Sunday, April 14, 2024

customer retention

    To Become That Stand-Out Agent

    Crazy business, isn’t it? You studied, got your license, paid all those fees, found a broker, and GOT TO WORK.

    If you were lucky, once onboard, your broker had some sort of training program for new agents. Most, however, teach a few rudimentary tasks and send agents on their way.

    What is universally lacking is training on how to work with clients – especially buyers. In many cases, this leads to a less than stellar experience for home buyers.

    Want to become a stand-out with your buyer clients? Here are three things you absolutely must share, that many agents won’t.

    Rent By Numbers Campaign, see more HERE

    Closing costs

    Have you ever wondered why there is so much focus on educating buyers about the down payment while details about closing costs are rarely mentioned? I have a theory about that.

    Buying a home is expensive. That’s a given. Telling a client who is on a budget that they’ll need thousands of dollars in cash to put down on a home almost feels like we’re scaring them off.

    Once past the down payment hurdle, who wants to say “Oh, yeah, by the way, you’ll need about that much more in cash for closing costs?” It’s much easier to let the lender take the hit for that one, right?

    But we owe our clients much more than this. There is nothing worse than meeting with the lender and learning you’ll need twice as much cash as your agent told you that you’d need.

    So, vague references to closing costs don’t cut it. Be the agent that helps change the perception of the industry by being upfront and honest about all aspects of the transaction – especially financial aspects.

    Give them more information about the loan process

    First-time buyers have a tendency to think that loan preapproval is an iron-clad guarantee that they’ll get the loan. It’s the lender’s job to tell them otherwise but how many do so?

    Since you, as the agent, have a vested interest in the buyer’s successful closing, don’t assume the buyer’s lender is going to do this.

    What is especially important for your buyers to understand is that their loan can fall apart right up until the moment the loan is funded.

    Quitting a job, moving money, buying anything on credit, applying for new credit can doom the entire purchase.

    First Time Buyer Campaign, see more HERE

    Treat the final walkthrough seriously

    I once had a friend who bought a house and used a well-known local agent. It was her first home so she relied heavily on the agent’s experience.

    During the final walkthrough, my friend allowed her agent to take the lead and, it’s a good thing because all of the appliances which were to remain with the home were gone. Refrigerator, washer, dryer – all missing.

    Since the walk-through was scheduled the day before closing, the closing had to be postponed while the seller replaced the appliances.

    After my friend moved in she found that the garbage disposer was also missing, plants were removed from the landscaping and several other fixtures were gone. At that point, it was too late to remedy the situation and she was forced to replace everything out of her own pocket.

    The agent fell down on her duty to her client.

    Make a walk-through checklist of every aspect of a home and use it during the final walkthrough. Counsel your client to move slowly and inspect everything.

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

    1. The Free 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

    The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, niche Markets, geographic farming, sphere of influence, and past clients. – Click Here

    2. The BusinessBase, SOI building system

    The most effective thing you can do to build a real estate business is to become more visible, more likable, and remembered more often. The BusinessBASE™ not only checks all of these boxes, but it is a business building machine. In two easy steps, you can begin to build a robust sphere of influence that will provide you a lifetime of repeat business and referrals. – Click Here

    3. The Free Interactive Real Estate Business Plan

    The Free Interactive Real Estate Business Plan allows you to enter your business goals for this 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

    5. The Take a Listing Today Podcast

    The Take a Listing Today Podcast

    Watch the ProspectsPLUS!, Take a Listing Today Podcast for actionable content to help you get more listings. – Click Here

    Please reach out to our support team at 866.405.3638 with questions or if there is anything we can do to help you in your success.

    We’re here to support you.

    Your ProspectsPLUS! Team

    Keeping past customers coming back should be easy…

    After all, you don’t need to “sell” them on your service and phone calls to them are warm and friendly. In addition, if you did your job right, they know, like and trust you.

    So, why do so many agents fail miserably at retaining past customers? And how are you going to ensure, as you head into the new year, that you keep your past clients present?

    Beyond this being a smart question, it is also an important financial decision.

    The following are some statistics that explain why you should strive to remain top-of-mind with former customers and some tips to help you do so.

    The puzzling facts

    Nearly 90 percent of real estate consumers surveyed by NAR say that they would use their agent again and that they would recommend their agent to others.

    Yet the same statistics show that, sadly, only 12 percent of consumers actually used an agent that they had worked with in the past. Dive deep into these numbers and you can easily see that real estate consumers want to use the agent they’ve worked with in the past,

    Yet curiously, few do.

    And, it’s a safe bet that they don’t because they forgot about the agent and went with one referred by a friend, family member or colleague.

    A financial reality

    “Depending on which study you read, 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.

    In fact, there’s a formula you can use to determine just how much chasing after new business costs you each year.

    Divide your total marketing and sales costs (what you spend on gas driving buyers around, listing expenses, etc.) by the number of new customers you acquired during the year.

    Scary, isn’t it? Those are some expensive customers.

    Former customers, on the other hand, are gold mines. “Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%,” according to Frederick F. Reichheld and Phil Schefter of Harvard Business School.

    How’s your past customer list looking? If it appears dry and parched, it’s time to try nurturing it.

    Customer retention strategies

    Remaining top-of-mind with former customers doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor, although the larger and splashier the “touch,” the more memorable you’ll be.

    Less expensive ways to keep in touch are the no-brainer methods that tend to fall through the cracks of the busy agent’s schedule.

    • Drip email campaigns
    • Monthly direct mail, of interest to your customers, such as newsletters and market updates
    • Birthday and anniversary postcards
    • “Or offer home maintenance reminders (e.g., changing out smoke detector batteries once a year),” suggests Melissa Dittmann Tracey at


    Some experts recommend a quarterly face-to-face visit with former customers. Take them to coffee, happy hour or lunch. Or to get the most bang for your customer-retention buck, throw some sort of annual customer appreciation event.

    It can be as lavish as the black-tie event Buyer’s Edge agent Steve Israel holds (complete with orchestra and catered food), or as simple as a casual backyard summer barbecue.

    You might even consider an event that not only brings your past customers back into your sphere but benefits your favorite non-profit as well.

    Kathy Broock Ballard invites customers, past and present, to “The Annual Erin Go Bra(gh) Party” on St. Patrick’s Day. She asks that they bring an item of clothing for the local women’s shelter and in return, lunch and an open bar are theirs to enjoy.

    An agent in San Francisco holds a crab feed every year during Dungeness season. He holds it in partnership with a lender and title company to keep expenses to a minimum.

    Don’t forget to ask

    Whether it’s one-on-one or as part of an event, don’t forget to ask former customers if they know anyone who may be thinking of buying or selling real estate. Focusing your “ask” may bring better results, according to the late Jay Conrad Levinson, father of Guerilla Marketing.

    Narrow “the universe of those you ask,” he suggests in the book “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days.” For instance, instead of asking your weekend golf partner to thumb through his mental database of everyone she knows, ask her who else she plays golf with who may be thinking of buying or selling real estate.

    The smaller you make the “universe,” the more likely your customer will be able to come up with a name.

    Keeping in touch with the customers you already know and who know you is one of the easier parts of your business. By not periodically reaching out to them, you’re leaving easy money on the table for your competition to grab.

    Start sending out a Community Newsletter to your clients each month to remind them of who to turn to for expert guidance when needed.

    Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

    PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you STILL CRUSH IT in 2018!

    1. Become a Listing Legend Free ebook.

    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 

    2. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

    The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

    2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

    Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

    Also…check out these cool tools 

     Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

    Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

    Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!