The keys to building customer loyalty in real estate are communication and relationship. This is true no matter what business you work in but is particularly true for those who work in the real estate industry. It’s not something you can take for granted – building a strong and loyal customer base takes time and effort.
Building a loyal customer base can make an enormous difference to the success or failure of a real estate agent. In any successful real estate company, 80 percent of its business comes from the top 20 percent of its most loyal customers.
Yet relatively small numbers of real estate agents make an effort to build real estate customer loyalty that increases the chances of achieving this kind of success. Knowing how to nurture these relationships and build your brand with these customers creates the kind of trust that every homeowner who wants to buy a new house or sell an old one desires.
Whether you are new to the real estate industry — looking for your first set of clients and eager to make your first sale — or a seasoned pro who has been working with homeowners for many years, taking steps to increase customer loyalty results in tangible long-term results.
Statistics show that Americans need the services of a real estate agent on a fairly regular basis. The average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. A 2013 study by Gallup showed that 24 percent of adult Americans move at least once during a five-year period. Americans also tend to move far more often than residents of other countries. It’s not hard to see the importance of building a loyal customer base.
Even if you have a customer that only moves half the number of times of the average American, that’s still five or six chances to help those customers find a new place to call home. It’s also five or six chances for you to make a profit.
Real estate offers the opportunity for almost every client to become a promoter of your brand. If you treat your customers well and build that strong bond of loyalty with them, there is a good chance they will recommend you to their friends and family when those people need someone to help them buy or sell a home.
Developing a customer loyalty plan for your real estate business needs to reflect the size of that business. If your company primarily deals with smaller or medium-sized purchases, then your loyalty program should reflect that. But if you’re dealing in high-end properties that create a lot of capital, your loyalty program needs to be adjusted to reward with these high-end clients.
Building a loyal customer base is a win-win scenario for you and your clients. Taking steps to create a loyal customer base helps you improve your business. And your customers get a real estate agent who is in tune with their needs and who they know will help them find the best deal that’s available.
We don’t want to mislead you. Trying to build customer loyalty in the real estate business takes time, but it is well worth the effort. Here are some ideas on how to build that client loyalty.
Adjust your efforts to the speed at which your clients are moving. If they want to make a quick sale or buy in a hurry, be prepared to have “all hands on deck” in your company to help. If an individual or a couple are taking their time, regularly let them know about homes in which they may be interested. Also, share some resources with them. If you see a worthwhile article about the different type of loans that are available to the first-time buyer, don’t hesitate to send it to them.
If you hear that interest rates may rise soon, it’s important to pass along that information as well. It will help your clients decide when they want to buy. Keep an eye out for articles in the local paper that focus on the neighborhoods you know that your clients are interested in. Become a trusted source of information. There are so many things to think about and do when you’re planning a move. Knowing that your real estate agent is helping to keep an eye out for relevant information is a real plus.
While it’s a good idea to do this with any of your clients, it’s particularly useful for the top 20 percent — your most loyal customers who provide you with repeat business and great referrals. It involves a meeting with your clients — try not to do it in your office, but in their home or in a restaurant close to where they live. You want to talk with them about several issues including their home goals, a review of their current mortgage situation, an update on the overall market, recommendations for professionals who do home repairs or any other resources they need.
It’s a great way to stay in touch and to let your clients know that even if they are not in the market to buy or sell a home at that moment, you are up-to-date on their current situation and ready to help them at a moment’s notice.
Make sure you send articles and recommendations that suit your clients’ needs. Otherwise, it’s all rather annoying. It’s important to listen and understand what your clients need, what’s happening in their homes and what their timelines are. Listening is not something many people do well, but it can be an essential skill to develop as a real estate agent.
When you listen to a client and learn about their wants and goals, it not only helps you to tailor your efforts, but it also sets you apart from other real estate agents who don’t bother to take the time to listen this way. Even if they don’t necessarily follow up on any recommendations you might make, they will remember that you showed real interest.
There is nothing wrong with making your clients feel a little special. Take a few minutes in the office every day to send your clients birthday or holiday wishes. But don’t just send them a generic birthday or greeting card with a small note and your signature scrawled at the bottom. As far as the client knows, your assistant could have done this. Include a personal handwritten note. If you’ve kept in touch, you may remember that it’s a special birthday or that there’s an important event taking place in their lives soon. Have your note reflect your connection. It doesn’t need to be lengthy — it just needs to be personal.
Sending handwritten notes on these occasions offers a great personal touch. It helps keep you top-of-mind and makes your gesture a memorable one.
This idea is an extension on the tip above. Holidays are an excellent opportunity to show your clients how much you appreciate them. It’s also a meaningful way to show that you’re culturally aware. We live in an increasingly diverse society. Your clients may not celebrate Christmas and Easter but may have other significant holidays on their calendar.
When you send gifts that reflect your understanding of their cultural importance, it gives you a chance to not only show your appreciation but also to show your awareness of their personal calendars.
It doesn’t need to be something big. Seasonal treats are perfectly acceptable, as are items like baked goods, candles or a coffee table book on a subject that you know they are interested in. However, the gift should reflect the value of your relationship with that client.
When your clients decide the time has come for a move, show yourself to be reliable and responsive to their needs. You don’t necessarily need to be available 24/7 but let them know how quickly you will respond. For example, tell them if they leave a message, you will get back to them no later than an hour later, and they can depend on that, and that they can call you anytime until 9 p.m., including weekends.
People who are buying or selling homes fret. It can be an anxious time. Knowing they have someone on their side who they can depend on to help them through this daunting process will mean a great deal to them. It will also make the difference in them choosing you than another real estate agent.
Knowing how to properly communicate may be as important a skill as listening. When your client is beginning the process of buying or selling a home, you can’t over-communicate. Remember, they are feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Regular communication helps calm their anxieties.
It’s also important for you as a real estate agent to communicate your value to them, especially if it is the first time you meet with a client. This is when you begin to build that loyalty. Clients will want to know why they should choose you as their real estate agent. They will want to see that you are reliable and responsive and eager to help them. Let them know what makes you unique, your experience, how you overcome obstacles and how you plan to meet their needs. You want to answer all the questions before your clients asks.
Once the buying process is completed, take the time to show your clients how much you appreciate their trust in you. Send handwritten thank you cards or congratulatory notes on their new purchase. Take the opportunity to send them a small gift. If possible, try to deliver it in person. A bottle of wine, something that they will need for a new home, a gift card to a local restaurant or movie theater in their new neighborhood or a beautiful houseplant are all great gifts. The important thing is to show them that you appreciate they chose you to be their real estate agent.
Be a lifelong learner. Attend seminars that deal with important changes in the real estate market. Read as much as you can about the latest trends in the real estate field. Attend the conventions that give you a chance to network with other professionals. Don’t just rely on old tricks or habits that you’ve learned over the years. Knowledge is power. The more you know about the real estate industry, the better service you’re going to be able to give your clients.
Buying a home involves more than working with a real estate agent. Anyone buying a home needs to know the name of a home inspector, a mortgage lender, a moving company and a professional who can do home repairs.
When you take the time to interact with the people whose work brings them into contact with your industry, you are providing a genuinely valuable service to your clients. You can enhance that trust and loyalty you have worked so hard to build by providing them with the names and contacts for businesses or individuals who help complete the home-buying process.
When you build relationships with the industry leaders in these fields, it will help you develop a trusted list of the best professionals that you can recommend to your clients. It’s not a one-way street — if someone is talking to a home inspector and mentions that they need a good real estate agent, and that home inspector is someone that you have worked with before, chances are they’ll recommend you too.
In operation since 1962, our family-owned business has become one of the top moving companies in the South Jersey area. At Transtar Moving Systems, we provide local, long-distance and international moving services. Our primary goals are the satisfaction of our customers and the top-quality care we provide to them. It is our priority to provide a worry-free moving experience at a very affordable price. We make sure that each move reflects the exact needs of each family.
Our motto is “customers for life,” and it is what we aim for. If you are a real estate agent looking to build customer loyalty, please come and talk to us. With almost 60 years in the business, we work with many happy customers, and we would love to do the same for you.
Contact us or call us today at 1-855-720-7833 to talk to us about partnership opportunities.