January 27, 2016

8 Steps for Nurturing Relationships with your Buyers


If you've ever worked with people buying or selling a home, you know that a lot more goes into it than just following up on someone's interest in a listing. You're working towards establishing a long term, if not lifetime, relationship with your clients. And we all know that cannot be achieved through a quick email or phone call before or after the fact.

So, what can you do?

Design a specific nurture cadence for the buying cycle where you can place your clients and begin the process of reaching out to them and keeping top of mind in a strategic way. Having some type of automated flow will help ensure that no one slips through the cracks, and you have a scalable, personalized way to keep in touch with your most important relationships. Once you've designed those programs, you can break down your current and past clients based on where they are in the cycle and then begin the program. But don't worry, we'll guide you through it.

Go beyond the follow-up email

There's more to it than the generic thank you email template when it comes to nurturing a genuine relationship, because if you're looking to receive a response, chances are the basic email won't elicit one. Often times it can take up to 7 follow-up emails just to get that crucial first response. But the point of this is to set you up with a program that goes beyond sending all those redundant emails and instead establish a longterm relationships with your clients. Whether you utilize a CRM or not, you can create a schedule for reaching out at these intervals and ensure a more productive relationship with your clients.

[caption id="attachment_6878" align="aligncenter" width="522"] via Yesware[/caption]

The Buyer Cycle:

So you've just sold someone (let's say a couple buying their first home) a house. What's your next step? There's some data out there about the 5 year rule for home buying, and other people say it's about 7 years after a home purchase that people start to itch to buy another property. Are you ready to set yourself up for a 5 to 7 year relationship with your clients? Before you get there, you need to make yourself an integral part of their first year in a new home and they'll remember you for a long time to come.

1. Move-In Message

One week after their move in date, shoot over a thank you email and check in on how they're settling into the new home. Send over some recommendations for local restaurants and go-to places...do your research with these and show off your local knowledge. Connect with them on social media, whether that be LinkedIn or inviting them to like your business page on Facebook, where they can find all those great real estate related articles you share!

2. Quick Coffee Date

One month after they've moved in, reach out with a quick text and ask them to grab coffee with you. Be sure to recommend a few local coffee shops in their neighborhood where you can meet them and help to celebrate their first month in their new home!

3. Ask for a referral

While you're still top-of-mind in a positive way, send an email within a week of your coffee date and make an ask of them. Ask for a client referral, a quick write up of a testimonial, or ask if they'll take the time to rate your profile on a site like Zillow.

4. Send a helpful article

First time home buyers are eager to learn as much as they can about the market, so take the time to reach out two months after move-in, with a helpful article or two on how to best maintain home values.

5. Connect with others

Know someone else in the local neighborhood? After about 3 months in their home, your clients are probably looking to branch out. Connect the couple with some other folks you know in the area. This not only sets you up for creating a meaningful relationship between your clients but it's a great way to establish yourself among your clients as someone who knows the neighborhood well and could become a good resource for when they're ready to make a referral to a friend!

6. Six month anniversary

Six months in a new home deserves at least a card! If you're feeling creative, put together a basket of items and household goods that often get forgotten but almost always are useful to have. Cleaning items, a tool kit, or even a basket of locally made foods and goods can be the best 6 month anniversary gift for your clients.

7. Send holiday cards in the meantime

Any holidays that may fall in between your points of contact are always a great time to send a card or gift. What's better than getting mail in your new home? Be sure to personalize it and send a quick message along as well, because even if you love getting mail in your new home, there's nothing worse than a mailbox filled with generic 'spam' letters without a stitch of personalization!

8. A full year

The year mark. Now this deserves celebration! Send over a bottle of champagne and if it's possible, 'pop' by in person to deliver it to them.

Don't say goodbye yet

Why go through all this trouble? Real estate agents predict that 49% of their client leads will come from referrals in 2016. That's just about half of all client leads for the entire year...and how will you get those referrals if you're not staying top of mind with your past clients? We believe that in order to make an ask of your network, you need to give them something of value first. If you're going to request that they refer you to their friends or others looking for a real estate agent, what will you give them in return?

The Contactually Mindshare Model

Your job of keeping in touch with these clients isn't done after you settle them into their first year in the new home, if anything you need to be sure to remain in contact with them long after that big anniversary. Don't limit yourself to just sending out your monthly email newsletter. Make each of your clients feel like you're personally reaching out them and offer them something of value. Shoot over a quick text and ask if they're interested in knowing what their home's value currently is, or keep in touch by sending any articles or updates you come across that pertains to their new neighborhood.

The key of our mindshare model is reaching out to your contacts in useful ways in a timely manner that allows you to add value to your relationship, while at the same time ensuring that you remain top-of-mind for those instances when you need to make an ask of them. If you already apply this to your personal contacts, why not go ahead and try it out with your relationships with past buyer clients?