I rarely have a past client who doesn't stay in contact with me. Regular contact not only builds relationships, but it also builds referrals. I do have a few past clients whom I meet with throughout the year for lunch, dinner or a glass of wine at a local bistro. It's wonderful. It makes this profession more than a profession.
There are a lot of ways you can keep in touch with your past clients, and I do a lot of simple things to keep in touch, such as:
- I love to text my past clients. With modern technology and tech-savvy clients, texts are a great way to stay in touch. I sent out five texts last Friday asking how things are going with the most recent purchases. Each one responded within minutes thanking me for checking in and one (a gourmet chef) invited my wife and me over for dinner. Did I accept? You bet I did.
- I'm getting ready to do billboard marketing in my area, and I asked a few past clients what they loved and what annoyed them about other Realtor billboard marketing. None had a "loved" feature of billboard marketing, but all of them had a annoyed feature. They didn't like the big picture of the Realtor touting his/her greatness on their billboards. OK, that resonates with me. I didn't want to see my ugly mug on a billboard, so, I contacted some of those past clients and asked if they'd like to be on the billboards, and I had some say, "Absolutely." I can't wait now. I am so excited about that type of marketing now that my clients will be on the billboard instead of me. It will be awesome.
- Emails are still valuable. I have a bunch of clients who I email about every six months to catch up. If I don't get an email off to them in that time, they email me. It's like an unspoken date we keep. If I haven't emailed in a reasonable amount of time, some of those past clients call. They want to make sure I'm OK. It is hilarious, but I love it. We all know the families involved, the kids, the grand-kids and elder family circumstances. We commiserate, celebrate and compliment each other.
- A phone call isn't out of the picture. I had a client call to ask if I'd be a pallbearer for his mother's funeral. That was a shock, but I gladly complied. He felt that we had that deep of a relationship, and I was glad to prove that we did. Other clients have used their phones to encourage me while I deal with my aging mother, and even more have called to invite me to family birthday parties, graduations and weddings.
- And far from least, a handwritten note is always appreciated. It's a forgotten medium of communication, but it is welcome. I received a thank you note last week that made my office administrator tear up when she read it. She immediately put it on our office bulletin board. Those clients were so incredibly generous with there thankfulness, that it was overwhelming.
Keeping a relationship with past clients really is your choice. I choose to keep them active, not only because they provide more business, but because they have become friends. Long after I'm retired, I know some of these relationships will continue on, and I couldn't be happier.