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Top 5 Relationship-Building Tips in Real Estate Sales

December 15 2011

Guest Contributor Matthew Collis of IXACT Contacts says:

Relationship-building in real estate sales is paramount. It has been shown time and again that the most successful agents generate the bulk of their business from repeat clients and from referrals. What’s the key to this, the magic ingredient? It’s relationship-building! A recent survey by the National Association of REALTORS® has shown that the majority of home buyers and sellers found their agent through a referral or used an agent that they’ve worked with previously. If you want people to refer you and use your services over and over, you need to ensure you’re nurturing lifelong relationships and staying “top of mind.” Below are five great tips that will help you cement those long-term relationships with your sphere.

1. Make sure you know your clients’ birthdays. And, for that matter, learn the birthdays of all your prospects. Record those birthdates in your real estate contact management system so the CRM system will remind you when a particular birthday approaches and trigger you to send a happy birthday wish. Also, keep track of your clients’ move in dates so you can call them up on their move in anniversary. This is a great opportunity to thank them again for their business and ask if there’s anything you can do for them. Perhaps they’re looking for a good Contractor or Electrician, for example, that you can recommend.

2. Expand your professional network. A large professional network is important because business professionals can send a lot of business your way. Moreover, knowing a lot of great professionals means you'll have knowledge of key resources you can refer to people. Referring other business professionals, such as Attorneys, Interior Designers or Home Theatre Installers, to your clients will make clients come to you in between transactions and view you as someone who continues to add value long after the sale.

3. Drip email / drip marketing campaigns can help ensure you're staying in touch with your sphere, are top of mind, and are nurturing relationships. Drip emails are simply a series of emails that get automatically sent out at various times of your choosing. A real estate contact management system will allow you to do this. You'll need to supplement your drip emails with more personal interactions, but drip campaigns will save you time and, if done right, can be highly effective. For example, a client of ours, Deanna, recently shared with me the tremendous success she's had with a) assigning new leads to drip email campaigns and b) using drip email campaigns to keep in touch with past clients by providing ongoing valuable homeowner tips and advice.

4. Quarterly Keep in Touch calls, or KIT calls as I like to refer to them, are essential in my opinion. There's nothing like picking up the phone and calling someone these days. All too often we rely solely on email communication or that trusty newsletter to keep in touch. But a call adds a personal touch. When on the phone with a past client, ask them if they need a referral and about their life. Ask how they've been. Next time you pick up the phone and call, you'll have something relevant to talk about and won't feel uncomfortable starting the conversation. For instance, you can begin with asking how John and Mary's son's baseball tournament went.

5. Plan special events like client appreciation parties, home exert seminars, and housewarming parties. It's a great way to build relationships and get people to remember you so next time they're asked about a real estate agent, or next time they're looking to move, they'll think of you! People simply remember events and events stick with them. Client appreciation parties, for example, really demonstrate to your clients that you appreciate their business. And as a result, you'll get more of it. If you're wondering what a home expert seminar is, it involves getting an expert to give a presentation to your clients and prospects where they can get some great tips on improving their home. For example, you might want to hire an Interior Designer for an hour to talk about tips on renovating bathrooms quickly and easily. Throwing a house warming party for your clients is also great because when they move in, they likely don't know too many people on their street or in their community. Client appreciation parties, home expert seminars, and housewarming parties are all fantastic loyalty builders and will make you stand out from other REALTORS®. If you have a real estate CRM, planning and organizing these events is truly a breeze. And you won't have to remember to do a thing!

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