Do you want to build a lifelong pipeline of clients? Try this . . .
Do you want to build a lifelong pipeline of clients, well it’s doable, but it takes work. It’s rare that a client doesn’t become a part of my life after closing. If they aren’t, that’s on purpose. It’s rare.
Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about past clients. I’m so grateful for their business, their referrals and in one case I received a daughter-in-law because of the contact with past clients. That was a surprise, but we absolutely adore her, and she makes our son happy and that makes us happy. She’s a good baker too! That’s a little dangerous for me.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve started reaching out to past clients more consistently. I also reach out to those who will never benefit me or the company again. Why? Because during our deal we became friends. I just received a photo of an Idaho sunset from a past client. He moved to Montana, but he was visiting Idaho and saw something he was sure I’d love to see. So, he sent it, and I did enjoy it. I’ve set a goal to reach out to at least five past clients each week. I’m not asking for referrals. I’m not asking if they are ready to move. I don’t even mention real estate. I’m just asking how they are.
One of my clients I reached out to this week noted that he needs me to find him another piece of property. I had emailed him, and my note to him just said I was thinking about him and his wife, and I was curious how they were doing. That’s it. No solicitation at all. He’s the one who came back with an opportunity. Great, let’s find that property. Email is an old school but effective method of reaching out. That is especially true of older clients.
Two other clients were on a route I was taking to look over a project, and it was the perfect opportunity to visit them. One had a baby during our deal, so I had lots of play time with him. He’s a major cutie. I spent about 30-45 minutes at their house catching up, looking at their new toys (cars), playing with the baby and their dogs and seeing them work. They work from home. This visit was set through texting. They are younger and prefer to communicate that way.
I left there and visited another client a few miles away. The wife is in hospice care and the husband was rushed to the hospital during the week for what was thought to be a stroke. Fortunately, it’s not, but it is still serious. I sat with her while visiting and we laughed and told stories. He joined the conversation and I learned more about their past and some of their major life events. It was a precious time. I never mentioned real estate. I never asked for a referral. I was there for them, not for me. He did say he is still so grateful I found the house they live in. It is a nice one. I’m sure I’ll drop in on that couple more frequently since their health issues have changed.
I met up with another past client to look at a project she just completed. It was awesome, and I think she really wanted to know that I thought she did a good job since I’m a contractor and house flipper. She did. We spent about 30 minutes together and it was precious. She is young, and I am old, so she reached out to me through email and text. No matter, it was delightful to visit with her and to cheer her on.
I have two clients in a neighboring state who look to me as their dad. I have about six daughters that are my pseudo adopted daughters. We only have two boys, but for some reason, a lot of my younger female clients keep me on speed dial for advice, home repair questions and to share their ideas. Two weeks ago, I walked two of them through mold remediation over text. They kept me in the loop with photographs as things progressed. They aced it. They know I will always be here because they weren’t just clients, but they became friends and family over six months of searching for a home. Another pseudo adopted daughter called with an electrical problem. I analyzed her problem through a video call and led her through the repair. She knocked it out of the park. We never talked about real estate sales or referrals.
The bottom line is that we’re all in business, but when you develop long-term relationships with clients you will end up with a continuous stream of referrals and new deals. You don’t always have to ask for new deals or referrals because people who know you’re a genuine person who truly cares about them, they will stick with you like a magnet. Some won’t, but I’ve found them to be a very small minority. The relationships we build are treasures, and the pipeline full is the gift. Do you want to build a lifelong pipeline of clients? Try this, be genuine.