Forget the adage that the past will come back to haunt you: real estate agents should strive to ensure the past comes back to help them.
The trouble is, many agents don’t look at the big picture or view their career as a long-term journey. Instead of seeing every customer as a lifetime client, they have a narrow view of the sales process.
Too often, agents view a sale – and therefore the client – as valuable for only a single transaction.
They see it as a deal to be done and dusted and very little, if any, thought is given to what role the client could play in future transactions.
What many agents fail to realise is that if you build a long-term relationship with every client, the power of the past will turn full circle and come back to aid their career again and again.
If you build your relationships and become a trusted friend in the industry, then each client will not only deliver word-of-mouth referrals but will also return as a client when they’re next ready to sell or buy.
Before you let out a groan anticipating the extra workload building these relationships will entail, let me assure you there’s a simple yet effective philosophy you can follow.
To harness the power of the past you need to learn to be relevant, frequent and consistent in your marketing.
Rather than sending each client the same pamphlet or email, you should ensure your marketing is tailored and relevant.
A vendor or new home owner doesn’t care that a property 10 suburbs away has sold, but they will be interested in listings and sales close to them.
The key is to be hyper-local and to inform them about what’s happening in their street, their neighbourhood and their suburb.
The price the house across the road sold for is relevant to them, as is the fact that the median sale price for the suburb has risen $50,000 in the past quarter.
Use your ever-evolving market knowledge to target marketing to each client.
How often do you contact your clients with this information?
If you ring them once a year, you’ll most likely find it has been too long between drinks and the relationship is stale and awkward.
Your aim is to become their friend in the real estate industry and I urge the agents I coach to use the "one day, one week, one month, one year" approach.
- One day after the client has moved into their new property you should call them to check and see if there’s anything they need or whether they have any questions.
- One week later, phone them with some friendly advice such as where the late-night chemist is, or that the restaurant around the corner is renowned for its steaks.
- One month later phone again to assure them that while you won’t be calling all the time, you will keep in touch whenever there is a listing or sale that’s relevant to them.
- One year later, call your client to let them know you’ve been looking through their file and, given some recent prices achieved in their neighbourhood, it would be good for you to take a walk through their property and give them an update on its value.
When a client is ready to sell, you want it to be your name that is top of mind.
While your sales processes and marketing will never force a customer to sell, they can ensure you’re the agent they turn to when they’re ready.
Examples of consistent marketing could be a weekly video where you discuss what’s happening in the market in a particular suburb, or a quick email with a daily tip on preparing your home for sale.
The key to marketing is to do it all the time and not just when things aren’t going well.
That way you will hopefully avoid the need to implement crisis marketing.
The secret to using the power of the past is to never underestimate the influence someone you meet today could have in the future.