3 Tips for Staying in Touch with Buyers & Sellers After Business Has Closed
In real estate, it’s often all about farming for new business from those buyers and sellers you’ve never worked with before. And for good reason - farming for brand-new prospects is a key component of real estate marketing, particularly when you’re introducing yourself to a new area or just new to real estate in general.
But did you know that 74% of buyers and 69% of sellers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others? Additionally, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 24% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home. These statistics present a BIG opportunity to cultivate meaningful, genuine relationships with those you’ve already worked with. Authentic relationship-building is definitely a long game, but it’s one that will pay dividends.
Need convincing? The Office of Inspector General with the USPS has you covered. In a just-released April 2019 report, their data revealed that “advertising mail sent by a business that has a past business relationship with the recipient is more than twice as likely to be read and generate a positive reaction, and is six times as likely to get a response than mail sent by businesses with no past relationship.”
Now, you may be thinking, “YES! Let’s get started! … How do I do it?”
One key way to consistently foster relationships with those you’ve worked with in the past is with real estate direct mail marketing. It’s no secret that at QuantumDigital, we’re all about real estate postcards. We know that in 2019, direct mail is an arguably necessary player in getting responses from your audience -- particularly among millennials, who, despite generalizations that the generation is only glued to their smartphones, have high rates of engagement with direct mail.
But don’t take our word for it. Other marketers agree that direct mail is a smart move for modern-day business and organizations. In fact, the Data and Marketing Association’s recently released 2018 Response Rate Report showed that direct mail has a whopping 9% response rate for household lists and a 4.9% response rate for prospect lists, higher than all of the digital channels studied. In comparison, email, social media, and paid search averaged 1%, while online display averaged only .03%.
Direct mail is certainly a proven way to maintain relationships with past clients - and if you’re looking for a consistent way to stay in touch throughout the calendar year, we’ve got AutoMail, an automated solution that allows you to engage with your audience without spending precious time or energy. But direct mail is not (and shouldn’t be) the only way that you connect with past clients to encourage more business and referrals. You should also consider:
1. Direct Follow-Up.
If you’re a real estate agent, it’s likely you aren’t afraid of a good old-fashioned phone call. Use your communications skills and call up old clients once a year to personally check in on how they’re doing, catch up, and offer a helping hand if they’re looking to buy or sell. You should also use the opportunity to politely ask for updated contact information -- both physical and email addresses in particular -- so you can make sure you’re reaching the right contact throughout the year.
2. Email Marketing.
Email is a smart, fast, and cost-efficient way to stay in touch with those you’ve worked with in the past. The key is to segment your list based on your audience -- have you closed business with them within the last six months, or was it two years ago or more? What part of town or neighborhood do they live in? (This is where your check-in phone calls come in.) Such unique audiences will require different messages. The trick is to only reach out to past clients via email when you’ve got something useful to share. Send market information relevant to the neighborhood they live in or promote open houses in their area you think they’d love. Include their name in your email communications (which is easy with platforms like MailChimp). Thoughtful, personalized content = bigger rewards.
3. Social Media.
Social media’s not your thing, you say. It takes up too much time, and it’s difficult to see the results. We hear you. Not one to create an editorial calendar, post regularly, and monitor social for engagements on an everyday basis? An easy way to keep in touch with past clients is to create a Facebook group, and add all past clients (who have opted-in) to the group. Think of it as a forum where your audience can ask questions and quickly get in touch with you. Again, only post when you have something valuable to share -- there’s nothing worse than a real estate agent flooding timelines with multiple MLS listings a day -- but groups like this make it so that you stress less about constant engagement but maintain contact with your past clients.
We wish you the best of luck in all your past client follow-up endeavors!
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