention your superior service to friends and relatives for a few months. But soon other concerns will replace the importance of their home purchase or sale. After a year or two, they probably won’t think of you unless someone mentions your name.
That is, unless you keep reminding them that you’re there – ready to help them, their families, and their friends.
When I started in real estate, I was not taught the importance of past clients.
My first brokers never mentioned them. When a transaction closed, the files went in the drawer and they were forgotten.
Apparently, no one had ever taught my brokers the importance of past real estate clients or spheres of influence. They didn’t even recommend sending announcements to family and friends. They did talk about making cold calls and sending letters to strangers. Aside from that, if you wanted clients, you hoped someone would call or come in on your floor day.
It was later that I learned about the importance of past real estate clients.
I started buying books about selling real estate, and learned plenty that my brokers and CE classes failed to mention. Somehow, they didn’t focus on how and why to market yourself as an agent. The books I read did.
I’m nagging you today, because I still cringe to think of how many closings I missed because I let those people get away.
It does hurt when you see a house you sold being listed by someone else a few years later. You naturally think “Why didn’t they call me?” The answer is that they’ve probably forgotten all about you.
Remembering you is not their job, remembering THEM is YOUR job.
Last week I said you could use my Staying in Touch Letters to reconnect with past clients. But that’s just a beginning. Once you’ve reconnected, you must maintain the connection.
Sometimes those past clients will decide to sell or even to sell and buy again. Sometimes they’ll send you referrals. Sometimes they’ll just provide advertising by forwarding on something you sent them. Remember that even people who have moved out of the area probably have friends or family members who still live in your territory. And sometimes, they do decide to come back – so don’t ignore them.
Someone reading this message is thinking “But they’ve already bought or sold. They don’t want to keep getting marketing letters from me.” And that someone is right. They do NOT want a constant stream of marketing messages. So send something better.
Send past real estate clients something interesting.
- Market reports, because people like to know what’s going on where they live or used to live.
- Just listed cards – for the same reason. For people who have moved away, you might jot a short note, such as “Remember the Smiths who lived 3 doors down from you? This is their house.”
- News about businesses closing, new businesses opening, or new construction in their neighborhood – or old neighborhood.
- Good news about charitable causes. For instance – exceptional adoption numbers from the animal shelter, huge donations to a food bank, more volunteers for a reading program, or the success of a winter coat drive or Toys for Tots promotion.
- Fun stuff: My holiday/event keeping in touch letters are a good example. Check them out, and while you’re there, grab the sample and feel free to use it.
- Quotes you like.
- Home maintenance tips – good ones, not the same old, same old.
The above suggestions will work for everyone on your lists.
You can put the information into your autoresponder, set it to go out on specific days, and you’re done. Consider adding a full year’s worth of my event themed letters, quotes, or tips on a once per month basis. Then fill in with timely news as it comes along.
At the very least, everyone on your list will be reminded of you once each month.
Do remember to add a parting line such as; “I’m here to help any time you need me. Just call, email, or text.”
A personal touch goes even farther to make you memorable, so consider sending:
- Birthday greetings, if your database gives you the information.
- For past home buyers – a “Happy House Anniversary” card.
- A newspaper clipping or link to an article you know will interest a specific person.
- A personal note congratulating them on something – like a promotion, a new baby, a wedding.
- An email about a shared interest.
- A “Thinking of you” note if you’ve read about severe weather, etc. in a seller’s new home area.
- A Thank You card for a referral!
- A small gift if that referral resulted in a closing.
And of course, it is always a good idea to pick up the phone now and then, just to say hello.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“In sales, a referral is the key to the door of resistance.”
Robert Foster Bennett