Are you ready for a statistic? Of course you’re ready for a statistic. Everyone loves statistics. Here it is: According to a market survey, 88% of home buyers say they would use the same realtor for a future home purchase. Awesome! Fish in a barrel.
Are you ready for another statistic? Hope you’re sitting down because this one is as pleasant as being slapped with one of the fish in that barrel: According to the same survey, only 11% of that same cohort will actually follow through on the repeat business.
So, what gets lost in transition? Well, you do.
It’s well known that a past client roster is your absolute best source of future business. But it’s also the easiest avenue to neglect, leaving thousands of dollars in potential future commission on the table.
The key to nurturing your network is through sustained activity; but not all activity is created equal. Here are 6 common mistakes that can cost you those great referrals and repeats and – most importantly – what you can do to fix them.
Mistake #1: You fail to stay in touch
There’s one of you, 16 reasonable waking hours in a day, and an endless pipeline of potential clients. The math is not on your side. Yet time and again it’s been proved that maintaining contact with your clients post-sale is what separates the wheat from the reputational chaff.
You already have an advantage: The industry bar has been set so low that clients don’t even expect their realtors to stay in touch after the deal has been signed. Think about that. But if you take the easy way out, not only are you leaving these fine folks hanging during their moving process, you’re also creating the impression that you ran off as soon as your cheque cleared and all those hours of togetherness meant nothing to you. You’re not that person, so don’t be that person.
While you can’t realistically be on call for every move-related query, there are two easy and incredibly effective things you can do. The first is to check in with your clients roughly once a week until their Move Day. The second is to make sure you set them up with a service like MoveSnap to handle every aspect of their move – from updating their address on all documents to finding a daycare in their new neighbourhood and hiring the right movers.
Bonus pro tip: Write them a thank you note. Like, with a pen, and paper, and your own hand. And send it in the mail with a stamp. If your clients were born in the 90s there’s a 47% chance it will be the first piece of mail they’ve ever received in a physical mailbox. What a differentiator!
Mistake #2: You don’t nurture leads
Unless you’re one of those rare people who feels empowered by rejection, no one enjoys cold calling. Sourcing leads is one of the most energy-draining and time-consuming parts of a realtor’s job, but it’s a crucial source of future business. The problem is, most people give up too easily when the lead isn’t ready at that particular moment.
The thing to remember is that even if your lead isn’t looking at that particular moment, don’t be so quick to throw in the towel. You never know when they may be in the market for a home and by staying on their radar, you’ll likely be one of the first names to pop up above their head in the form of your face on an imaginary lightbulb.
Keep the lines of communication open with a few key questions: Ask if it’s ok to contact them again in the near future, whether they’d be interested in receiving any of your marketing and trends materials, or whether they’d be amenable to sharing your details with any of their friends who may be looking. Let them know you offer a white-glove service like MoveSnap to support them post-close. While it may seem like risky and labour-intensive speculation, these cold calls can eventually turn into clients and their networks may become a new lead pipeline.
Mistake #3: You’re not on social media
Social media certainly isn’t for everyone. For some it’s even a necessary evil. But the key word here is “necessary”. (Did you think we were going to say “evil?” You thought we were going to say “evil”). Whatever your feelings, no one in a service-based industry can get away without it in today’s hyper-competitive market.
So, while you may not love the idea of spending even more time in front of a screen, realtors with social media savvy and a clear idea of their own brand can leverage social platforms to make smart, viral marketing collateral and keep an ongoing, top-of-mind presence in the warp-speed newsfeed zones.
Most importantly, social media provides the easiest avenue to keep in touch with clients and business partners. With some time investment and genuine engagement each day, your referral database can quickly transform from a pipeline into a firehose.
The best platforms for real estate professionals, in our experience, are Facebook and Instagram. In fact, there’s already a bustling community on Facebook just waiting to be tapped. Direct messaging and event invites will help you consolidate your outbound communications and make it simple to nurture relationships that often end up as repeats or referrals. Instagram, as well, is a visual medium that makes it ideal for showcasing listings and a bit about your own life.
Remember, your clients also want to know who you are as a person and you get to control your own image. You can also advertise your extra-mile services, like MoveSnap, so any current and future clients know they’ll be getting the full luxury service from door-to-door.
If you’re not already set up on these channels, stop what you’re doing, sign up, and come back for Part II of this blog (coming soon!) We’ll wait here until you’re back.