Just one year after working with a real estate agent, over 70% of buyers have forgotten that agent’s name.

Let that sink in.

This percentage only increases further as the years go on. Successful real estate agents are the ones who are able to maintain clients and keep them coming back.

If you want to be remembered by clients for decades, you’ll need to maintain a consistent relationship with each and every one of them WITHOUT being annoying or spammy. Here are some tips to maintain clients long-term. Bonus, you’ll probably get more referrals too.

Give Clients An Incredible Experience

The most surefire way to have repeat clients is to provide a top-notch experience. Always be responsive, patient, and honest with your clients. As well, balance their needs with their budget in order to leave them with a house they truly love.

No matter how much you remind a past client of your brand, nobody wants to work with an agent they had a bad experience with. Therefore, you must first consistently be a high-quality agent before you can even think about getting returning clients.

Maintain A Strong Social Media Presence

Social media is probably the best to stay top of mind nowadays. Nearly everyone uses it, and if you can get clients to follow you on your various social media accounts, that can be a great way to continuously remind them of your brand.

Posting market updates, home-ownership information, advice, memes, and even your own reviews can incentivize clients to keep following you. When they are eventually ready to sell, many of your social media posts may be on their mind, and they will be more inclined to choose you once again.

Leave Them With Something To Remember You By

Once you’ve closed a sale, it is not only courteous but smart, to leave the new homeowner with something that sports your branding. Think about things they will keep for a long time. Cheap pens or business cards won’t cut it. For it to last for years in a client’s household, the gift must be both durable and useful to them.

Here are a few examples of branded gifts with staying power:

  • Folder for house docs: This gives them a place to put all the house-related documents from purchase as well as documents that will come up over the years. Something like this is great in addition to a beautiful housewarming gift. My own agent does this, and I can say from experience that it has been very useful. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. A folder with a clear sleeve allows you to simply print out a branded cover. Plus, this is the type of item that can stay with the house, so future owners may also see your brand.
  • Fridge magnet with important local information: This is especially helpful for someone new in town. A magnet with phone numbers for poison control, animal control, non-emergency police and fire, or a local locksmith is very useful. If you want it to last a really long time, make sure it’s a sturdy, well-made magnet.
  • Helpful kitchen or grilling gifts: Think about the client and what they may need or use. If they love wine, a wine opener is an obvious choice. If they love to entertain, perhaps a beautiful serving plater with your branding on the back. Cutting boards and jar openers are always useful. A really good set of knives with a wood block will last for decades and you can brand the back or bottom so that it’s less conspicuous but still there as a reminder. If you don’t want to give a branded gift, kitchen items still work well because they’re likely to think of you each time they use the item.
  • Tools or a toolset: I don’t think a homeowner can have too many screwdrivers, box cutters, pliers, or even boxes of various screws (especially for those of us who buy fixer-uppers).
  • Homeowner guide and logbook: Amazon has some great options for homeowner guides, first-time or otherwise. Write a nice note in the front to thank them for hiring you. Amazon and Etsy also have logbooks and planners, or you could create your own branded logbook in Canva. These are great to have on hand to log new appliances, repairs, and updates. If you know the buyer is planning to update the home’s kitchen or bath, provide a renovation planner specific to the project.

A closing gift is easy, of course. Most agents drop the ball over the years after they close the sale. Staying in touch with clients long-term is what turns today’s buyer into the next decade’s seller.

Send Them Cards For Special Days

One great way to keep yourself in the mind of a client is sending them custom cards with your logo, as well as handwritten notes throughout the year. Sending cards for home-ownership anniversaries, birthdays, and/or a couple of holidays shows clients that you care about them, making them more likely to care about you in turn.

Don’t go overboard and send out a card for every minor holiday, but maybe a few times a year, just to let the client know you’re still thinking about them.

Send Valuable Resources Throughout The Year

Think about what people will actually look at, read, or keep on their fridge. Some great examples are calendar magnets, recipes, or game schedules. These need to be things that are actually useful. What would you keep and use? Apply that thought process to what to send your core client sphere.

This includes keeping your past clients up to date on their home’s value and the market. At least once a year, perhaps on the anniversary of their closing, send clients a CMA for their home. Keep clients in the loop on the general market as well. Is it a good time to sell? A great time to invest in real estate? Is the market changing in their community? Become their go-to real estate resource.

Host and Sponsor Events

Hosting or sponsoring small community events and parties can be a great way to reconnect with past clients. Provide food, a place to chat, and maybe some fun activities for kids, and people are sure to come to the event. This strategy can even help reach new potential clients, as some people will bring friends/family members. So not only are you strengthening relations with past clients, you can be forming new ones with future clients as well. Events also give you an opportunity to gift small branded items such as coloring books, bottle openers, keychains, or seasonal candles.

Examples:

  • A fall festival with a raffle is always a big hit!
  • A winter market that supports local businesses
  • Pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny

Be Their Referral Guide

If you haven’t already, build out a referral network of home service professionals. Have a referral directory on your website, and promote it periodically in your newsletter or on your social media pages. Include a list of professionals in your closing folder, homeowner logbook, or on a magnet for the fridge. Be the person they reach out to first when they need a plumber or electrician. If you’re clients trust and depend on you for information after the sale, they are much less likely to forget about you when they’re ready to sell or their best friend needs an agent.

At The End Of The Day

All of the aforementioned tips are not one-and-done. They need to be implemented permanently into your operations as a real estate agent. The time between a client buying a house and selling a house is often years or even decades, and you need to keep your name on their mind for that entire time. Keeping a calendar and scheduling some of these out can be a great help in maintaining all of these different strategies. Utilize multiple channels to reach past clients including email, social media, snail-mail, and in-person events.

“The typical REALTOR® earned 15% of their business from repeat clients and customers, and 20% through referrals from past clients and customers.”

NAR Member Profile

It may seem like a lot of work to keep doing these things for all of your past clients, but hard work shows. Successful real estate agents get anywhere from 30%-50% of their business from repeat clients or referrals. Therefore, not letting past clients forget you is crucial for sustaining your business.

Plus, think about how much time and money you put into getting your clients. It makes sense to stay in touch with them long-term and keep them in your sphere. Client retention is cheaper than client acquisition. For instance, staying in touch with today’s first-time buyer could get you an estimate of $50K long-term*, and that doesn’t even take referrals into consideration.

Need Help Staying Top Of Mind?

We’re here to help you succeed in staying relevant and top of mind with your sphere of influence. We can help you with your social media presence and provide guidance on what works best to help you stay in touch with your clients.

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