“Think about your business as if 100% of its success depends on your past clients feeling appreciated—because it does!”

That’s what I said in a recent conversation with Jodi, a 13-year real estate veteran, as she exposed a vulnerability in her business that many real estate professionals fall victim to. Not staying in touch with past clients.

Jodi has built her business to over 55 sides a year by prospecting FSBOs and expired listings. Her frustration is that her business has fallen off by 20% year over year, and she is not getting the number of referrals from past clients that she should be at this stage in her career. Why? Her clients weren’t feeling appreciated.

Working as a Real Estate Coach for the past 10 years, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of top-producing real estate agents. This has allowed me to collect the most effective, affordable, and creative ways to make your clients feel special so you can close more deals.

Here are the top 10 things my top-producing coaching clients do to make their clients feel appreciated:

1. Give Them a Coffee Mug; It Could Be Worth $500,000

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

This little technique is right off the pages of my personal playbook! When you are out showing homes and you drive by your client’s home or workplace, pull in and say a quick hello. Deliver them a friendly smile and a coffee mug with candy as a gift. This technique led me to an introduction to a bank asset manager who, over the next two years, turned into over $500,000 in referred business to my brokerage!

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Once the social distancing rules relax, go to your local dollar store and pick out 20 attractive and colorful (I like to match my brand colors) coffee mugs and a couple bags of hard candy (chocolate melts in your car). Fill the coffee mugs with the candy and place your business card inside. Load a small box with 15 to 20 candy-filled mugs and keep them in your car.

Set a goal to hand out all 20 mugs each week. The total cost for 20 coffee mug gifts with candy is less than $30! Ready to step it up? Order custom mugs, with your logo, for as little as $3 each.

Pro Tip: All the small things add up! Join our weekly small virtual coaching calls to learn how to create the best experience for your clients hosted by real estate coaches Sean Moudry and Chris Linsell. Learn more here.

2. Always Use Your Clients Name When They Call

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

One of my pet peeves is when I call someone who I know has my number and they don’t greet me by name. In my real estate brokerage, we required our team to answer the phone by addressing the caller by name. “Thank you for calling (Company or Team Name). Hello Steve, how may I help you?” This simple touch makes the client feel like they are part of the team.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Many phone systems today, like Mojosells.com, can connect your phones with your customer relationship management (CRM) software to identify callers from your database, even when you’re on your cell phone! Remember to coach your staff how to answer the phone.

3. Build & Manage a Custom Friends List on Facebook

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

The average American spends over two hours each day on social media. While everyone agrees that engaging with your clients on social media can be a great way to stay top of mind, most agents simply don’t have the time to constantly scan their social media accounts for opportunities to do it.

Real estate social media guru Justin Nelson has a clever way to make sure you never miss an engagement opportunity from your clients.

You have heard of Facebook Groups, but have you heard of Custom Friends Lists? Facebook allows you to sort your friends into custom lists. This is different from a Group. When you create a Group, everyone in the Group will see each other. In a Custom List, your Friends cannot see that they are on a specific list. This is a powerful tool to allow you to quickly review your clients’ posts or post a specific message just to them.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Go to your Facebook page and click on your Friends List. Scroll to one of your past clients and hover the mouse over the “Friends” button. This will drop down a menu, and click on “Add to Another List.” Then click on “+ New List” and create a list named “Past Client.” Now take the time to add all your past clients to this list.

With all your past clients added to your new list, go back to your Facebook Page. On the left column, under “Explore,” click on “Friend Lists.” This will create a custom news feed with only the people on your list. Now you can quickly like, heart, and comment on their posts!

Pro tip: When posting you can also post directly to the list.

Pro Tip: Make Sure Your Facebook Profile Looks as Professional & Attractive as Possible

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

If your Facebook profile is looking a little drab, now is a great time to hire a designer on Fiverr to help spruce it up for just $5. You can get a shiny new banner image designed, Photoshop your headshot, find a copywriter, and so on. Looking your best is more important today than ever before. Investing $5 can pay huge dividends down the road when things go back to normal.

Visit Fiverr

4. Refer Them & They May Refer You

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

Successful real estate agents want nothing more than clients to refer them when the opportunity arises. Yet, do we do the same for them?

Legendary agent April Carlton, from Arvada Colorado, produces a four-page newsletter that has gone out every month for the past 20 years, like clockwork. Turn to the back page and you will find a list of Carpet Cleaners, Contractors, Financial Planners, and Landscapers that are all April’s loyal clients. April believes that “If you want people to support you, you need to support them first.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Call your past clients and share with them that you are excited about the opportunity to support their local business. You will support them by promoting their business and referring them to others when the opportunity arises.

Create a Referral List of your clients’ businesses and promote it by adding it to your listing presentation, website, print, and e-newsletter. When your clients see that you are committed to supporting their business, they will be committed to supporting yours.

5. Mail Them Delicious Baked Goods

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

Top-producing Keller Williams Agent Lisa Ray Bernstein shared her little secret with me. After her first meeting with a buyer or seller, she sends them brownies through an online distributor, like Send Out Cards or Cheryls.com.

Lisa says the brownies make her stand out when she is competing for a listing. Additionally, when the buyer or seller is under contract, they get lemon bars! Lisa says she spends less than $9 on each item, including delivery.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Think about your client experience from the moment they first contact you, throughout the transaction, and well after the closing. Next, write down five client touch points that will give you an opportunity to send out baked goods or a small gift this month.

Visit LoveLeadGen.com for a step-by-step tutorial and an example of a Customer Experience Plan.

6. Create a Client Testimonial Book

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

Peter R, the number one agent in my very successful real estate office, shared with me, early in my career, a technique to remember all of your clients and how to show them that you actually think of them.

Sitting in his office talking about best real estate practices, Peter reached under his desk. Grunting a bit, he lifted up an extra-large, three-ring binder. The well-worn, three-ring binder was stuffed to the point of exploding with pages and pages of photos of houses and photos of the clients who bought and sold them. Each page featured the clients’ names, closing dates, and testimonials.

Peter explained that, after 30 years in real estate, this book helps him keep his focus on his “why”—his clients! This simple solution helps remind Peter of the homes he sold and his clients’ faces. Peter also brings the loaded binder to every new appointment to share the testimonials and happy faces of the hundreds of families he has helped throughout his career.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

CRMs (customer relationship management systems) are great, but they don’t convey the emotion like flipping through an old photo album does. Your Client Testimonial Book is designed to provoke emotion in both you and your clients.

K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple Stupid! If you make it difficult, it won’t get done.

  1. Start with a large three-ring binder.
  2. Print out your past buyers’ and sellers’ MLS sheets and photos of them from their Facebook Page. Add them to your book.
  3. Ask each of them for a testimonial to add to your pages.
  4. Remember to bring your Client Testimonial Book to each appointment to show them that you care!

7. Trade Your Client Appreciation Party for Social Happy Hours

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

Due to the current health crisis, you may need to wait a few months before exercising this tried-and-true technique. We have all had the experience of throwing an event or expensive Client Appreciation Party and due to unforeseen circumstances, we get a less than optimal turnout. Replace your Client Appreciation Party with Social Happy Hours! Total cost for a few drinks and appetizers for 10 people—under $200! If you don’t drink, do an ice cream social or chocolate tasting.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Once the social distancing rules are relaxed in the coming months, contact your local brewery and tell them that you are hosting a group of 10 on an upcoming Tuesday evening. Then call—yes, call—40 to 50 clients from your database and say “I am having a Social Happy Hour next Tuesday at XYZ Brewery, and I would love to see you if you can stop by.”

Calling 40 to 50 clients will result in eight to 10 that will show for your Social Happy Hour. I know what you’re thinking: “Only eight to 10?” “What about the rest?” “They will think I’m not popular.” The key to this technique is that you called 40 to 50 people and invited them. Just the invite will make them feel special! For the ones who show up, just tell them that you only invited a few clients so you have time to talk to each one of them one-on-one.

8. Just Pick Up the Phone & Call Them!

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

A simple call is all your clients need to feel thought of. Our challenge is what reason do we have for calling? We know we should be asking for referrals, yet only calling to ask for referrals will make your client feel more like the prize cow than a cared-for customer.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

You just need to pick up the phone and start calling. Here are five reasons to start calling your clients again:

1. A recent news article that you think is important to your client. Share with your clients your thoughts on these topics and why you felt it may be of interest to them.

“Hello _______, It is _______… The reason I am calling today is to let you know about some important information regarding your home…” Don’t feel the need to make it just about coronavirus. This can be about positive community news, home maintenance, or even interest rates.

2. Something you saw on their social media. Social media sites are a wealth of information about what is going on in your clients’ lives. Babies, birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries are all outstanding reasons to call and congratulate your past clients.

3. Market updates. “Hello _______, It is _______… I am calling today to give you an update on the (location) real estate market… This is one of the services I provide to my customers.”

4. Birthdays and anniversaries. Keep it quick and simple, warm and friendly—just like you’re calling an old friend.

5. Real estate investment opportunities. “Hello _______, It is _______… I am calling you today because I came across a great real estate investment opportunity…” (Pause, allow them to ask what the opportunity is.)

State the opportunity: “I came across an investment property in (location) that will cash flow ____ a month. Who do you know that would be interested in an investment property like this?”

We all see opportunities that remind us of someone we can call. Don’t overthink it—just make the call! Zero cost.

9. Create a Private V.I.P. Facebook Group

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week
Image via Agent of Excellence

Everyone feels special when they are treated to an exclusive V.I.P. experience. Monica Shea, founder of The Agent of Excellence, a designation that teaches agents how to offer a Disney-level experience, has a Private V.I.P. Facebook Group just for her past clients, where she offers exclusive client perks like hockey tickets, invites to client events, and just warm and fuzzy communication. With over $40 million in sales volume, this technique must be working.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Begin by setting up a Facebook Group, name it something special, like “John’s Real Estate Insiders.” Be sure to write a clear description of what the members can expect. “This is a group of John Baker’s very special clients. Here you will be treated to V.I.P. events and discounts to local companies.” Lastly, make an effort to personally invite each one of your clients with a personal Facebook Message, hand-written card, or a friendly call.

10. Invite Your Clients Over for an Intimate Dinner Party When Things Go Back to Normal

Make Your Clients Feel Appreciated This Week

Here’s another great tip you can use when social distancing rules start to relax.

When Vivi Gloriod, with Team Vivi, entered real estate, she was clear that she would build her business one client at a time. What she didn’t expect was how fast her business would grow!

As a panelist on a Top Producer Mastermind, Vivi revealed that when she started her real estate career, she didn’t have money to take potential clients to lunches. But Vivi had something special she could offer—she can cook! Vivi decided to invite potential clients to her house and cook them dinner. Today, her business generates over a half a million in commission income, and the only active “lead generation” she does, still today, is the dinner parties at her house.

How You Can Start Using This Strategy Today

Plan ahead by selecting one or two evenings each month that you will host your dinner party. You will only need 10 to 15 days to plan each party. When inviting clients, mix your close relationships with your distant relationships; this will allow your raving fans to warm up your colder clients. Try not to overthink this; if you are not an outstanding cook, then you can hire a caterer for around $17 to $25 a person. Remember, the goal is to show them that you truly do care for them, not that you’re Guy Fieri!

Bottom Line

  • Remember, making each client feel appreciated is vital to your business!
  • Preparation is key to your success.
  • Take the time to write out two to three things that you WILL do in the next 30 days to let your clients know you care.
  • Keep your costs low; expensive events and gifts don’t get repeated!
  • When it comes to client interaction, frequency is more important than quality.
  • They desire your attention as much as or more than you desire their referrals.
  • When they know you are thinking of them, they will think of you!

Over to You

What did you think of our 10 ways to make clients feel appreciated? Know a great way that we forgot? Let us know in the comments below.

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