This is an article in a series about best practice in sales within the estate agent industry. You can find more articles here.
Here’s the problem, agents that are not yet successful have all the time in the world to stay in touch and nurture their contacts. However, they don’t have a network to attend to. Successful agents do have the network but they are too busy closing the next deal to care about and nurture their past clients.
So, what is the best practice when it comes to staying top of mind with past clients and the rest of you professional network?
First of all, it is important to remember why you put in the effort to stay in touch with people. The primary reason is for them to recommend you to their friends who are in the process of choosing an estate agent, not just for your past clients repeat business which may well be in several years time. Everyone knows someone who will soon move house, you want to be the one they call.
Few people actually remembers the name of their agent after five years
When it comes to their estate agent, sadly, people forget them very quickly. It is very hard to recommend an estate agent if you don’t remember the estate agent’s name. And it’s a fact that few people actually remember the name of their agent five years after the transaction. So, it is very important to keep reminding your network of your existence over time. Here are a few good ways to do that, most of them can be automated by your system making them totally painless for you.
Make a great “last” impression
The obvious place to start “staying in touch” is to actually give the buyers and sellers a call a few weeks after completion. Yes, you might get complaints about that the dishwasher is not working properly but most people will find your call both unexpected and very positive. You will most likely be remembered as the estate agent who cares even when the sale is done (and your commission is paid). The chance that they will recommend you increases significantly.
Why not send an e-mail to buyers and sellers every year on the day of completion? Ask the buyers and sellers if they have done any renovations the last year and offer a valuation. And why not also ask if they know anyone that is thinking of selling?
It might sound trivial but birthdays are the perfect way to get in touch on a yearly basis. A few lines wishing your client happy birthday is enough. Our experience is that it is good not to include any sales messages in these emails.
This is a tricky one since it takes quite a lot of effort to put together a good newsletter. It is also important that you send the e-mail with the same frequency over time. When it comes to content, market updates – the more local the better – is something that most recipients find interesting. A great way to increase the click to open rate is to send it from the agent last working with the client – most people would open an email sent from their agent whereas many automatically would delete an email sent from firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Your buyers and sellers will be helped to remember you if they follow you on Facebook and Instagram. Post every new listing and preferably also your thoughts about where the market is going. We will shortly post a separate article regarding best practice when it comes to Social Media.
Everyone is interested in the market value of their property. If you frequently provide an update based on the market movements you will definitely stay top of mind. Sweden’s largest estate agent chain, Fastighetsbyrån, invented a service about ten years ago that atomized these updates. That service, Värdebevakaren, has contributed to Fastighetsbyrån’s growth in the last ten years and the service has been copied by most major Swedish estate agent chains.
Be a team
Finally, it makes perfect sense to work as a team in the office, more experienced agents have the networks that the younger agents lack. Let the young and hungry follow up the past clients of the experienced agents. Share your networks and you will become stronger together.