By Chirag Shah
Can you remember what it was like when you bought your first home? Whether you’re moving out of your parents’ house for the first time, buying your first place when getting married, or purchasing a larger home for an expanding family, you are going through an extreme change. For most people, everything they’ve ever known and called “life” is about to become a new adventure. Where they get their morning coffee, go out to eat, go to the gym, where their kids go to school, or how they get to work every day—everything will change.
As true professionals, we take this very seriously and do our best to roll out the red carpet and help our clients feel at home right at the inception of the process. We share how much we know about the area, the best places to go, things to do, and of course the best places to eat. Not to mention the depth of the relationship that is created while being their trusted advisor as they make the largest financial purchase of their lives. We all know that real estate is not the only thing you talk about during the process. Then something happens…the closing!
At this point the daily conversations come to an end. That period where you’re interconnected during one of the most important changes of their lives is over. The new homeowners are busy getting settled into their new home and adjusting to their setting. But it’s not time to let the relationship go. You don’t want the people who’ve worked with you to feel like it’s just another sale.
Follow these three simple steps and you will continue to develop and grow your client relationships for the long term, which you’ve worked so hard to build during the transaction.
Step 1. Understand where your clients are in life.
Understanding who your clients are and what is important to them is the first step. Put them into your CRM and make sure you segment and or group them with other clients who have similar interests. Example, if your clients have small children, what’s important to them is going to be different than two empty-nesters moving to a new area and downsizing their home. Being able to label and segment your database properly is very important to be able to send people information that they value. Think about how much junk you get in your inbox every day that has no relevance to you. Take a moment to realize how that makes you feel about the sender and you will quickly realize investing the time to send your clients information that’s important to them makes all the difference.
Step 2. Create experiences worth sharing.
We all know that feeling when we experience something so exciting that you can’t wait to share it with others. When clients move into a new community, you can share three things with them that will help them remember you and look forward to hearing from you.
- Experiences: What experiences can they have in their new community? What are the exciting places to go, things to do, and the things that make the community unique that you know as the local expert? From street fairs to Halloween parades, Easter egg hunts to pictures with Santa, or business networking events hosted by you…well, you get the idea. Remember this is about understanding your clients’ needs, and taking the time to send things that speak to them and make them feel special. The second benefit is they will share this information with their friends and family who are looking to move to the area as a starting point to learn about the community. When your client brings their kids to a street fair, take pictures, create memories, and post them on social media, they will have you in the back of their mind. You helped them create the experience.
- Explore: Each community has unique places that can create moments in people’s lives. In Westchester County, if a client was moving to Larchmont you would want to share Manor Park with them. The park sites on the Long Island Sound and you can watch the sunset, bring your dog for a walk, go rock climbing, or sit in the gazebo and disconnect from your busy life. As you continue to share with your clients, you will become part of their conversations. This will also give you a great reason to check in and continue to expand the relationship.
- Dine: Who doesn’t love a good meal? Food is a staple everyone can rally around. Partnering with local restaurants and sharing the best places locally is a great way to stay in your clients’ hearts and minds forever. Know the best local coffee spot? Go in, take some pictures, grab a quick quote from the owner, and share with your clients. Partnering with restaurants and doing gift card giveaways through your email list to your social media is a great way to engage with your clients from one platform to another. As you make the commitment to share great places to go in your town you will continue to build your connections and reputation in your community.
Step 3. Content calendars and consistency.
Create a content calendar where you take the time to plan out in advance what you are going to send your clients. Think about the journey of your client and how each touch point will impact them. Think about the season and time of the year specific things will automatically fit into their plans. Anything done well is done with consistency.
Being the local expert and someone’s “go to” agent is created through interactions and experiences with you. Look to provide your clients with experiences that will bring them joy, smiles, and happiness. Check in, don’t be a stranger, and keep being the person they trusted with one of the most important decisions of their lives.
Chirag Shah is the director of training and coaching in Westchester, N.Y., and Connecticut for Compass. An active agent for more than a decade, his speaking, coaching, and training career has been fueled by understanding and connecting with agents in a language that speaks to them. Learn more at compass.com.