Staying top of mind is the secret to earning repeat and referral business in the real estate industry. But how do you stay top of mind when so many other agents are competing for the attention of your clients?
The National Association of Realtors® reported that 90% of buyers from a recent survey were so happy with their agent that they would use their agent again or recommend them to others. However, only 13% of the typical agent’s business comes from repeat clients, and only 17% of the typical agent’s business comes from referrals. With so many satisfied clients, shouldn’t more of your business come from these key groups? Interestingly, failure to keep in touch and stay top of mind results in an estimated annual loss of about 20%!
Before you lose any more repeat or referral business, use the following tips to stay top of mind with your clients going forward.
Take Advantage of Digital Catalogs
Is your brokerage already taking advantage of digital catalogs? If not, you’re leaving business on the table!
As the name implies, digital catalogs are catalogs that are delivered electronically rather than in hard-copy. They have brought the house-hunting catalogs we all loved into the digital age. Having these catalogs distributed automatically to your client base each month keeps you top of mind year-round. Your clients will regularly be reminded of your professionalism and service.
Digital real estate catalogs can be customized to your brokerage’s branding, including your name and logo on the cover to immediately increase brand recognition. The catalogs are full of clickable listing photos that link to property details and allow your clients to contact you for more information or even schedule a showing directly from their devices! They also include articles of local interest and promotions for your brokerage throughout.
The polished presentation also boosts your credibility with prospective clients as an established firm. And it gives you a competitive edge during the listing presentation because sellers get excited about seeing their home in this high-end publication.
And clever brokers can completely offset the cost of this impressive marketing tool! All you need to do is sell ad space in the catalog to a handful of local businesses. Lenders, escrow officers, appraisers, inspectors, and title companies may all be interested in purchasing ad space when they find out how many local subscribers your catalog will be sent to each month!
Give a Memorable Closing Gift
When you give your clients a memorable closing gift, your clients will think of you every time they see your gift. This will help keep you top of mind for years to come!
To help you stay top of mind, your closing gift needs to meet a few key criteria:
It shouldn’t be branded to your business: the closing gift should be more about them than you; using your branding on this gift may be seen as tacky.
It should be personalized for your clients: personalized gifts show an extra level of care and consideration.
The gift should have a long shelf life: gift baskets will be consumed and forgotten in a week; you need something that will last longer.
It shouldn’t be something that will be stored away: to keep you top of mind, your gift needs to be visible.
And it should match the interest, needs, or personality of your client: clients appreciate when a gift is uniquely suited to them.
Bonus criterion: if your gift makes clients’ friends and family ask where’d you get that?, your clients will have an opening to talk about you, and maybe get you a referral.
So what makes a good closing gift? Personalized wall art, garden decor, dishes, and home decor are always a hit!
The anniversary of your buyers’ closing dates is the perfect excuse to reach out to your past clients. And there are lots of fun ways to help your clients celebrate their housiversaries.
Consider these ideas:
Send a simple Happy Housiversary card. You can find several card options on marketplaces like Etsy.
Shoutout your clients on social media. Please join me in wishing a Happy Housiversary to the Mathis Family who found their dream home 3 years ago! Tag your clients in your post so their friends and family can comment with their well-wishes.
Send a bouquet (of flowers, cookies, balloons, or fruit) to your clients at work. Not only will this impress your clients and keep you top of mind, but it can also generate referrals! When your client’s colleagues ask about the occasion, your clients will get to tell everyone about you.
Whichever you choose, this annual celebration will help keep you top of mind with your former buyer clients.
Host Client Appreciation Events
Community-minded brokers are hosting client appreciation events to stay top of mind with their clients. These events allow you to give your clients a memorable local experience. It also helps your clients make connections with other people in the community.
These events can be as simple or as sophisticated as you’d like. And they don’t have to cost a fortune. You can opt for inexpensive activities or split the costs by co-sponsoring the events with your preferred lender, title rep, or escrow officer.
All you really need to do is give your clients a memorable event. Bonus points if you can get them to look forward to your event every year. The more they look forward to your event, the more they’ll think of you, and the more they’ll talk about you with their friends and families!
Your event will depend largely on your client base. For high-end clientele, you want to provide a luxury experience. If your clients are generally up for anything, you can do something goofy and fun. Need some ideas to get the ball rolling? How about:
A family-friendly movie under the stars? Everyone brings their own lawn chairs and blankets while you provide popcorn and soda.
A prom redo? Invite everyone to dress in whatever style was hot when they were in high school and play prom hits from the decades. Rent a gym at the rec center or high school for authentic prom vibes.
Cocktails on a yacht? Pricey, but memorable!
A private concert? Hire a local band to provide an evening of live music.
A tasting event? It doesn’t just have to be wine or beer. How about chocolate, cheese, or fruit? A local producer might be willing to help sponsor your event if it could lead to sales for them.
The opportunities are endless!
Take an Interest in Clients’ Lives
Staying top of mind comes down to simple relationship building. Every activity in this article is a way to stay in touch with your clients and show them you care. It’s all about taking an active, ongoing interest in your client’s lives. And you don’t need a formal plan to make this happen.
Taking an interest can be as simple as:
Liking, sharing, and commenting on your clients’ social media posts
Text your clients a few times a year to see how things are going for them (with no other agenda!)
Making a contribution to your clients’ fundraising efforts for causes you believe in
Sending a Thinking of You card when a former client comes to mind
Implement these ideas into your real estate business this year to stay top of mind with your clients and watch your business transform!