In an industry where connections multiply opportunities for business and networking is a vital career booster, real estate brokers need to invest time in cultivating lifetime clients. It’s not enough to say, “Let’s keep in touch” after closing a deal. Crafting a long-term action plan for building and sustaining client relationships is an essential part of being a broker.
In real estate, excellent and empathetic customer service supported by expert skill is a prerequisite for success. Brokers need to be set on creating loyal customers, as it would encourage word-of-mouth marketing. This then increases the chances of referrals – and referrals open avenues for more business in the future.
This is a product of providing and maintaining a standard of customer service. Especially in an age where technology plays a major role in a buyer’s journey, brokers who can give what digital customers need are those who set themselves apart from others. Failing to nurture client relationships post-sale can have consequences on one’s reputation as well as future sales.
Developing long-term business relationships starts with being a reliable resource regarding a client’s’ property — beyond the sale, throughout the year, and for many years to come. Brokers should aspire to become the top-of-mind, go-to real estate resource.
Know the client beyond the transaction
Great networkers get out what they put in. Even at the start of working together, brokers should get to know their clients, find out what they do, and understand where they are in their life stage. It’s important to remember that for a client to wholeheartedly trust their agent, one would need to put in time to develop a personal relationship. This entails getting to know one another beyond the transaction. By knowing where they are in life, brokers see how to help their clients with their next big step, and communicating with them comes from a place of understanding.
Celebrate the client’s milestones
When communicating with a client after sales, it’s important to keep calls, texts, and emails to a minimum. The key is to engage in valuable – rather than constant – communication.
Thus, brokers can opt instead to celebrate their client’s milestones. This not only shows genuine care for the client but also that the broker values the relationship. On the day the deal is closed, invite the client to celebrate over lunch or dinner. When the client moves in, accompany him or her and bring along a gift for the move-in.
The anniversary of the purchase or sale of a property could also be another cause for celebration. When catching up with the client to celebrate milestones, it’s an opportunity to get feedback on the condition of the home months after the move-in.
Be available for the client
Be available to consult at any time, whether to just answer a few quick questions over a text or call or to join the client in a meeting to address their need. Often, property owners (or their friends) just want a few quick questions answered and don’t know who to call. By being available for these people, a broker also gets a glimpse of the needs of the client, insight on how to help them long-term, and perhaps even close a deal with them.
Word of mouth from satisfied clients is one of the most powerful referrals in real estate. Lay the foundations with premium customer service, keep in regular contact, and referrals will come eventually. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how a broker can effectively provide the best experience for every client.