There are a lot of reasons to keep client relationships alive
I'm a firm believer in keeping and developing relationships with current and past clients. Obviously past clients can be a great resource for new clients. If you've been in the business for a while, you've probably had the pleasure of a referral from a previous client. It makes you feel great knowing your past clients enjoyed their experience enough to tell others. I generally enjoy my past clients and I do like to catch up with them periodically, but there are more reasons to stay in touch.
This past week my wife and I were at dinner when a friend of hers sent her a note saying that the her husband lost his job. She was just asking for prayer and really just looking for a little encouragement. I asked what does he do? My wife told me and I picked up my phone and sent a text to a recent client and asked if he could use an employee with those skills. He immediately sent a text back with a name and number within his company. He said, have him call next week. He did, and he starts his new job next week. He was off work one week. My past client was thrilled that I was able to put a qualified person in touch with his company to fill a void and I was happy that he was able to help a friend. The bridge between relationships and real life are priceless.
In another situation, a client, past and present, calls me almost everyday. We've done two deals previously, and I currently have a house listed for him and it is under contract and heading to closing. This guy is an incredibly multi-talented contractor who is going to join my home inspection team early next year. During one of our morning update conversations, I asked him if he could look at something for me at one of my rentals. He went by, assessed the situation, plotted a course and will be taking care of the need. I did the same thing for him when he moved into his current home. I sold him the REO home. After closing I stopped by and looked at the electrical system and sent an electrician by to correct a number of issues. We have an ongoing relationship that is mutually beneficial.
A few years ago when my mother needed assisted living care, I sent a text to a past client, who owns a successful elder-care business in another part of the state, asking for guidance. She offered advice, made a few calls and helped me place my mother in a great facility. She did the same thing when my father-in-law needed at-home care. We've maintained a close relationship between families. In her case, when one the rentals I sold her needed a quick electrical repair, I sent an electrician by to take care of it. She was just as comfortable texting me as I was texting her.
I share these stories to show how interconnected our lives can be if we choose. There are very few fields that I haven't sold a house to someone in it, or I sold their house. A couple years ago, I had minor accident that resulted in a significant contusion. I sent a text to a client, who happens to be a doctor, and asked if he was in the office. He wasn't, but he said he'd run by and meet me. He did and he analyzed the contusion and gave me a plan for dealing with it. Not long after, he had an electrical problem at his house. Guess what he did? He sent a text and asked if I could look at it. We were right there. That has happened in a myriad of ways between the two of us over the years. He has actually become my primary physician, as well as the primary for both of my sons. The chain continues to grow.
In another case, a past client told me to reach out to him if I decided to buy a new Ford vehicle. I currently need a new F 150. I reached out to him, and as soon as the supply meets the demand, I'll have his discount on my purchase. I had rescued his real estate deal a year ago when a home inspection issue threatened to kill it. Fortunately, it was electrical. We took care of it, and he closed. He is a corporate executive for Ford.
The connections developed in a real estate relationship go both ways. I have interaction with a large number of past clients every year and those interactions typically end up with one or both of us coming out ahead. My wife and I were out to dinner two weeks ago, when a couple of past clients came into the area where we dining. We said hello, caught up for a few minutes and then they asked if they couple join us. We had a blast. Our thirty minute dinner ended up being 1.5 hours. It was so great to catch up with them. When clients feel that comfortable, you know you've established a relationship that will last. There are a lot of reasons to keep client relationships alive. And like with our dinner guests, it may just be for fun, and it is worth every minute of investment.