Maintaining and Valuing Client Relationships for the Long Haul
Sometimes real estate can feel like it’s a job built in piles of papers and forms. However, real estate lives and dies on relationships, specifically the relationships between an agent and a client.
Most business is passed through word of mouth, so it is vital to maintain and value client relationships for the long term. But how does one go about keeping a client happy and coming back in the future?
Communication is Key
Keep communication lines open with clients as much as possible. However, it can be difficult to decide how and when to reach out. Too little and your clients may come to feel alienated; too much and they may feel overwhelmed. Finding the balance between the two can be challenging—especially since the amount of desired communication will vary from client to client. Tailor the type and amount of communication on an individualized basis. Reaching out may include setting up active buyers with a daily automated listing update daily, or it may be providing an in-process buyer or seller with follow up calls to discuss how things are progressing. Talk to your client in order to meet their needs.
Along with reaching out to your client, remember that good communication works as a two-way street. While keeping your client in the loop is imperative, it is even more important to listen to what your client has to say in return. Take their feedback to heart and incorporate what you can into future interactions and decisions. If a client doesn’t feel that their needs are being met or that they are not being heard, they will take their business elsewhere.
Be the “Go-To”
When it comes to real estate, you’re the expert! Along with keeping communications open and listening to your client, make sure that you share your knowledge and know-how. Be gracious, approachable, and make yourself available to answer any questions. Remember: you go through buying and selling properties every day, but this could be a completely new experience for your client.
The Client as an Individual
We’ve all received them—junk mail, both letters, and emails alike addressed to Resident, Neighbor, or, worst of them all, Valued Customer. Does anything make us feel less valued than such generic salutations? Treat all your clients as if they are your most important client— who knows? One day they might be. A newlywed couple looking for a condo today could, years down the road, be looking to upsize to a mansion. If you give them a positive experience, they are likely to come back even decades later.
A little personalization can go a long way. Consider keeping contact via a monthly newsletter. Send a handwritten note or a birthday card. Reach out and keep in contact via social media.
With today’s technology, the possibilities for individualized communication are endless.
By keeping communications open, listening to clients, making yourself approachable, and treating the client as an individual, you can build relationships with clients that can be lucrative for both of you for years to come.
Author – Brandon Doyle – RETI Contributor