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3 Easy Ways to Ensure You Never Lose Touch with a Past Client

May 30 2013

200px handshakeIt takes five times the amount of time and money to find a new client than to retain one. Too many REALTORS® make the mistake of working so hard to get a new client just to abandon them once the transaction is over.

But that client could be a great source of referrals and repeat business down the road.

This is only true if (and it's a big if) you're staying top of mind and keeping in touch. Don't take your past clients for granted and assume that they'll remember you, refer you, and use your services again, years down the road.

The average person knows approximately three to five people who will move each year. Think about the next 10 years and the value of each client relationship.

And consider this: a recent study by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) discovered that 70% of home sellers found their agent through a referral or used the agent they worked with previously.

So, needless to say, keeping in touch and adding value to your relationships over time is vital to building a successful business built on referrals and repeat client transactions.

Here are three easy ways to ensure you never lose touch with a past client:

1. Reach out on birthdays and home purchase anniversary dates

A good real estate contact management system will remind you when birthdays and home purchase anniversary dates of your clients arise. Use these dates as an opportunity to stay in touch. Your clients will love a birthday greeting from you, which will likely be unexpected. You'll come across as a REALTOR® who's not only intently customer-focused, but who remembers even the "little things."

2. Send out a monthly e-Newsletter

A monthly e-Newsletter is a great tool for staying top of mind. It also helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field. And a good e-Newsletter actually acts as an impetus for past clients to pick up the phone and call you, instead of you always having to initiate the conversation!

There are some real estate contact management systems that come with e-Newsletter templates and nothing else. There are others that come with a professionally written and designed monthly e-Newsletter in addition to templates. Make sure that the system you chose falls into the latter category and that the newsletter content included is informative, educational, and real estate specific.

Many agents don't send out an e-Newsletter because they don't have the time to write and design one, or don't want to spend the money for an email marketing company to do it for them. As I mentioned, the best real estate contact management systems come with one that you can send as is or customize to your liking. Just select your contacts, hit the send button, and you're ready to roll!

3. Assign your contacts to drip marketing campaigns and make quarterly "keep in touch calls"

In addition to what I discussed above, you'll want to either assign your contacts to a drip marketing campaign and / or make quarterly "keep in touch calls." Your real estate contact management system should have specific marketing campaigns (also known as Activity Plans), designed specifically to nurture your sphere of influence (SOI).

For your best clients (your "A-List"), I recommend giving them a call once a quarter to check up, see how things are going, if they'd like a recommendation on a competent home professional, etc. These quarterly keep in touch calls are a nice personal touch to add to the email marketing you're doing. It's very easy to schedule these keep in touch calls in your real estate contact management system (takes only a few minutes), and the system will remind you via email when to make the calls.

Keep in mind that in addition to what I've discussed above, it's also important to keep in touch with your best clients via face-to-face meetings/ events. Wine and cheese parties, new buyer seminars, and client appreciation nights are all valuable things you can do that your clients will enjoy.

According to acclaimed real estate trainer, Richard Robbins of Richard Robbins International, "Your database is the foundation of your business and the cornerstone of your referral worthiness." When you focus on relationship-building with past clients, you're making a commitment to growing your business rooted in referrals and repeat client transactions. Remember that with conservative assumptions, the lifetime value of just one client is about $25,000.

I hope that this blog post has given you some food for thought when it comes to staying in touch with your real estate database. Good luck!