What your best real estate clients want (And the survey says!)
You spend time, energy and money getting your best real estate clients.
But, are you keeping them?
Ask yourself these three important questions:
- Am I making the most of every relationship?
- Does every client bring me a referral?
- What is distracting me from keeping my clients happy?.
Ask any successful salesperson and they’ll remind you that client retention is key to building a successful business.
Why? Because it’s the foundation you build your reputation on and get profitable referrals. I know you know that…but is that a daily focus in your business?
I decided to find out…
I spent one year asking 89 home buyers and sellers key questions about loyalty and repeat business. Their answers might surprise you…
Q 1: You’ve worked with a Real Estate Agent in the past. Would you automatically hire that person again?
Brace yourself. Do you want to know what resonated with them?
Your attention to their value as an individual. Your client wants to know that they’re important on a personal level.
Did you get to know their family? Did you show compassion, patience, understanding – especially when it came to their children, aging parents, extended family?
These factors top the list of reasons someone will go back to their real estate agent the next time they’re buying or selling.
On the flip side, they’ll switch agents if a friend or family member recommends someone to them. And the same goes if they move to another community. Your relationship collateral is spent if they think they’d be better served by someone who’s a specialist in the new location.
Do you have a network of like-minded agents in other communities so you can provide that handshake? That’s a relationship-builder. Give a good recommendation and they’ll remember you, even provide referrals to friends who still live in your community.
Q 2: If you don’t know a REALTOR®, what factors influence your decision to choose one??
Knowing new rules (people generally feel like things have probably changed since they bought or sold before).
Having a proven track record and qualifications.
Your clients also want to know if you specialize in their neighbourhood. But even that’s not the biggest priority.
What makes the biggest impact here? A personal connection.
Were you recommended by a friend, or someone they respect on social media? Is your web presence positive? When they visit your website or social media sites, will they find glowing testimonials?
Q 3: You’ve met an Agent. What impressed you? What put you off?
I’m going to sound like a broken record here: again, it’s the personal touch.
Your potential client doesn’t necessarily want facts and figures. They want to be heard. You have to ask meaningful, value-based questions and then listen to the answers. Really listen.
As the saying goes: Listen with intent to understand, not to respond. Their answers will give you clues to ways you can meet their expectations. Remember: it’s not about you, it’s about them. So, make it all about them.
Want to shut down the dialogue? Interrupt mid-sentence. Brag about your sales record. Brag about your brokerage. Your potential client has just tuned you out. Enough about you, let’s talk about them…
Q 4: Would you research your potential agent online? If so, where?
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. 90% of your potential real estate clients will let their search engine do the walking.
They’ll search your photos on Google Images. They’ll read your online reviews. They’ll check your social media platforms. As I mentioned above, your potential client will take your social media presence into consideration, especially if you’ve been recommended by a friend.
Interestingly, if your social media presence is weak but the recommendation from a friend is strong, the friendship overrules your poor online image, so take heart.
The remaining 10% – the old-fashioned “meet you face-to-face” prospects – will still do an online search after your first meeting to either reaffirm or negate their first impression.
Q 5: Why work with a REALTOR®?
Here’s where your trade knowledge comes into play. Your clients don’t want to navigate the maze of legalities and paperwork, so they’re counting on you to know the process.
But they’re also counting on you to be a filter so they save time, potential grief and embarrassment. So they don’t purchase a “lemon” home—nobody wants to be fooled into a poor purchase.
They also want access to your network of agents and opportunities and are relying on you to weed out the duds and bring viable, novel options to the table.
Having a strong, personal understanding of your real estate clients will influence your suggestions. If you listened to them at the outset you’ll have a deep knowledge of what they’re expecting from you. This will benefit your client and be a time-saver, for both of you.
Bonus tip: Mailers.
Resist the urge to spam your past clients with follow-up, generic mailers and reminders. If they had a good experience with you they’ll tolerate them. If they didn’t, you’ve just fanned the flames of their dissatisfaction.
Where possible, opt for a quick hand-written note – acknowledge a birthday, the anniversary of their purchase. This resonates with your clients. It’s the personal touch.
You want a solid base of long-term, loyal clients. They will seek you out and recommend you to friends, colleagues and family.
Don’t leave it up to chance. Listen with intent to understand. Be aware of your online presence. Opt for the personal touch in all your interactions. And then watch your business grow and prosper.
Want more tips on ways to grow your business? Contact me here.
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