Published by Kartik Subramaniam
For real estate agents, past clients represent a wealth of new business in years to come if the relationship is nourished and kept up after the sale. The problem for some agents is that they lose touch with past clients after doing business with them, but there are a few reasons you should devote extra time to making sure you remain connected.
In generations past, people often bought their home and stayed there for their entire lives, sometimes even leaving the property to following generations. Today, people are far more mobile than ever before. For real estate agents, there are two big reasons to maintain contact with past clients:
They May Need Your Services in the Future. People rarely stay in the same home for the duration of their lives and many people also invest in other properties. Return business is great because you build an ongoing relationship of trust and friendship. It’s much easier to keep a current client happy than to try and obtain a new one.
Happy Clients Recommend You to Others. Even for clients who will rarely, if ever, need your services again, it's important that you maintain a positive experience and connection. These clients will often have friends and acquaintances who are looking to purchase or sell homes and that can mean a great pipeline of referral business for you. We even see this with our real estate school. The great majority of our new students have been referred to us by a former one.
If you haven't previously made it a point to market to past clients, you're not alone. Many agents lose or drop contact with one-time clients over the course of months or years since a sale. The good news is that it's never too late to reconnect.
Here are a few ways you can reach out to old clients to build an ongoing relationship.
Start By Going Through Your Past Client Lists. The first step to rebuild these relationships is setting some time aside to go through your past sales. Review notes and old emails on clients to give yourself a quick refresher on who they are and their lifestyle. As an agent, you deal with a lot of people throughout the day, so taking the time to review all the past information you have can be a great start. Remember, though, if a good deal of time has passed, that client has likely experienced some major life changes and may be in a different place financially so tread lightly.
Send a Personalized Note. A great way to reconnect is by simply being honest. Send them a personal note. This can be through email or physical mail. If you do send a letter by mail, hand addressing it can be great because people are less inclined to see envelopes that are handwritten as sales material. The note can be a simple re-introduction, maybe an apology for not being in touch, and a personal note about something in their life. You can also include your personal social media accounts and contact information and let them know you'd like to stay in touch.
Acknowledge an Anniversary. If sending a note out of the blue sounds a bit awkward to you, it's always great to go with the old stand by of sending a card or note for an occasion. This might be the anniversary of the purchase of their home or their birthday.
Find Them on Social Media. Social media can often be the best way to resume contact with old clients. People often accept friend requests from a wide variety of contacts. Take some time to hunt for your past clients on your favorite platforms and use those channels to reconnect. You might include a personal note right when you reach out or once they've accepted your request to connect.
There are a lot of ways to reconnect with old clients, but maintaining that relationship is the real goal. Here are a few ways that you can cultivate an ongoing relationship with these contacts so that you stay in their thoughts if they ever need an agent for future real estate dealings.
Send a Thank You for Referrals. If a past client referred you to someone, make sure you acknowledge that. You can send them a quick thank you note to show your gratitude for the trust and recommendation.
Plan a Coffee or Small Gathering. Small events can be a great way to maintain a connection. You can host a small thank you event for past clients or offer a seminar on some aspect of property ownership. There are a million different ways to plan an event that make it worthwhile for contacts to attend and it gives you the opportunity to build an in person relationship. If your office has a large training room consider using that as free space to host your event.
Send Them Updates On Property Sales in Their Neighborhood. Many people really appreciate knowing when a home goes on the market in their area. They may also be interested in knowing when one sold, so they can introduce themselves to new neighbors.
Keep Them In Your Future Marketing Lists. Whether you send out email campaigns or routinely do newsletters to give your prospects worthwhile information, it's a great touch to keep past clients in the funnel on these efforts.
Past clients can represent a great market for future sales and you've already cultivated their goodwill by doing a great job on the property needs they've had so far. If you've let a lot of time lapse between contact, it's still worth your time to try to reconnect when possible.
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