If you’re not going above and beyond, you’re also not going further with that client’s circle. Buyers and Sellers love to refer agents that they worked with when they have an outstanding experience. Anything less than extraordinary though, and it ain’t going anywhere else. Unlocking that extra level of service and attention to your clients is what generated referral and repeat business. Some of the most successful agents these days don’t spend a dollar on advertising because they have build up such a large trust base and they struggle just to keep up with the buyers and sellers that are being referred to them. The key to all this lies in a few simple practices:
#1 Always answer your phone. Clients are putting huge trust in you, and they need an agent they feel is on top of everything so they need exta hand holding. it’s an emotional and stressful transaction and involved a lot or most of someone’s savings to invest in, so clients are naturally more sensitive. you need to be the calm voice in the room, educated, and always, always, always ready for their call if they have any concerns.
#2 Ongoing follow ups. If you’ve listed a seller’s home, you should be updating them weekly on # scheduled showings, # offers, # interested buyers, etc, or if they are in escrow, they should be updated every few days. If you’re working with buyers that are more long term, you should calling them at least once per month to see if they’re seeing any properties online they are interested in, or if they want to be set up on another search, maybe in a new neighborhood you could recommend.
#3 Post Closing Relationship. Most agents cease most of their contact with a client as soon as that escrow closes and they get their commission check. It’s sad but true. Agents think, “well, when they are ready to buy again or sell in many years, hopefully they think of me, i’ll touch base one day again”, but they don’t. Creating a strong Post Closing Relationship (PCR):
- a. Thank You – You don’t have to buy your clients something physical, although it’s a nice gesture to consider doing so, but showing a large degree of GRATITUDE is what counts. After the closing, your clients will be so thankful for you, because they are happy in their new home, etc. So when you thank THEM, they are in awe and feel even more grateful, and you should be thankful, you just made a lot of money! Showing gratitude is the most important thing, and it can’t be in an email. You should go by the home when they are settled in, or send flowers with a Thank You card at the very least.
- b. Ask and you shall receive – After you show your gratitude, you should follow up once again and let them know how the market is doing in their neighborhood, and ask them if they have any friends they could introduce over so that you can keep them updated on the market, send them new listings, or schedule home tours with. People who have been pleased by your service will be more than happy to recommend you. You’d be amazed how many, and how much new referral business you get from it. When you advertise online, you advertise for that day. When you build a strong PCR with a client, you build a career-long stream of recurring business.
- c. Follow up Quarterly – Never lose that contact with your past client. If you just do the first 2 steps above and then lose contact, you will have missed the point. Stay in touch ongoing but not overtly-sales or nosey, just a quick hi and let them know there are some cool new restaurants opening up near them and ask them how they’re liking the changes to the neighborhood. Staying on their mind long term will create multitudes of new business for you. They may only know 2-3 people right now looking to buy a home, but they will know dozens throughout a year’s time alone.