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Just over two years ago I leased my first ever BMW.  Call it an early mid-life crisis, or fulfilling a childhood dream.  I’ve always loved the idea of driving a BMW and so when the time was right I leased one to give it what I call a “three year test drive”.  If I fall in love I’ll pony up and buy one when the lease expires… maybe.

Every couple of months I receive a beautiful magazine from BMW. BMW has found a way to market their products in a way that just makes you want to keep driving their cars, no matter what they cost.  After two years of driving my 3-Series I can tell you that BMW’s are THE ultimate driving machines.  Aside from the magazine they send me, the service calls made to ask me how I’m doing, and the sheer fact that driving that car is an absolute blast, BMW keeps marketing to me.  The salesman who leased me the vehicle calls every six months, “Max how you doing?  Max have you thought about what your next BMW will be?”  Max are you really going to step it up and get into a 6-Series, maybe even an M4?”


Yes I know most of you reading this are women, who often drive Lexus, and who in many cases don’t care a lot about cars.  You may be wondering where I’m going with this.


Why does BMW spend so much time, energy, and money marketing to a guy who is obviously a huge fan of their products?  I believe the answer is simple and yet involves a significant amount of marketing analysis.  BMW is keenly aware of the fact that it took me 39 ½ years to get my first BMW.  Over all those years of advertising I was spending what money I had on GMC, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, and Jeep.  BMW spent countless dollars in commercial advertising, hoping that when I was financially able, I would lease one of their vehicles (82% of all BMW’s on the road are leased).  When you consider the money they spent over the years, as well as whatever commission the salesman made, it is likely that BMW is making very little money on my first lease.  BMW makes their money (and a lot of it) when I refer others to them and when I renew my lease.


Since getting my BWM I have referred 4 friends to BMW, all whom have leased from the same salesman and dealership that I did.  BWM went from losing money on me 2 ½ years ago to making thousands off of me the past few years.


All too often businesses spend thousands of dollars to get a client in the door, for a one-time transaction, and never see them again.  The best money a business will ever spend is on existing customers.  Why?  My BMW example is telling and it speaks to a message taught by Dr. Robert Chialdini, a brilliant professor who specializes in human behavior and sales techniques.


1)      Consensus – if others say it’s great then it must be great

a.       If you want your customers to becoming raving fans then you must provide them exceptional (Disney-like) service and stay in constant contact. 


2)      Reciprocation – all humans have an innate desire to “return the favor”.  If you do something nice for a person, he/she will want to do something nice for you.

a.       Key to Realtor success is helping the client understand how they can reciprocate all the great things you do for them.  How is it that they can reciprocate?  Give you referrals!


More and more Realtors are catching the vision of how important it is to keep in contact with customers.  They’re also reaching out to both parties after the transaction, meaning their customer and your customer.  If you’re not staying in close contact with your customer then someone else is.


Posted by



 Max VanNatter


Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Excellent.  I was loyal to Cadillac until I didn't like the body change years ago then switched to Jaguar.  Same thing happened after 4 Jags, back to Cad.

Jun 24, 2015 11:27 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Max...my client bought one recently and they had him fly out to pick it up and let him drive a car course with instructions, hotel room and a meal thrown in.

As to the mid-life crisis, Alpha Romeo called gently to me...I answered too

Jun 24, 2015 11:34 PM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

My Realtor car was BMW 740 for years. It got to be a pain to take it to the BMW dealership 140 miles round trip when it needed work. No one in town would. It was a great car! I am now driving a Ford because anyone in town can work on it!

Jun 24, 2015 11:40 PM
Shuchi Agrawal
Kanam Realty Group/Kanam Commercial - Flower Mound, TX
Serving Dallas / Ft. Worth

Very good article.  Completely agree with the idea of reciprocation.  Have a great day.

Jun 25, 2015 12:04 AM
Vickie Teel
RE/MAX PALM REALTY - Port Charlotte, FL
Sharing Florida sunshine one homeowner at a time!

Loved this post Max!  It is so very important to stay in touch with our past customers - otherwise they forget us no matter how great our service was during the transaction.

Jun 26, 2015 12:20 AM