Build Client Relationships That Last A Lifetime
Strong relationships are the foundation of a strong business. And, the most important relationships are the ones you establish with clients. You can have an airtight budget, a CV process that gets you great administrative support, and have the best social media strategies around—but if clients don’t enjoy working with you, your business has no business being in business (and won’t be in business long).
Of course, not every client’s journey will be smooth. But building a solid relationship with them will help them trust you and lean on you for support. And, while there is advice we can (and will) give you to help you with these relationships, the core of it all is simple:
If you genuinely care about your clients above all else, you will succeed.
Don’t make your willingness to provide your best service conditional or commission focused. A Michigan agent put it best in a recent interview with our team when she said her help and friendship is not based on how much money she can potentially make, but on how much positivity she can potentially bring into someone’s life. Putting people before a transaction will never land you in a bad spot.
Once you have a service mindset guiding you, you can create relationships that will sustain your business long-term. Here’s how you do that.
Set Your Standards & Provide The Right Value
When someone who was once a lead or a contact becomes a client, there is a framework for your relationship: your client will have an expectation of service and you’ll have a commitment to providing value.
You can only provide the right value when you know what your client needs. This is why you should figure out what exactly your client is looking for as early as you can. Talk to your client; ask them questions and actually listen to their answers.
Why are they needing your help? What features in a property are must-haves and what would just be nice? Is there anything else that you can do, outside of real estate, to help them with this transition?
If you don’t ask these questions, you may try to give value to people who don’t actually find that particular kind of help valuable. You’ll also end up prolonging the transaction, because the options you provide aren’t focusing on the client’s actual desires. Instead, focus on pairing the right value with the right client needs. hosts downsizing seminars for those who are moving into retirement or who have had kids recently move out of their home. On top of providing an opportunity to learn about how to navigate this transitional period, he also offers moving and decluttering services. For the right person, his services are the total package. For the right person, he provides exceptional value.
Once your client’s needs are established, you can figure out how to help them meet those needs and provide exceptional value. Commit to providing this high-level of service, and then follow through.
Show Up & Stay Honest
Once you have committed to providing the value that your client needs, it’s up to you to be consistent and meet the standards that you set for yourself. This includes showing up (on time and prepared) and putting in the necessary work to get the job done, no matter how difficult it gets. Following through like this builds trust.
Part of building and keeping your client’s trust is establishing an open line of communication and remaining honest. This means telling them the good news and the bad news.
We recently interviewed a now-successful Upstate New York agent who told us that when she was first starting out, she had accidentally run an incorrect comparative market analysis for potential clients. She failed to take into consideration their enormous acreage that the rest of the houses in the neighborhood lacked. Instead of burying her head in the sand, she reran the analysis, gave them the correct version, and owned up to her mistake. They ended up hiring her later, because admitting her misstep and working to correct it showed that she was honest. It made her trustworthy.
Delivering bad news is never fun or easy, but being honest with your clients and and guiding them throughout the ups and downs of their journey will only strengthen their trust in you in the long run.
Provide the best service you possibly can. Show up and meet the standards you set for yourself, focus on communication, and be honest with your clients. The strong relationship you build will not only reward you in the short-term with a successful transaction, but it also hopefully provide you with a raving fan and repeat client and referrals. When people receive exceptional service, they want to talk about it.
Keep Up & Provide Service for Life
Across all industries, referrals are considered the most cost-effective means to building a massive business. And in real estate, the majority your clients actually want to keep working with you.
Info from: The National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
The key to keeping these clients and earning repeat business means that you actually have to be there for them when they need you. Only, you don’t exactly know when that will be. So, you have to keep your relationship strong.
Building life-long relationships comes down to three things:
- Provide good service on the front-end.
- Maintain a permission-based relationship.
- Offer lasting value.
Because you’ve already provided excellent service, it’s now time to keep up with your relationships, and you should use a system that does the hard parts of this for you.
No doubt you have a database that runs like a well-oiled machine. As you finish your transaction, ask your clients for permission to keep in touch with them. Put everything you’ve learned about your clients into your database or revisit their existing entries in your database and make sure the information is updated.
Once you have this permission, how you choose to provide continued and lasting value is up to you. Your system may provide past clients with vendor discounts, swag, home value updates, or an informative and inspirational newsletter. It may help you keep up with important dates you want to acknowledge or events you want to attend in your clients’ lives.
When you build and maintain these strong relationships with clients, you are not only making people’s lives better and their real estate journey easier, you are also sustaining your business for a lifetime. The fortune is in the follow up.
What are some experiences you’ve had that have made your agent-client relationships special? Share with us on our KellerINK Facebook page. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more articles and research between blog posts.