Chances are, a couple of your past real estate clients have fallen through the cracks. In the midst of current listings and closings, meetings and the rest of your life, it’s not unusual to lose track of a couple of your past clients, especially if you haven’t enlisted the help of a real estate CRM to keep you organized.
Don’t be too hard on yourself for losing touch – it’s never too late! And with today’s tools and technology, like email, it’s easier than ever to reconnect. It costs 6-7 times more money to gain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one (Linkedin, 2013). So it pays to put the effort into reconnecting and staying in touch with your past clients by email so that the next time they’re ready to move, they’ll choose you as their REALTOR®!
Organize your contact information
Keeping all your client’s and prospect’s information organized is important for keeping your SELF organized! You can’t send an email or call someone if you don’t have their email address and phone number. I recommend using a real estate CRM like IXACT Contact to store all your client and prospect information. It will streamline the reconnection process if you have all your contact information saved in one place.
Don’t make assumptions
When you send an email to your past client, don’t assume that they will remember you. We meet so many people over time that it’s possible they won’t recall your name. It’s much easier for someone to simply delete an email if they don’t understand why they’re receiving it and who it’s from. Be clear about who you are and when you worked with them. For example, “Hi, I’m Julie Thomas, the agent from ABC Realty who assisted you when you purchased your home on Oakwood Ave in 2007.” By being extra clear and reminding your past client of exactly who you are, you increase your chances that they’ll read the rest of your email, reply to you, and even use your services again in the future.
No one is perfect. It’s ok to apologize for failing to keep in touch. Be authentic and let your past client know that you’re sorry you’ve lost touch, and you’d really like to reconnect with them. Ask thoughtful questions about how they’re enjoying the neighborhood and how their family is doing. Let them know you’d like a fresh start and ask if there is anything you can do to be helpful to them. Your best course of action is to be transparent and authentic. Don’t give the impression that you’re searching for business, simply say hello and offer help.
Offer valuable information
No one likes to be bombarded with unwelcome emails, but most of us do enjoy messages that are informative and useful. Instead of constantly asking past clients if they are considering moving in the near future, try emailing them relevant home ownership information. They’ll begin to see you as an expert in all things real estate related and eventually look to you when the time comes to move. One of the best ways to share valuable information with past clients is through a monthly e-Newsletter. IXACT Contact customers have access to a professionally written and designed newsletter each month, and the power to send it to their database automatically.
Email is a valuable tool for reconnecting with past clients, but sometimes it’s simply not enough. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call. If they are willing, collect their email address and add them to your monthly e-Newsletter.
Keeping in touch is an important part of real estate sales and it’s never too late to rekindle past working relationships. It’s possible for your past client to be loyal to another REALTOR now, but remember to remain respectful and courteous. Good relationships tend to pay off eventually!