Nichole Odijk DeMario is a freelance writer for REALTOR® Magazine.
4 Ways to Keep a Client
Cold calling, referrals, social media—how you make that initial contact with a potential client is one thing, but how you convert those leads is another matter. Professionals share their tips for turning leads into prospects, clients, and eventually future referral sources.
March 1, 2012
Respond—fast. You’ve heard it before, but Winter Baserva, broker-associate with Season Realty Group of Solid Source Realty Inc. in Atlanta, says many agents simply don’t respond to inquiries. “When I simply pick up my phone, callers will say, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re the fifth agent I’ve called and the first one to pick up your phone. I like you already,’ ” Baserva says. “You will knock out your competition simply by showing people that you are there to serve.”
Connect with personalized communication. Mailings, e-mail, texts, and phone calls are integral to the practice of real estate sales. But Karen Parsons-Fiddler, broker-associate with eVantage Real Estate in Mission Viejo, Calif., works personal notes and face-to-face meetings into the mix. Her strategy is to communicate in the same manner that clients have used to reach out to her: A handwritten note gets a handwritten reply.
Share knowledge. Your expertise is king in gaining and retaining clients, but how you share that knowledge makes all the difference. Jennifer Allan Hagedorn, real estate author and former sales associate in the Denver area, emphasizes going beyond acquiring facts and figures. Determine how to best share knowledge with a client conversationally. “Don’t hold back—give, give, give information,” Allan Hagedorn says. “Don’t worry that someone will take your information and run. The more you give, the more you’ll get. I promise.”
Think long term. Martin Kalisker, broker-owner of Weichert, REALTORS®, Synergy in Wellesley Hills, Mass., says you won’t successfully convert leads on a regular basis if you’re focused on short-term results. “Lead management is a marathon, not a race,” he says. At least once a year, each person in his database receives a personalized note or call.