- Growing a long term client base is the key of operations in every business whose job highly depends on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- The way to get referrals from your clients and have strong relationship with them, you need to build trust and go the extra yard.
- Find out what we mean by that in the property sector and implement the tactics to secure a long term client base.
Growing a long-term client base in the property business is similar to that of most forms of service based business. Quite simply put, it is cultivated by providing great service that is over and above what the client would expect.
In my opinion with property, it all starts with being genuinely focused on the client's goals. Their goals may be different with what you would do or even what you would recommend, but remember that you are not selling yourself your own services, the client is using your services to achieve what they want.
Play the long game
In property and, I am sure across nearly every business, everyone wants everything to be done yesterday, but at the end of the day, it’s the final result and service along the way that matters so it’s important to play the long game. An example of going the long game is advising a client that maybe now is not the best time to sell if it would not suit their circumstances. For example, if the owner would need to renovate to sell their property, but by doing so, it would disrupt one of their children’s school exams. Another way of playing the long game is not asking an owner to reduce their price because the property has not sold as quickly as you would like. It’s one thing if the property is overpriced, but earlier this year we sold an apartment in Malvern two months after an auction and for $30,000 more than asking without going the easy road of asking for a price reduction. In this circumstance we had two competing buyers show up the same weekend. It’s just about waiting for the right buyer, and if you are confident in your price, there is essentially no good reason to reduce what figure the owners are asking for.
Trust is key, build it by going the extra yard
This is all critical to developing trust between both parties. In the early stages (and beyond), you are establishing a record of your performance, and it’s critical to go the extra yard. Do something different, provide regular calls even if you don’t have any new news and tell them what proactive thing you will do next. Ask if they need a recommendation for a handyman or a good local restaurant, provide gifts on their sale anniversary, sponsor schools that the client’s children attend, or help with a charity that they support. Whatever it is, be it something that they do not expect, and this is what going the extra yard is all about. This is where loyalty starts and can be maintained for many years to come.
When you have exceeded expectations, you are now in a position to ask for and, hopefully, receive one of the best things an agent can get - a referral. Referrals are the best and most desired forms of clients because you already have a warm introduction by someone that recommends your services, and if you do a great job with them, they will also refer you to the next friend or family member!
Remember square one
If you are new to property, build relationships with potential clients. The more potential clients you can meet, the greater chances you have of connecting with someone that likes what you do and needs your services. When you find someone that gives you a go, be grateful and go back to square one, focus on the client’s goals and exceed expectations.