How to keep the relationship alive with past clients.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

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. 

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Rainmaker
654,615
Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Wow! What an honor that your client thought that much of you to do that. My heart melts... You sound like a genuine indiv.

You made me chuckle on the billboard mug.

Have a great day.

Jan 30, 2017 04:56 PM #1
Rainmaker
2,410,622
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

In today's tech heavy world, I have found those handwritten notes are really appreciated!

Jan 30, 2017 05:25 PM #2
Ambassador
3,688,565
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Mike- I think it was wise of you to poll some of your clients to see what they liked and didn't like about billboards.  And even better idea to place them on it!

Jan 30, 2017 06:12 PM #3
Rainmaker
570,100
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE - Mississauga, ON
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Handwritten notes never go out of style and are always appreciated... I love your idea about the billboard.. a unique idea.. congrats that you have clients willing to do that..

Jan 30, 2017 06:32 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,782,427
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Mike - it is always better to have your clients speak for you and showcase them. 

Jan 30, 2017 07:33 PM #5
Rainmaker
750,987
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Sounds like you are a genuine agent and friend.  I love that you asked your clients their opinion before setting up your billboard marketing.  We could do better to learn more from our clients :-)  Kasey

Jan 30, 2017 10:50 PM #6
Ambassador
1,910,740
Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

That is wonderful your clients are willing to be on the billboard for you.

Jan 30, 2017 11:52 PM #7
Rainmaker
2,747,760
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Mike.  Lately I've given a lot of consideration to advertising on a billboard.  Just haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Jan 31, 2017 02:33 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,352,534
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Yes, these are all great ways to stay in touch with our past clients. I love the billboard idea!

Jan 31, 2017 04:24 AM #9
Rainmaker
400,190
Alan Gross
PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, Equal Housing Lender - Bethesda, MD
Loan Consultant

I do a presentation I call Relationship Marketing. I'd never thought of sending texts to past clients. It is an excellent Idea, I'm adding it to the list. Hand written notes are great bit I think a personalized card is even better. With SendOutCards you can put their pictures on the card. Clients love them and put them on display. I've even had clients frame the cards I've sent and hang them on the wall. There are so many things you can do. They are used by real estate agents throughout the country. Check out the Realtor private Facebook Group. To learn a little more and see some short videos by Realtors who use the system go to http://createcustomcards.info/

Jan 31, 2017 05:31 AM #10
Rainmaker
3,414,874
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Mike. I am impressed but not surprised. The pallbearer thing is amazing: such a personal thing. Remember, you said you would speak at my funeral. I hope we meet first. :)

Jan 31, 2017 06:10 AM #11
Rainmaker
442,453
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Realtor/Broker

Those are all good options!  Although the gurus say we should phone everyone in our sphere severl times a year, I find that a personal (not a mass generic) emails and texts work well and some people prefer them.

Jan 31, 2017 07:04 AM #12
Ambassador
2,733,480
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Mike - Good stuff! We have been doing billboards off and on for the last 10 years, and they have been a great way to establish our market presence.

Jan 31, 2017 01:07 PM #13
Rainmaker
86,066
Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed.
Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC - Edmond, OK
Buy and Sell Real Estate with Confidence

Good evening Mike Cooper.  Couldn't agree with you more!  I try to keep in touch with past clients via text and/or phone calls every few months or so.

Sitting here wondering how you keep up with so many ~ after you have been in the business very long? (:  Thank you sharing!

Feb 01, 2017 06:25 PM #14
Rainmaker
4,430,129
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the great tips. I need to do som of the things to stay in touch.

Feb 02, 2017 03:40 AM #15
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Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper, GRI

Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
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