Most sales positions rely on referrals, and real estate is no exception. The best source of referral leads is satisfied clients who send friends and family your way. That’s why it makes sense to keep the relationship with a client alive long after your deal closes. Staying connected is a great way to garner new leads.
Future business starts now
Future business referrals begin when you service existing clients with excellence. Be attentive to details. Return phone calls and emails on a timely basis. Shepherd deals carefully through closing.
- After closing, hand your client a thank you card and a gift card for a nice dinner or a home improvement store. Thereafter, keep his name in your CRM for maintaining contact.
- Connect with clients on social media as appropriate and “like” some of their posts. Be engaging and comment in a friendly yet professional manner.
- Send hand-signed cards for birthdays, anniversaries and congratulatory events. In the age of email, handwritten notes stand out, and your past clients will appreciate them more than ever.
- Drop postcards to past clients in specific neighborhoods when you sell a house nearby. This reminds them of your skills as a real estate pro.
- When clients send referrals your way, give them a call to say thanks and follow with a thank you note.
- Periodically send former clients CMAs for homes in the neighborhoods near them.
- Create a monthly or quarterly newsletter, either hard copy mailed or emailed, with market updates, coming new developments, home maintenance tips, holiday highlights and other tidbits about home life.
- Send recommendations of good home contractors for repair and remodeling work.
- Send referrals for your former clients’ businesses. For example, if someone you know is looking for a good dentist and one of your past clients fits that description, refer them.
Finesse is the key
Follow-up contact like this should be managed with finesse. Stay in touch just enough to be helpful, not overbearing. If a client requests to be dropped from a contact list, do not hesitate. It does not mean she won’t use you again someday or refer someone to you. She may simply be overwhelmed with solicitation mail.
Referrals are the best
Always hand your card to new acquaintances, but remember referrals from satisfied customers beat cold calling hands down. A stellar reputation and long relationships will pay handsome dividends as the years go by.