As a real estate professional, you’ve spent time fostering valuable, personal relationships with your potential buyers before the sale. You’ve helped them picture a life in the particular homes you happen to be showing. Along the way you’ve shared some laughs, you’ve assuaged concerns, ultimately, you closed the sale; but that doesn’t mean your work is done. You’re not Jay-Z, you don’t want to just forget about your past customers and be “onto the next one.”
You may be thinking, “of course, I know I have stay in touch to retain my customers,” but it’s not always that easy. According to Outbound Engine, 20% of a typical agent’s past clients are responsible for 75% of their business. However, 86% of that same agent’s past clients would recommend them to a friend or family member. This is a HUGE missed opportunity, like Ronald Wayne backing out of Apple huge. (Ok maybe not to that extent, but you get my point.)
A referral or repeat customer base is a goldmine, that, if you can tap into, will skyrocket your brokerage’s presence and success. But, getting the most out of your past and current customers depends on understanding customer lifetime value.
Customer lifetime value is the value your business will derive from your entire relationship with a client, even after the sale. It takes into account factors like the age of your customer, the average years in a home, referrals and repeat business.
So how can you maximize customer lifetime value for your brokerage’s success? Here are a few pointers:
The truth is, it costs significantly more to obtain a new client than to nurture and retain an existing one. You can nurture your customers by following up with them every few months; when they are ready to buy or sell again, or know someone who is, they will think of you.
Don’t be afraid to ask your past and present customers for referrals. These can be to their friends and family, or in the form of testimonials that you can display on your site. If you have built a solid relationship with them, they will be happy to help you out!
You may be following up with your customers, but if your messages aren’t relevant, they won’t get through. Make sure you are sending targeted, valuable content. You can do this through your newsletters and drip-campaigns. It is also a good idea to reach out to your past clients with market reports including information on their neighborhood and property, or trends of similar properties in the area.
Nothing hits home with a customer more than actionable data. Boston Logic’s Market Insights provide a simple way to deliver valuable information to your clients. These reports are snapshot into the community and the health of the market, as well as the values of the homes in that market. They can help your past customers determine if they want to buy or sell again. You can set these reports on drip campaigns to automatically go out to both your prospective clients as well as your past buyers and sellers.
This could mean anything from giving a gift, to meeting up face-to-face or hosting a local event. Whatever your strategy, it should focus on your customers and relay the fact that you appreciate and are grateful for their business.
Gift giving is a powerful tool to maintain relationships with your customers after the sale. The gifts you choose don’t have to be anything too lavish; you could give your customers a nice plant, or a simple housewarming gift, like a set of wine glasses, that they could use in their new home. By the point of the sale, you will have an idea of who your customer is, and will be able to pick out a gift that you find appropriate.
Maybe send them a card, an arrangement (why not make it edible?) or another small gift on the one year anniversary of the sale, to remind them that you still care, and put yourself back at the top of their minds.
If you have the means, you could throw an annual party for your past customers and pull out all the stops. Some brokerages even combine customer appreciation with charity events. For example, you could host an event for your customers and have the cost for each ticket go to a charity; something like this could even generate press! Your customers will not only feel special, they will feel good for giving back, and they will be more likely to use your brokerage again or recommend your services to their friends and family.
You could also take the more simple, but personal, route and host a barbecue at your own home. Or, you could take your customers out to dinner, or meet up for coffee.