Let’s face it. Current clients and prospects are exciting. They’re right in front of you. They’re part of your day-to-day. They represent the lion’s share of the work you do each week. So it’s easy to look at past clients and think, “They’re not a priority right now.”
But that mindset is a huge mistake.
In fact, not making previous clients a priority in your real estate marketing will result in you getting only a tiny fraction of the real estate referrals you should be getting.
And you do want a future where you’re mainly getting referral business, right? You don’t want to be chasing low-quality real estate leads forever.
If that doesn’t convince you, consider these ten additional reasons to stay in touch with previous clients and nurture those relationships.
- They get asked Like almost all homeowners, your previous clients get asked periodically for a real estate agent recommendation. For example, your client might run into a neighbour at the mailbox and find out that person is about to list their property. So your client gets asked, “By the way, do you happen to know a good agent?” You want to get that real estate referral. But that’s unlikely to happen if you haven’t been staying in touch with your client.
- They can recommend you more often While your previous clients are likely asked occasionally for an agent recommendation, they can be the source of even more real estate referrals for you. In fact, according to studies, the average homeowner is in a position to recommend an agent two to three times a year. By staying in touch with your past clients and building those relationships, they’re more likely to be proactive and look for opportunities to send real estate referrals your way.
- They have neighbours If you have clients in neighbourhoods then, chances are, those clients have probably gotten to know some of their neighbours. They might even socialize with them. If a previous client knows just five neighbours reasonably well — and each of those neighbours knows five people — that’s 25+ people in a tight social circle that likely trades recommendations. In addition, one or more of those 25+ may be moving within the next couple of years and need a real estate agent.
- They have friends and family Many of your previous clients have families, perhaps big families, that get together regularly. Families talk. They help each other. When one is looking for a real estate agent, another is quick with a recommendation. Of course, you want that real estate referral to come your way.
- They have work colleagues In a client’s household, there might be two or more people working. That’s another type of tight network where there’s a possibility your client can recommend you. In fact, in most work environments, there is often someone who is looking for a good agent. Wouldn’t it be nice if your client recommended you?
- They may be active on social media More people are active on social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, than ever before. According to research, more than 67% of people in the U.S. have been on Facebook. Chances are, that includes many of your clients.
Social media is a network like any other. People often post on Facebook, for example, asking if anyone knows of a good real estate agent. By keeping in touch with your previous clients, you’re earning their loyalty and staying top-of-mind. That increases the probability, significantly, a client will recommend you on social media.
And when a client recommends on social media, many of their followers see it.
- They will probably move someday So far, we’ve been focusing on real estate referrals in this “reasons why” list. But let’s not forget about repeats. Some agents mistakenly assume a happy client will automatically call them when moving again. That’s not necessarily so. If a client moves five years from now, will they remember you? Will they feel any loyalty towards you?
Why take that chance?
- They can give you a testimonial Want more testimonials on your website and in your other marketing materials? Prospects are more likely to contact and hire an agent if they see that clients are saying great things about them. Your previous clients can be a terrific source of testimonials, but only if you stay in touch and build those relationships. Otherwise, a previous client who worked with you three years ago is unlikely to give you a testimonial if you’ve been a stranger.
If you build trust and loyalty amongst your past clients, they are also more likely to agree to participate in a video success story, which can be very powerful on your website and social media.
- You don’t want them to feel like a transaction After a transaction, there’s a kind of “fork in the road” that occurs in a client’s mind. They think, at least subconsciously, “Was this agent in it only for the commission? Or are they going to stick around and become my agent; someone I can trust with my real estate needs for life?”
Obviously, you want to be in that second category with previous clients. When you are, you’re on the road to more real estate referrals and repeats.
- You don’t want to see another agent’s FOR SALE sign on their lawn The last thing you want is to lose a previous client to a competitor. That means that client didn’t feel comfortable hiring you again. It also means you probably weren’t getting many, if any, real estate referrals from that client. (Remember, a homeowner can recommend you two to three times a year.)
Why risk losing out to a competitor? Especially if you’ve done a stellar job during the transaction?
So as you can see, there is an abundance of good reasons why you should be staying in touch with previous clients regularly and building those relationships. These people are, by far, your most lucrative source of real estate referrals.
Staying in touch doesn’t have to be time-consuming nor expensive. An excellent real estate marketing system designed for client referrals will do the trick!