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How Agents Can Stay Relevant Between Transactions

February 26 2015

moving boxes familyAs a real estate professional, you already know the importance of staying in touch with clients. Rather than focus on the "why" of staying in touch, today we're going to look at the "how" and which tools and ideas can help.

Regardless of which ideas you consider using, keep in mind that upon the close of a transaction, your client transforms from buyer or seller into a homeowner. This means that to successfully keep in touch, you're going to have to relate to them in their new role. This means focusing on content that's relevant to homeowners--home repair and maintenance, insurance, decorating, etc.--and on being a local resource.

Also keep in mind the individual communication style of your client. Will they be overwhelmed by weekly emails? Would they prefer a phone call to interacting on social media? If you can, segment your contact list in order to communicate as effectively as you can with each client. With that in mind, here are five ideas for keeping in touch with clients.

1. Celebrate the Closing Anniversary

This is great option for all clients, but particularly for those who prefer occasional rather than frequent communication. Make the heart of this touchpoint a discussion of the home's value, especially in an appreciating market. Say something along the lines of, "Congratulations on your first year in your home. It was $X when you purchased it. What's it worth now?" To answer that question, send a report from a tool like RPR or Cloud CMA to help your client better understand their home's value.

2. Offer a Directory of Home Services Professionals

At some point, every homeowner will need a plumber, contractor, or related professional. You can improve your value to past clients by the source they turn to when looking for referrals. Hunt Real Estate in New York does this by offering a directory of vendors on their website. Hunt's directory is built and maintained in-house, but you can accomplish the same thing much more easily with a free tool like Nest4LessNest4Less. Brokers and MLSs that use this service are even eligible for revenue sharing opportunities. See our product review to learn more.

3. Set up Neighborhood Listing Alerts

If your client is the type that likes to know everything that's happening in their neighborhood, set them up with listing alerts. Just identify your client's home in your IDX or VOW solution and create a listing alert that will notify your client of any new listings or price changes in their immediate neighborhood--often before a yard sign has even gone up. This has the added benefit of driving traffic to your website.

4. Monitor Social Media

Do you follow your clients on social media? If so, monitoring social networking sites is a great way to spot the life changes that may precede the buying or selling of a home. Clients who announce that they're expecting a baby may be needing more space; those on the verge of retirement may be looking to downsize. Divorce, on the other hand, often means a home will be listed for sale soon. But don't wait for these milestones to reach out. Interacting regularly on social media will make initiating the conversation about buying or selling seem less forced and more natural.

5. Host Live Events

One of our favorite ways to provide value and stay in touch is through "home expert seminars." Select a topic that you think will interest your client base, like building a patio or kitchen remodeling, and invite a local professional from your business directory to speak to your clients. This idea is a win-win-win. Your clients learn about something relevant, your speaker meets potential new clients, and you are rewarded with client loyalty.

Those are just a few ideas beyond the typical email marketing and postcard suggestions. What are your favorite ways of keeping in touch? Let us know in the comments section below.