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4 Ways to Create Lasting Client Relationships

May 25 2011

brandingThe guy who sold me my Toyota last year is truly a piece of work. It was raining in the lot, and none of the salespeople came out to help me. But this guy did. With an umbrella. We drove a few vehicles around the block, and he didn’t push me too far one way or another. He didn’t act like my long-lost buddy, but he wasn’t too formal. He knew his stuff, but I still felt like I was driving the bus.

When it came time to negotiate, he was really transparent about price, value, the vehicle’s history. I could have walked away, and it would have been no big whoop. He probably would have even walked me out with the umbrella.

But what really made this guy stand out was his work station. All the other salespeople had empty cubicles, or cubicles with calendars and family photos. This guy’s walls were literally plastered with photos of his clients standing next to their new vehicles. And, of course, when I completed my sale he took my photo and put it up with the others. To this day, every two months I receive a handwritten letter from him sending best wishes and asking me to call him if anything goes wrong with my vehicle. By all means, I’m calling him for my next purchase.

A good service professional (and that is just about anyone from doctor and lawyer and real estate agent to freelance photographer and masseuse) must think long-term in every transaction by assuming that every transaction is going to lead to another, whether with that particular client or that client’s referrals.

 

Lately on the ReachFactor Facebook pageReachFactor Facebook page, we’ve been hearing from Realtors about the nice things they do for a home buyer or seller after closing. For example, my Realtor took me out to lunch afterward. Several people said they send housewarming gifts to the new homeowners. And so on. These gestures might seem minor or extraneous (considering all the work that already goes into a real estate transaction), but it creates a long-term relationship out of what could easily have been a one-off. We see it all the time in our real estate agent reviews. Clients giving four-star reviews to agents consistently say that they will be repeat customers in the future based on skill, attentiveness and thoroughness.

So, how does one go about creating a long-term relationship out of each transaction? Well, based what we see in our real estate agent reviews, here are some examples.

1. Availability: Many buyers and sellers appreciate the ability to reach their Realtor easily during business hours and weekends. Even the ones who are not so tech savvy don’t mind if they hear by text and email from their Realtor instead of phone. But phone calls and face time really make a difference.

2. Attentiveness: People love it when you listen to what they want and don’t want in a home. Carry a notebook for each client during home visits and jot down their comments.

3. Knowledge and Expertise: A no-brainer, yes, but we hear it consistently from clients. They truly appreciate an agent who knows the area, the schools and local businesses, and has the experience to guide new (and even seasoned) buyers and sellers through the home buying process. If you’re just starting out as a Realtor, do the homework.

4. Friendliness: Little Mary Sunshine is not a necessity, but a little kindness throughout the experience (and even afterward) goes a long way.

Of course, there are many other ways for real estate agents to create long-term relationships. If you have some, share them in the comments section below, or browse through our reviews.

Learn more about ReachFactor.

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