Relationship Management – Out of Sight, Out of Mind
How does one agent continually grow their business, and every year make significantly more money than the year before (even in down markets), while most other agents struggle with growing both their business and income? The answer is Relationship Management. Consider the following two conclusions that are derived from studies that have recently been conducted by ActiveRain and the National Association of Realtors:
- The majority of people that do business with a realtor or another professional that provided a service are satisfied with the professional that represented them, and would do business with them again in the future. In one study, 94% of the respondents said they would do business with their realtor again.
- In practice, as few as 17% of repeat clients do business with the same agent.
- The time and money it takes to create a new client or relationship is 4-5 times as much as the cost and time it takes to maintain an existing relationship. In other words, if all of your clients were repeat clients, you could make 400%-500% more money than you would if all of your customers were new.
Why do so few buyers and sellers use the same agent? Most agents don’t spend time maintaining relationships with past clients, advocates and their sphere of influence. The perception is that once a sale or purchase of a home is completed, that buyer or seller won’t be in the market to transact more business for another 5-10 years, so why spend more time with them? This is a very short-sighted way of looking at the potential growth of your business. Consider the following:
- Out of sight, out of mind. Even when people like and trust you, as time goes by, they forget about you. You must maintain regular contact with your network every couple of weeks, or 24 times per year.
- The better the communication, the better the results. But you can’t have power lunches with hundreds of past clients and farm area residents, and it’s almost impossible to make thousands of phone calls every month. Saved those touches for the most important people in your sphere.
- It’s also easy in social settings or at events, to be exposed to dozens of people at one time. Social events can be a highly efficient way to stay in front of clients and new prospects alike.
It isn’t difficult however, to stay in contact via direct mail and e-mail communication. Every contact should be seeing your name at least a couple of times each month.
If you don’t maintain regular contact with your past clients, advocates and sphere of influence, you’ll likely to continue to work too much, grinding out with new prospects that don’t know you, resulting in working much harder for a lot less money. This doesn’t even take into consideration the additional business you could be getting from your past clients and people in your sphere of influence who really like and trust you, and find it a pleasure to refer people to you to help you grow your business.