Staying top-of-mind is essential to an agent’s success, but it doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive.
Real estate professionals who take their careers seriously know that they need to keep in touch with their past clients.
Actually, I’m going to drop the past from this blog. Serious agents know that once a client, always a client.
So, let’s start again . . .
Real estate professionals who take their careers seriously know that they need to keep in touch with their clients. (That’s much better.)
They know it’s good for business. According to NAR’s 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report:
- An impressive 67% of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home.
- Still a considerable number, 40% of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative and 13% used an agent that they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home.
- A whopping 91% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others, while 89% of sellers are likely to do the same.
Keeping in touch is obviously to your benefit, but so many agents, even the most dedicated, find staying in touch and remaining top-of-mind challenging.
The challenge for agents who want to keep in touch with clients.
To keep in touch takes effort and precious time, and, as much as agents may regret it, even the best find that their energy and time get sucked up by other tasks. With all the demands they need to meet in a measly 24 hours, it can be an uphill battle.
Even when agents do have the time, coming up with something to say can also present its own challenges. Other than providing a lead magnet or market update, which not everyone is in a position to want or need at the time they’re sent, having something worthwhile to share can be a struggle.
Some agents hire a content creator and/or provider to help. It’s not a bad idea, except these services can take a substantial chunk of your budget without necessarily providing content that’s relevant to your clients or even good.
And then you’ve got the job of distributing the content.
Agents can opt to use an email marketing service like Constant Contact or MailChimp, but these are only software tools—they don’t provide content. This means in addition to learning how to use yet another software tool, you still need to write the content yourself or hire a content creator and/or provider as mentioned above.
In a minute I’ll talk about some time-saving and affordable options that you can use to keep top-of-mind with clients. But first, let me share with you something that many agents and other service professionals do to keep in touch that definitely is not to your benefit.
Do. Or do not. There is no try.
As busy as real estate agents may be, there are still those who try to stay in touch with their clients. The problem is these efforts can cause more harm than good, and remind me of Master Yoda’s scolding of the young Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movie: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
Take, for example, the agent who sends an annual holiday card. In the worst-case scenario, the card is often preprinted with an impersonal message and may not even include a signature.
My agent isn’t like others, but I’ve received cards like these from my insurance companies, bank, financial planner, and a few other service providers, and guess what? They go straight into the garbage can.
I’m sure similar cards you receive experience the same fate.
I’d rather these people not send me anything at all than an impersonal card once a year because they “want to keep in touch.”
Well no, they don’t. They know it, and I know it.
If anything, they want to keep in touch for future opportunities they hope I’ll provide or business referrals I might send their way.
It feels incredibly insincere. They’d be better off saving the stamp.
It’s like they’ve totally forgotten why they should keep in touch in the first place.
The real reason why you need to keep in touch with clients.
Two important reasons for keeping in touch with clients are the referrals and repeat business you hope to garner from your effort.
But let’s take a step back for a moment.
The reason why some agents send a card once a year is to garner referrals and repeat business, but do they really expect it’s their clients’ reason for providing them?
Of course not.
A client will only continue to do business with you and will only consider taking the risk of referring you to family and friends if they trust you. And the only way to earn someone’s trust is to build a relationship with them.
Consequently, the real reason to keep in touch with your clients is to build, nurture, and strengthen relationships on which they will base their trust.
The best way to keep in touch with your clients, build strong relationships, and earn their trust is with a super simple, 3-part strategy called F.I.T. marketing.
F.I.T. marketing: How you build relationships with your clients, earn trust, and reap the rewards.
F.I.T. is an acronym describing a marketing strategy:
- Frequent: Your clients receive marketing materials from you frequently and with regularity.
- Impact: The marketing you send makes an impact because it provides your clients with value.
- Trust: Frequent marketing that offers value breeds trust among your clients.
Let me unpack this a bit for you.
Frequent exposure to the unfamiliar creates familiarity.
The more often a client sees your branding the more familiar you become, and familiarity makes it easier for clients to trust you. Think about it this way . . .
A stranger is someone with whom you are completely unfamiliar. You don’t know anything about them, and while you haven’t been given a reason to distrust them, you also haven’t been given a reason to trust them either. Instinctively, we err on the side of caution and treat them with suspicion.
However, once we’ve seen this person several times, we become less wary. We may start to greet them as we pass. As time moves on, you become increasingly comfortable and may engage them in conversation.
After a few conversations during which you get to know one another, the former stranger may invite you for coffee. You gladly accept and a relationship starts to grow.
The same evolutionary process occurs between potential clients and businesses. The more visible you are, the more familiar you become, and the more trust you create.
And while I have no direct evidence, I would venture to say the process occurs especially between potential clients and real estate brokerages because the business is represented by a real person—the agent—and not an anonymous corporate address.
Value creates an impact by making a lasting impression.
The lame holiday card I talked about above certainly made an impression—a bad one. The card held no value for me, so I tossed it without a second thought.
Most direct mail marketing suffers the same end. In 2018, The Washington Post reported a New York University study that found 5.6 million tons of junk mail ends up in our landfills every year. What an incredible waste!
But not all direct mail marketing is created equal. When done correctly:
- Direct mail open rates can reach up to 90%.
- Direct mail response rates can be up to 9x higher than any other advertising channel, including email.
- Direct mail is able to entice 39%of consumers to try a business for the first time.
- Direct mail offers a 29% return on investment.
Direct mail that delivers value creates an impact—if only because it is so rare. But more than that, direct mail that is educational, entertaining, and/or endearing offers value and creates impact because it is useful and relevant to your clients.
Educational content will be interesting and new to your clients and prospective clients. Entertaining content will be fun and enjoyable. Endearing content generates goodwill and feelings in your favor.
Trust is the result of frequent contact that delivers value.
I’d be doing a disservice to you if I didn’t make obvious three assumptions about frequency and value.
First, what you send to your clients and prospective clients will be perceived as a reflection of you and your business. Therefore, make sure it’s of the highest quality. It should be visually attractive, clearly printed, and on good paper.
You can frequently send junk, but it won’t build trust.
Second, your contact with clients and prospective clients needs to be consistent. Especially in real estate, where there may be years between a single client’s transactions, you need to be remembered.
The same is true for referrals. You want to be top-of-mind so that when someone asks if your clients know a good agent, your name is the first (and only) one they think of.
Finally, your relationship with clients and prospective clients must be based on something more than transactions.
If all you do is send advertisement after advertisement hocking your services, then the people in your sphere will back away from rather than toward a relationship with you. They’ll come to expect that you’re only in touch because you want something from them. The best relationships are created when you give without expectation of anything in return.
We can help make your marketing F.I.T. without it being complicated, time-consuming, or expensive.
If you’re interested in exploring options for your marketing, we have a suite of the highest quality F.I.T. marketing materials to select from that best suit your needs.
All our products are personally branded with your photo and contact information. Delivery is included and automated, which means you never have to worry about forgetting to send the right information, to the write people, at the right time. It’s also exclusive to your list of recipients. No one else can mail to your list of addresses.
I absolutely love Reminder Media! The Magazine is exceptional! It really gives an upscale feel to my brand. I have gotten great feedback from my clients and I got a listing lead due to top of mind! Aaron has been amazing! He gives great advice and assists me whenever I need help! Thanks for providing such a quality product and great staff to make the experience even better! ~ Debbie Brake Stoppa, Keller Williams, Portland West
American Lifestyle: A 48-page, bi-monthly professional publication full of beautiful, glossy photos and engaging articles about travel, food, design, leisure, and more. The high quality content and beautiful design of this magazine ensure that every issue is not only read, but also shared and displayed. And because we’ve spent 17 years perfecting our in-house, end-to-end process, each issue is less than the price of a greeting card.
Start Healthy. Boasting the same quality and appeal of American Lifestyle, the content in Start Healthy appeals to the health conscious reader and emphasizes healthy eating, exercise, and mindfulness.
Digital Marketing Platform. With three incredible digital marketing tools in one, you can have gorgeous premade emails and social media marketing delivered to your clients and prospects all year long and on autopilot. It’s a true set-it-and-forget-it tool that allows you to set up an entire year’s worth of marketing in just a few minutes.
Whether you select us for your marketing needs or someone else, be sure to evaluate before you buy. Remember to ask:
- Is it Frequent? For relationships to grow, strengthen, and last, you need to be in consistent contact with your clients. A holiday card once or twice a year isn’t nearly enough to keep you top-of-mind. You need to get and stay in front of your ideal clients.
- Does it make an Impact? This is where the quality and value of your marketing becomes important. You’re looking to capture attention and engage your clients and prospects. The best way to do that is to ensure you deliver information that is educational, entertaining, and/or endearing because only then will the people in your sphere consider it useful and relevant to their needs and interests.
- Does it build Trust? Psychologically, the more your marketing works to make you a familiar face, the more confident people feel toward you. The more your marketing provides quality and value, the more likely it is that they will welcome it into their homes. And the more you focus on building a relationship with your clients, rather than being solely concerned with the next transaction, the more they will trust you.