Referrals still reign supreme
In the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR found that 70% of home sellers found their real estate agent through a referral or used a REALTOR® they’ve worked with in the past.
Only 3% found their agent from a website and only 1% from the newspaper, yellow pages, or home book advertising. And when polled, the vast majority of recent sellers said that they would probably or definitely use their agent again or recommend him or her to others.
What does this research tell us? It points to the importance of building loyalty with existing clients. If you have a satisfied client who’s in a position to use your services again and refer you, make sure you continue to build the relationship with him or her for years down the road. Never assume a client will remember you and the great experience they had with you.
Five easy ways to build client loyalty
Research has shown that it costs far less time and money to retain an existing client then to acquire a new one. So focus on your existing clients. Here are five easy ways to build client loyalty:
- Acknowledge clients on their birthday and important dates like their home purchase anniversary. Send small, thoughtful gifts on special occasions or simply to show that you appreciate your relationship with them.
- Call every now and then to say “hello.” As you learn about your clients over time, you’ll be able to ask about key events in their lives (showing genuine interest).
- Offer recommendations on home-related service professionals such as handymen, interior designers, plumbers, and landscapers. If your clients are business owners, try to refer their services to others if you trust the work that they do.
- Thank your referrers. Be sure to send clients who refer you a Thank You card and perhaps a small gift (if it’s allowed within your board guidelines) to show your appreciation and make it clear that you value referrals. Make sure you keep the referrer informed and updated on how everything is coming along with the individual they referred to you.
- Send a monthly real estate newsletter or e-newsletter. Clients love to receive information that’s helpful and relevant to them, which is why you should be sending a monthly real estate newsletter. You’ll want to send articles on topics such as tips to remodel a kitchen, ways to assess the value of a home, and advice on boosting curb appeal.
When you master contact management and relationship-building, you’ll spend less time prospecting and more time with loyal clients – clients who use your services repeatedly and refer you to friends and family members.