Let's Keep Clients for Life!

By
Real Estate Agent with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
Why don't they call?What did I do wrong?


Have you ever wondered why you have not heard from some clients in awhile?

According to several studies, the number one reason clients go away is an "attitude of neglect or indifference."

Said differently, long term client loyalty is eroded by small acts which in one way or another communicate a spirit of disregard.

Most of us are always on "duty"! We answer our cells and emails dutifully with a smile. But, have you ever had a really bad day? Did you notice that you were not yourself on some calls? They did!

As a Real Estate professional creating value and offering a competitive advantage are important ingredients in the "keeping clients for life" game, but a vast majority (over 60%) of people state someone's attitude as the reason for changing agents and companies. That's all it takes, folks! 

And I can assure you, it wasn't because folks had a positive, can-do attitude! They had a bad day and conveyed it without knowing it. But, if you are like me, you wake up in the middle of the night and you say, Oh My! What did I say to them? You know that harm was done. Now, what do we do about it?

Well, I learned the hard way, by not doing the right thing. YOU CALL THEM RIGHT AWAY! You put it behind you! It worked for me and one of my clients (now friend) forgave me although she was really ticked off. It took a lot for a macho guy like me to eat dirt, but it was well worth it! And not for keeping a client, which I did, but for me!! I felt great! I resolved never to do that again. My solution? If I feel that bad, I take a voice mail and call them back when I am myself!

We cannot take anyone for granted. After having them listed for a few months, it might be easy to do that. But our clients deserve the very best from us. They are the one's worried to death about their home. We are the ones supposed to remain objective. But, we are human too! Just be human on your own time.

Any other ideas for bad times and what we should do as professionals?

David

We are all human!

 

Comments (19)

Duane Hosek
Coldwell Banker - Lewis-Kirkeby-Hall - Rapid City, SD

Hey David............Great post.............I think you have the best idea.  If you are having a bad day, don't go to work,  or don't take phone calls, etc.   Until your attitude improves.

Duane Hosek in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Aug 27, 2007 05:46 PM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876
David - your most powerful statement in this post is "We cannot take anyone for granted". I tell my clients that everyday! Great post, thanks for sharing! Love the Realbird thing too!
Aug 27, 2007 06:03 PM
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

Hello Duane, Thank you for visiting!

I have meant to contact you and here you are! The Black Hills mean a lot to me for some reason. I am fascinated by your history out there. I envy you for living in such a great part of our country. You have a great website, I will learn more about you from that!

Regards,

David

 

Aug 27, 2007 06:10 PM
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

Brad, thank you for stopping by. It means a lot to me!

I read something today about this and it made me think about some of my shortcomings. We try to stay 'UP" for our clients, but we all have bad days. How do we handle them is the question. That example I gave is true and I felt terrible. She called me all the time (4+ times a week) about her home and one late night I was not in a good place and I overreacted. I said things I would never had said during normal hours. I felt awful the next day. I did what I said in my post. We are now great friends and I am really happy about that!

If someone on AR can take anything from this, I did my duty.

Have a great week my friend,

David

Aug 27, 2007 06:25 PM
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Humbling yourself and admitting your wrong is powerful. In this day and age that is rare.
Aug 27, 2007 11:18 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
David, What you wrote definitely struck a nerve.  I am friends with so many of my former clients but I did not get back to one particularly lovely woman because I was busy taking care of so many things.  When I called her, I got her machine and left a message.  I've sent subsequent emails.  I'm going to send her a Hallmark Card and see if she'll respond.  I think some people have to realize we are NOT neglecting them, we just may be "caught" up for a time.  Thank you for a wonderful post.
Aug 28, 2007 12:23 AM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Everyone has a bad hair day.....and all individuals need to be accountable if they mess up...good job David!
Aug 28, 2007 04:22 AM
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

Thank you my friends for your comments.

I received this today from a non-Rainer, but a soon to be future Rainer! Pat Gross is a very good friend of mine who just received a nice position in Denver, CO. He is in banking and an excellent salesman and, more important, a real gentleman and all around good man. He is leaving Akron, OH in a couple of weeks and will be joining us when he gets his bearings out in Denver. Please welcome him then!

He emailed me a comment on this post today and here it is:

David,

I saw the blog you sent today.  Nice work.  And you are right.  You always say to yourself "What did I do wrong?  I have seven other reasons that people do not buy or continue to buy from a company or person...

  1. Lack of perceived value in the produce or service.  (Is there a return on the customer's investment?)
  2. Lack of perceived urgency in purchasing the offering.  (What's the hurry?)
  3. Perception of inferiority to a competitive offering.  (Someone else can do better)
  4. Internal political issue between parties or departments.  (Wife has a friend...)
  5. Lack of funds to purchase the offering.  (Can't afford the commission.  The other agent will do the same cheaper.)
  6. Personal issues with the salesperson.  (I guess there are some that don't love Dave and Pat!  I know...I was just as surprised as you.)
  7. Corporate initiative with an external party.  (The boss said no)
  8. "It's safer to do nothing" perception (Stick your head in the sand.)

I've used these with all my salespeople that worked for me over the years of sales management.  I've also asked them to come up with more reasons.  Over many years I did not have a salesperson come up with more valid reasons that someone did not continue to buy.  (I have to use the word "valid")

-Pat

 

Aug 28, 2007 02:50 PM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

This post and comments just keep getting better and better. David - just keep "keepin it real"!!!!!

Leaving town for a while, be back soon, take care and ciao for now!! :-)

Aug 28, 2007 06:01 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Great  post. I agree with Pat's comments.

Nov 20, 2007 01:35 AM
Matthew Zgonc
Aksland Real Estate - Modesto, CA
Realtor, CFS, CVS
Make sure the clients are appreciated.  A stopping by or a nice quick chat, lets them know that they are more than just clients. That you think of them as people.
Nov 20, 2007 01:40 AM
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

GITA, thanks for stopping by...........

Matthew, we do have to take time to keep it personal after the signing!! Thank you!

Nov 20, 2007 02:37 AM
Anonymous
Brian Fleming

You've hit the nail on the head - a simple yet difficult concept for some folks to understand.

 

Thanks 

Nov 21, 2007 04:54 AM
#13
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!
Bronson, thank you for stopping by...........
Jan 25, 2008 02:51 AM
Anonymous
Scott Cunningham

Continue to add value!

Do you really know your clients?  Beyond their birthday, anniversary and kid's name...what do you know about them?  

You can add value and create clients for life by getting to know what your clients really want and then helping them get it.

Does your client want to run a mini-marathon this year?  Could you connect them with a personal trainer or send them a book on training?

Invest in a phone call and ask what's going on in their live...what is important to them right now.  Then, go to work on helping them.  

Scott Cunningham

www.growbynetworking.com    

Jan 31, 2008 07:40 AM
#16
Josué E. Silva
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ
very good post. you have very good points. thank you.
Feb 25, 2008 12:06 PM
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

Brian: Thanks for stopping in.  

Scott: Thank you and you are so right. The best salesman I ever knew could tell you his clients birthdays and their kids names and his clients loved him. A very good point.

Bronson: It is so true, Negative people bring us down and we sure do not want our clients to see us in that light, do we? Thank you.

Josue: Nice to see you again, I enjoyed your post earlier!! (I can't get the punctuation over the e, how do you do that?)

Feb 25, 2008 02:27 PM
Kim Skumanick
Keller Williams Real Estate - Tunkhannock, PA
Excellent post David. It's hard sometimes to pick up the phone when nothing's happened, but at least you're telling the client that instead of them guessing.
Feb 25, 2008 02:27 PM
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!
Hi Kim, thank you. I learned that it's easier to pick up the phone and just get on with it when I make a mistake. I always feel better too!!!
Feb 25, 2008 02:32 PM