It’s one of the simplest, truest, and hardest to fully internalize facts about the real estate business that you need long-term relationships to make it work. While it might seem like home purchases happen infrequently enough that your clients won’t need your services again in most cases, this simply isn’t true. The average homeowner goes through a few intermediate purchases before landing on an investment in a long-term dream house, even if those purchases are a decade or more apart. That’s not the important part, though. The important part about long-term relationships is the way your reputation and word of mouth marketing go hand in hand with them. The real estate agent client relationship is one of trust, and the purchase you help clients make is a lifelong milestone for most of them, which means a positive experience translates to years of recommendations to friends, family, and coworkers. Here’s how you set yourself up to make those connections and build that reputation.
Over-Communicate During the Process
Over-servicing the client is a good way to make sure they are happy and ready to recommend you forward, and a big part of that is making sure they always have all the information needed to move through the process smoothly. That means giving them more than just the basics, and it means touching base with new information as often as you have it. At the same time, if you send a lot of messages that don’t bring useful information to the table, the client can get fatigued. The key is to over-communicate and not to spam. What’s the difference? Spam involves sending messages that aren’t wanted, needed, or relevant. A good example would be putting out mailing list emails when you don’t have anything to say or any new listings. Over-communication involves making sure the client doesn’t need anything. That can look different in different situations.
- Sending new information when you have it, rather than waiting to communicate several points at once
- Provide options even if the client indicates a plan, just so they know they have them, but don’t be pushy
- Make it known when you can provide referrals, but also what they should do to research services on their own
- Ask questions regularly, including the age-old one, “Do you need anything before the next step?”
- Send night-before reminders to confirm meetings and appointments
This kind of approach to communication makes it easy for the client to bring you new information, because there’s usually a very recent message on the topic of their business with you that shows you are still focused on their needs. Be sure to ask your clients what mother of communication works best for them, email your real estate app, texts, or calls. That goes a long way toward making the process a positive experience, and it works whether you’re representing a seller or a buyer.
Remember to Celebrate Closing
Realtor gifts for clients after a closing are an industry standard, but what you do and how you personalize the gift to the client makes the difference in terms of whether it leaves an impression and invites them to keep communication open. If you want to really make an impression, spend time getting to know the client while facilitating a sale or purchase, and then pick something that reflects those interests so the gift serves as a touchstone for memories of the time spent looking for and then buying their new home. It’s a great way for agents and brokers who work with both buyers and sellers to get repeat business, because chances are you’ll be the client’s first call when it’s time to put the home back on the market and move up.
Thank You Letters: Not Just For Clients
Your word of mouth marketing and recommendations don’t just come from clients, although clients are probably the most important part of the overall strategy. If you’re looking at how to increase real estate business, you also need to remember that the people who you use as referrals when clients need to be pointed in the direction of a service like a title agency, home inspector, or appraisal are also people who regularly interact with potential clients they could refer to you. Make sure you remember them when you sit down to write your thank you letter from realtor to client, so you send out notes of gratitude to everyone involved in the process. Your personalized letter to your client is as important as the gift, but it isn’t the only important letter you need to send.
Be a Resource
It’s not always easy to build trust as a real estate agent, but it’s a lot easier when you focus on making everything as easy as possible for the buyer and seller. This happens when there’s clear communication and when every party knows what to do to move the process forward. You can’t always resolve negotiation conflicts easily, but you can make sure everyone has the information they need to make the right choices for themselves. Everything else is a matter of circumstance, and most people will understand that.