How to Turn a Long-Ago Client Into a New Real Estate Referral Source

How to Turn a Long-Ago Client Into a New Real Estate Referral Source

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April 19, 2022
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Darcia Armstrong
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Education & Best Practices

Remember that client you worked with five years ago?

If you’re having difficulty conjuring up that memory, it may be because you’ve lost contact. Perhaps you were diligent in staying in touch for the first few months after the transaction but then got busy. Before you knew it, years went by without you calling or emailing to say hello.

In today’s fast-paced real estate world, it’s a forgivable mistake. The good news is, you can set things right, even after years of no contact.

Why would you want to do that?

As we’ve highlighted many times in this real estate marketing blog, the average homeowner gets the opportunity to recommend an agent two to three times a year. Over five years, that’s potentially 10 to 15 real estate referrals (representing up to 30 transactions.) According to research by the National Association of Realtors, referrals remain the primary way people find agents, especially among millennials.

However, you won’t get many of those referrals — and possibly none — if you don’t stay in touch regularly with previous clients and continue to build those relationships.

That’s why a real estate marketing system focused on client referrals is so advantageous. It automates connecting with past clients each month, so they come to see you as their go-to agent… the agent worthy of real estate referrals and repeats.

So how do you re-engage with previous clients you haven’t contacted for a while?

The first step is to review your records. Refresh your memory of the details of the transaction. Was the client happy with the work you did for them? Also, update their contact details. Social media might be helpful for this.

The next step is to contact them. You might feel awkward because you haven’t spoken with the client for years. That’s normal. Just keep in mind the rewards. A past client can be a lucrative source of real estate referrals.

If possible, phone or visit them. Merely sending an email to say, “It’s been a while,” isn’t going to cut it. You want to speak with the client in person. Yes, you might need to email first to set that up, but your goal should be getting into a conversation.

When you do chat, begin by apologizing for not staying in touch. Say something like, “Tom, I pride myself on being there for my clients before, during and after the transaction. And while I’ve always been there for you if you had questions or needed advice, I should have been more proactive in staying in touch.”

Finally, offer to mail the client a value-packed real estate newsletter each month, featuring market updates, helpful tips, and how-to articles. (A real estate newsletter like this one, used by thousands of successful agents.) Be sure to bring a copy along, so your client can see the value firsthand. If your meeting is online or by phone, drop off a sample copy of your real estate newsletter soon after.

As you can see, reconnecting doesn’t take much time. And the rewards are a potential new real estate referral source.

Once you get back in touch, don’t forget to stay in touch! An automated, done-for-you real estate marketing system is the best way to do that.

Referrals | Previous clients | Referral source | Real Estate Marketing | Real estate marketing system
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