Improving Engagement with Prospects and Nurturing Relationships with Clients: A How-To for Real Estate Professionals
Selling real estate is all about building relationships, both with clients and with those who might become clients. And you have to work all of that relationship-building into a day that's already full of showings, negotiations, phone calls, emails, and more. But without clients you have no business, so how do you remain connected to your network and keep it growing?
Stay in Touch: Client Nurturing
According to the National Association of Realtors, 74 percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others. To tap into this resource, you need to stay relevant and present in clients' lives.
1. Send greeting cards on important dates.
Avoid the ubiquitous December holiday cards, which are so common now that clients don't even notice them. Instead, send personalized greeting cards on dates that matter to each individual person or family. Try:
- Birthday cards with a small gift certificate to a local business
- Move-in anniversary cards, to mark the dates they closed on their homes
- Milestone cards: New babies, graduations, retirements, etc.
- Thank-you cards for clients who send you referrals
Make sure each card is clearly hand-prepared – no electronic signatures or postage machines! This may sound like a massive undertaking, but with the help of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or even with the information Facebook provides, you can easily keep track of this information.
2. Host client appreciation events.
When you're a busy agent, parties are a great way to maintain personal contact with your clients. Once or twice a year, host a social event where people can build connections with each other and feel a sense of community with your business at the center. Make sure it's something your particular clients would enjoy – think summer picnics for families or wine tastings for cosmopolitan couples and singles!
If your business is too big to host a single party, you can divide them up by common interests. Conversely, if you have a small business that's just getting off the ground, connect with clients one-on-one. Take them out to lunch or coffee as a thank-you for helping to get your company going.
3. Publish a newsletter or blog.
Whether your audience is best suited for a traditional newsletter or electronic content, sharing information shows that you care about your clients' well-being and consider their needs even after you make the sale.
The content you publish also benefits your business, presenting you as an authority in your field and as someone who cares about the community. Try writing about topics like:
- Local market trends
- Home buying and selling tips
- Upcoming community events
- Interviews with real estate, mortgage, or contracting experts
Whether you create this content in-house or hire it out, it's worth the investment, especially now that content is taking over the marketing world. Consider republishing content from other sites you read.
Make it Grow: Prospect Engagement
Reaching new audiences vital for your business to grow, and, if you do it right, it can connect you with past clients as well as potential ones.
1. Become an active participant in your community.
Billboards, lawn signs, and other traditional advertisements can get your name out there, but they don't help people get to know and trust you. Community service, on the other hand, helps you to build genuine relationships and shows people that you have a stake in the community. Consider volunteering with:
- Youth sports teams and schools where you'll meet growing families
- Chamber of Commerce or Rotary groups where you'll network with colleagues and clients
- Community fundraisers where you'll meet people who care about building strong neighborhoods
- Church groups, where you'll meet clients who value shared faith traditions
The more you participate, the more you'll be on people's minds when they need an agent.
2. Create interactive online content
Interactive content is a great way to achieve engagement with prospects. It gets them thinking about their needs while presenting your business as a possible solution. And since people generally start looking at real estate content when they're ready to choose an agent and get going, that instant relevance is important.
One successful type of tool is the mortgage calculator, which helps people to understand how much house they can afford. Interactive quizzes are also on-trend, thanks to viral sites like BuzzFeed, which target questions that consumers have about the home buying process.
Utilize the blogs and news sites you value the most. These sites will have content that ask consumers:
- What should homebuyers disclose?
- What you should know as a first time home buyer?
- What should a first-time home seller know?
Your social media channels are great places to share this kind of material. With the right strategy, you can use it for client engagement as well as interaction with prospects.
A Final Word
The more you reach out to past and potential clients, the more chances you have to grow your business. Think of it as an investment in the future of your business - its client portfolio, connection to the community, and public image. If your efforts are genuine and relevant, people will notice!