You may feel a bit overwhelmed with all the advice you get about what you should or shouldn’t be doing for your business. Maybe you can only implement a few changes and need to figure out which are the really important ones to focus on and which ones you can put on the backburner for the time being. In this post I’ll discuss three big points to think about. Each one will greatly affect your overall business success.
1. Focus on retention more than acquisition
It costs five times less money and energy to retain an existing client than to acquire a new one. Too many agents make the mistake of focusing all their efforts on prospecting and securing new leads and customers. But if they put half that time into their clients and staying in touch with them long after the transition is over, they’d be much more successful. The highest performing Realtors get the bulk of their business from referrals and repeat transactions. Business from prospecting is supplemental.
In order to focus on retention, you need to stay in touch and build lasting relationships with past clients over time. It all starts with a good real estate contact management system, or CRM. If you’re not already using a real estate specific CRM, the first thing you need to do is get one.
2. Take a creative and multi-faceted approach
We talk about keeping in touch but keeping in touch doesn’t just mean calling people from time to time. You need to have a broader and more creative line of attack to maximize your success. Supplement phone calls with face-to-face events like a cup of coffee, round of golf, client appreciation nights, and home expert seminars.
As well, be sure your communications approach includes email marketing and direct mail. You can schedule and organize all of your keep in touch work with your real estate CRM as well as automate some of your communications with drip marketing and a professionally written and designed monthly e-Newsletter. This will save you a ton of time and keep you organized and in control of your business.
Another great approach is to sponsor a sports team or organization your clients are involved with. Sponsorship is a great way to get your name circulated within the community and build goodwill. And of course, it’s unique and creative. How many Realtors in your community are sponsoring teams?
Lastly, developing a relationship with a local business, like a spa or restaurant can also be extremely effective. With this “partner” approach, when someone refers you, the owner or manager would call the referrer for a spa day or dinner for two, paid for by you. This is memorable, often completely unexpected, and is a creative way to say Thank You and encourage referrals among your real estate sphere of influence (SOI).
3. Get personal
Real estate is a relationship business. So what steps are you taking to build those lifelong relationships with your SOI? Are you wishing your clients a Happy Birthday and Happy Home Purchase Anniversary when the time comes? Are you recording their important life events and then communicating with them about these events (How did Jimmy’s baseball tournament go?)? Are you taking them out for fishing or to an opera, for instance, because you know they’re passionate about these things? Do you know the names of their children and their pets?
My advice is to get to know your clients on a deeper, more personal level than perhaps you already do. Then record important information about them in your Realtor CRM so you don’t have to remember. Your CRM will prompt you to pick up the phone and make a keep in touch call, wish Bob a Happy Birthday, or invite Jane and her husband to the opera, for example.
When it comes down to it, success in real estate is largely about building relationships and effective contact management. If you can master these things, your career will flourish.