Every home a person will ever buy is a snapshot of their needs at a particular time in life.
After college or work experience, rising professionals will buy their first homes. Young families will look for larger places to move into. Elders will downsize so they can enjoy the spoils of retirement. And more "found families" are choosing to go it together in bigger homes.
All in all, a house is doing well if it meets everyone's needs for five to seven years.
With that in mind, all sales associates should ask themselves:
How will I know when my latest client needs another home?
In all the celebration that follows closing day, it's essential not to overlook the opportunity to keep the relationship fresh. It might be many years before clients need help again, but they are much more likely to go to someone they already know.
So, how should you keep the coals of that relationship burning?
An updated website? It's a must.
A social media presence? Of course.
But there's one tool that you must not be overlooked when it comes to customer retention: Email.
Email marketing offers a fantastic combination: High-touch communication for your clients with low effort and low overhead for you.
No matter whether you're addressing ten people or ten thousand, email remains the same price. And you can give each of those subscribers a personalized experience that lets them feel like you're talking directly about their needs.
With a little legwork, you really can become the family sales associate.
But how to do it? Start with these steps:
- Look for Opportunities to Get People on Your Email List
Strict email marketing laws are in place in both the United States and Europe. Getting your message out means starting with an ethical, transparent process for leads and clients to opt-in.
But you don't have to wait for clients to close before they join your list. Using customized opt-in forms, you can give them the chance to sign up while they're exploring listings or when they attend an open house event.
Today's email marketing platforms provide all the back-end management you need. Clients will automatically be added to your list when they sign up. You can even define a message or sequence of messages to welcome them on board.
- Segment Your Email Messaging Based on Subscribers' Needs
What keeps people from unsubscribing from your list for good? The belief that they will get relevant, informative, and helpful content that moves them toward their goals.
To make that happen, you need list segmentation.
List segmentation means separating leads and clients onto lists that match their needs.
When you place all of your subscribers into one "catch-all" list, it means wires get crossed, and people receive messages that aren't useful to them. That stops your list in its tracks.
Try splitting your leads into segmented lists. Create an email list for people expressing an interest in one or more of your listings. Another email list could target active buyers who have attended an open house event. A third email list could address existing clients. You can further segment the client list based on their background.
For example, retirees buying a downsized home and Millennials moving into their very first home, each of these groups can get their own special email list.
How does this keep the relationship warm? Simple: These buyers have their own interests you can write about in the future. This "tangential content" isn't always directly connected to real estate, but it keeps you relevant.
Tips on the retiree lifestyle may remind an older client to refer a family member to you. Messages about household finance can prepare younger clients to buy their next home.
Celebrate Client Anniversaries and "Check In"
Ideally, an email marketing platform will automate 95% of your messages. However, that last 5% can make a tremendous difference.
Your email marketing or Customer Relationship Management suite should empower you to keep meaningful client milestones in a calendar you can reference any time.
The week before a big date—like the anniversary of their closing day—check out your clients' recent social media activity and any news you can get about their comings and goings.
A quick, but personal message can remind them of the trust they placed in you and the excellent job you did helping them through their transaction. The fifteen minutes you spend crafting it will be more than made up for by the hours of email writing you've already saved.
And it could get you an instant new client referral. That is one quick turnaround!