Client for Life: Strategies to Transform First-Timers into Loyal Clients

    That 89% of homebuyers say they will use their agent again says a lot about the fantastic job real estate agents do with their clients.  

    Yet, only 12% of buyers used their former agent when buying another home (NAR).

    Weird, isn’t it?

    Something happens – or doesn’t – between the closing table and the time your client engages in another real estate transaction.

    Let’s cure the disconnect between “first-timer” and “client-for-life.”

    Former clients are “warm” contacts

    Unlike picking up the phone for cold calling, a call to a former client is like calling a friend.

    It is one of the more comfortable tasks in an agent’s business. If they hired you in the past, they clearly know, like, and trust you. 

    Your only job with these past clients, at least right now, is to remain top-of-mind with them.

    Here’s just one reason why:

    “Depending on which study you believe and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one,” claims Amy Gallo at Harvard Business Review.

    Here’s another stat that you may find impressive, “Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%”, Frederick F. Reichheld and Phil Schefter, Harvard Business School

    The Holiday scheduled campaign is shown above. To learn more, Click Here.

    Large and splashy or understated?

    Reaching out to former clients doesn’t have to cost a lot or be overly extravagant.

    A phone call, a postcard dropped in the mail, or a check-in on social media are all perfectly appropriate ways to get your name back in front of a past client.

    Here are a few more inexpensive ways to reach out to former clients:

    • Put together a quarterly market update and direct mail it to former clients.
    • Keep in touch via a monthly or quarterly mailed newsletter
    • Send out birthday, anniversary, and annual home anniversary postcards.
    • Include them in Just listed/Just sold postcards you’re mailing to announce transactions near your clients’ homes.
    • Take them out for coffee, cocktails, or lunch.

    Naturally, a large and splashy “touch” would be more memorable. These include client appreciation events. The key to a successful client retention strategy is consistency. 

    The most important part of these conversations

    The question used to be, “Who do you know that might be thinking of buying or selling a home?”

    Today, the question is best when it’s narrowed down.

    If you have read the book “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days,” you are familiar with this concept. In it, Jay Conrad Levinson says to try narrowing “… the universe of those you ask.”

    Here’s an example:

    Marcy is a former client who loves playing tennis. Instead of using the broad question, narrow it down to “Who do you play tennis with who might be thinking of buying or selling a home?”

    Instead of combing through her mental database of everyone she knows, her mind turns to the tennis court and her conversations with fellow players.

    You know that former clients most likely want your services when they next buy or sell real estate.

    Don’t let so much time go by that they forget your name. Reach out and stay in touch with them to stop leaving what should be easy money on the table.

    PLUS: When you have time…below are some marketing tools to help support your success.

    1. Put Your Real Estate Business a Step Above with Your Own Branded Magazine

    Homes & Life Magazine is a customizable magazine with rich, full-color content and a sharp, professional aesthetic. It includes compelling, direct, response-driven articles written by real estate industry experts and engaging lifestyle content. Send out Homes & Life Magazine in Just Minutes – No Minimums Required. Or we’ll ship it to you. Homes & Life Magazine is the ultimate “Coffee Table Lingerer”! …and it costs less than sending a greeting card!Click Here

    2. The Free 6-Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

    The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 6-Month Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do and when. Four key market segments include niche Markets, geographic farming, sphere of influence, and past clients. – Click Here

    3. The Free Interactive 6-Month Real Estate Business Review

    The Free Interactive 6-Month Real Estate Business Review allows you to enter your business goals for the remainder of the year and get a breakdown of how many prospects, listings, closing, and so on are needed to reach your goals.   – Click Here

    4. The Become a Listing Legend Free eBook 

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Become-A-Listing-Legend-3D-Book-White-274x300.jpg

    Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here

    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.