Your prospect, Tim, was looking for a new apartment to rent. As an agent, you managed to find the right one-bedroom for him, offering him exceptional service. Tim was very happy and saved your contact in case of a future move. He also talked about how satisfied he was with the new apartment at an office lunch. His colleague, Jenny, also looking for a bigger apartment at the time, asked about the agent Tim worked with, and a few days later, Jenny booked you for an apartment viewing.
Customer referrals are, without a doubt, the most powerful means of lead generation. Referred leads are pre-qualified, already in the market, and have heard positive feedback from trusted sources, whether a friend, relative, colleague, or neighbor. It requires much less effort to grab the attention of referrals and build trust. In fact, almost half of home buyers find their real estate agents through friends and family, followed by reengaging the agents they worked with previously.
Source: 2019 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report
But, as we all know, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Clients and property owners do not suddenly become your advocates for no reason, but if done right, nurturing your leads can build you a long list of loyal advocates. Think of client loyalty as a journey you can enhance. Start by providing a positive experience from the very first contact, then increase your level of trust and engagement throughout each meeting thereafter, to the point that your clients keep coming back to you, deny working with competitors, and recommend you to their friends and family.
How do I get more advocates like Tim, you ask? Well, first you have to keep your clients happy. While it is simpler to say than do, it is still possible, no matter how many active contacts you have. Here is how:
Be Their Friends
To keep your clients happy, you have put yourself in their shoes. Understand what your clients are looking for and recommend what is best for them, not for you.
Each client or family has different priorities – which has the most reasonable price, needed level of service from the agent, move-in timeline etc. You should spend time understanding them and find ways to identify any additional preferences that might not be filled in their requirements form or mentioned to you during the first conversation. Implementing website tracking or a system that provides listing matches outside the initial criteria can help immensely by providing recommendations that are relevant and worth consideration.
When clients feel that you work with their best interests in mind, they will be more open to you, allowing you to deliver better experiences.
One simple but often overlooked point is maintaining your support after the deal is closed. From a few simple follow-up questions, to document facilitation and tenant management, post-close tasks may not seem as urgent as a new deal, however this level of service and consistency will allow you to add to your list of loyal advocates.
This is where task managers and reminders come in handy. Make sure you have everything related to a contact or a deal in one place. Consolidating details such as customer profiles, reminders, documents, relevant listings, and meeting notes will help you ensure that nothing is missed. Automating minor tasks such as sending greetings, follow-up messages, and keeping your clients updated about relevant listings can put you ahead of other agents and save you deals.
Remember to be honest about what you can or cannot do. Stay realistic and avoid making false promises at all costs.
Because properties are your products, try your best to ensure that the listings you are trying to sell or lease are up to the mark. If not, be sure to know about any issues in depth and promptly notify your clients. The apartment you offered may not be perfect, but transparency is much appreciated and can change perceived flaws into unrealized opportunities.
Referring to Tim’s case mentioned earlier, perhaps you knew that there was a bar across the street that could get noisy late at night. To be transparent, you share this information with Tim during the first viewing, and he decides he is fine with it. If he had not been informed beforehand, he may not have been as satisfied with your service or his decision.
Apart from honest communication, access to an accurate database is necessary. You need real-time updates of your available listings, consolidated notes about the listing’s condition, current offerings (to avoid possible conflicts), and much more. It is impossible to deliver full transparency if an accurate source of information is not available.
Buying a property is one of the most significant decisions most people will ever make. Buyers do tremendous amounts of research during the search and evaluate stage and will continue to book appointments and seek advice until they’ve found the right fit. Because they’ll only want to deal with experts, you’ll want to position yourself as a trusted and knowledgeable advisor to your clients, rather than merely a property fact sheet. Unless you are loaded with knowledge about the market and neighborhoods, valuable tips when looking to move, and technical deal-completion skills, there is a high chance that your prospect will outsmart you and end up choosing other agents.
Another aspect to consider is your ability to keep up with the competition. A busy agent like you will easily get swamped with phone calls and appointments, but there is always room for improvement. Are you busy because you have more clients, or are you simply less efficient than before? Did you lose that penthouse deal because your competitor had a better exclusive listing or did the competing agent provide a better service? Take a step back and see where you are in the market – from a client’s perspective. You are not the best until the market says so!
Be Well Equipped
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a crucial part of any business. The era of sticky notes and spreadsheets is long gone. To stay ahead of your competitors and be ready to scale, investment in a proper digital tool is a must: get assistance with repetitive admin tasks, focus more on meaningful client engagement, and close more deals.
An effective CRM system does not have to be complex. There is no point in employing software that you or your team find too time-consuming to learn or use. The key consideration is that the interface, data management, and process automation are designed with real estate experts’ needs in mind and tackle common industry pain points to allow accelerated business growth.
Looking for a tool to keep your prospects and clients engaged and satisfied? Property Raptor is a state-of-art real estate CRM system developed for agents to handle contacts, data and documents, and drive sales more efficiently with tangible results. Click here to book a free demo!