The importance of follow-up with former clients

In any industry, particularly real estate, long-term client relationships are integral to building success, loyalty and market longevity. The reality, however, is that such relationships need maintaining, and therefore require time, energy, and above all else, consistent follow-up.

As real estate professionals, it can be easy to overlook the value of following up with former clients; after all, once a listing has been converted there is no likely immediate benefit in continuing to nurture the relationship. What some agents don’t realise, however, is that former clients retain value long after a property sells, due to their ongoing ability to generate repeat business and referrals.

Follow-up with former clients should therefore be an important aspect of any real estate marketing program; fortunately there are a number of simple strategies one can use to make the process run relatively seamlessly.

Gather and maintain relevant client data

Throughout the course of a business relationship, you should attempt to gather accurate data about your clients, including information about their hobbies, lifestyle, income levels, future plans, communication preferences and locales of interest. In addition, you should record and regularly revise clients’ email and postal addresses via a database to ensure that you are able to maintain contact once the business relationship concludes.

Such information will enable you to build a profile of the client, which can be beneficial later down the track, as it will assist you to cater a personalised follow-up plan for each former client.

Implement a follow-up program

Using the data gathered throughout the course of your business relationship, implement a follow-up program specific to the former client. This involves determining an appropriate method, frequency and volume for the follow-up communication, as well as identifying what types of information the former client might be interested in.

An effective follow-up program usually combines personal and automated elements, mixing direct contact – over the phone or in-person, with electronic processes like emails and scheduled mailing programs. This strategy gives agents the ability to manage follow-up processes with a large number of former clients, whilst also enabling each individual to feel personally valued and regarded.

Some of the most effective follow strategies include holiday and birthday cards, informative monthly newsletters, email updates, and thoughtful gifts. For example, following a sale involving a first-home owner, you might consider sending a gift card for a furniture store. 

Through having a well developed follow-up program that caters to the individual sensibilities of former clients, real estate agents can put themselves in a prime position to cultivate long-term business connections, which can continue to deliver professional benefits long after a property transaction completes.

Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 12/06/2012 at 10:38 AM | Categories:


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