Successful real estate vets tend to work off of mostly referral business. They’ve been in the game for a while and have an extensive sphere of influence. To successfully transition your buyers into seller leads and repeat clients, you need to play the long game. And it takes patience and strategy to win!
What is the long game exactly? Think of it as the ability to transition first-time clients into repeat real estate customers. If you put your process in place now, your pipeline will reap the benefits for years down the road.
Tips for the Long Game:
- Understand Your Audience
- Create Your Community & Be Memorable
- Keep Your Audience Engaged
- Serve Repeat Customers!
In order to build a bulletproof seller lead strategy, combine tactics to create more immediate demand for seller leads with this personalized approach for longer term seller leads.
Understanding Your Repeat Client
Before you craft a longer term seller lead strategy, you need to know your audience. Your clients may differe in everything other than the fact they made a real estate transaction one time with you, however, there are still a few national trends to consider.
For example, when you’re writing follow-up plans to keep the conversation going after a closing, the likelihood of a client purchasing a larger home after first purchasing a condo is much higher due to getting married, growing a family, wanting more space, relocation, etc. Simple stuff!
So, don’t assume you can market to your repeat clients in the same way you marketed to them the first time around.
After your lead becomes a client, and this client closes on a home, the transaction may be complete. But their buying cycle is only beginning. It is your job to follow along with this cycle and be there when they round the circle and are ready to sell, or buy, again.
Give White Glove Service (Even After Closing Day)
If you hope to have your clients return the second transaction around, then your business needs to live and breathe memorable moments. These are the moments and memorabilia your clients will remember you by and hopefully down the road, will nudge them towards the phone when they want to sell.
“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.” – Ken Blanchard
Closing gifts are the perfect opportunity to kick-off a lasting relationship with your client. You should have the go-to gift for everyone, but it really shows when you take the time to gift an item, experience or gift card specific to that person. Take into account if your buyer(s) are tech savvy, eco-friendly, families, just starting out, vacation homebuyers, etc.
Keep Your Clients Engaged Between Real Estate Transactions
The easiest route to keeping up communication between transactions is email. Consider these transaction follow-up campaigns to be your “Loyalty Program.” And every good loyalty program retains consistent communication over time. To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of emails and email ideas below to help jump start your follow-up process. These can be coupled with a newsletter or done on their own.
Example of a Homebuyer Follow-Up Campaign
1 Day After Closing: “The Congratulations Email”
This communication should congratulate the buyer, confirm they received their closing gift, reaffirm how much you loved working with them, ask for a review, and state the upcoming to-dos after purchasing a home.
30 Days After Closing: “Reminders Email”
Remind the recent buyer of upcoming deadlines such as the one for permanent residency tax applications. Go the extra mile and mention you will call them closer to the deadline to make sure they have turned their important documents in. In this email you need to continue to reaffirm their decision to buy and remind them of discounts for new homeowners at local or chain stores.
60 Days After Closing: “Reference List Email”
It has now been two months since closing and the reality of owning a property has set in. At this point it may be helpful to send a “check-in” email including a list of local references you would use including plumbers, landscaping companies, electricians, dog sitters, contractors, pest control services, home alarm businesses, etc.
6 Months After Closing: “Bi-Annual Check-In”
At the six month mark you should begin sending emails with value and service all packaged into one. These should be market updates displaying localized information on the housing market. The new property owner sheen is still fresh, but after six months owners will be curious to see whether or not their investment is gaining value and what else is happening on the market.
1 Year After Closing: “Closing Anniversary Email”
Congratulate your client(s) for owning their property for a year! Reaffirm what a fantastic decision they made and keep the lines of communication open in case they need anything.
Communication After One Year: These emails needs to be consistent and engaging. Continue to send e-cards for birthdays, annual “homeowner anniversary” emails, and the potential newsletters.
Newsletters: Organizing a quarterly newsletter is an excellent outlet for post-transaction communication. You don’t want to overload your clients, but it’s important to reach out and maintain a relationship. These newsletters should include local events (preferably those you are involved with), charitable opportunities in the area, holiday homeowner updates (Black Friday sales particular to homeowners!), and mostly important, home value market updates.
And remember, the golden rule for email follow-up is to not send emails unto others as you would have them sent unto you.
So, if you wouldn’t derive value from an email, then why would they? Ask yourself this before you hit send every time.
Listings Come to Those Who Wait (And Follow-Up)
The constant grind of generating leads and following-up is not for the faint of heart. But like any career, you gain experience by doing. Through systematically automating your process with a CRM you can cut out half the time you would spend manually customizing emails. A system such as BoomTown allows for both personalization and automation. It’s the best of both worlds.