3 Ways to Use a Real Estate CRM to Generate Referrals and Repeat Business
It costs five times as much money, time, and energy to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one. A loyal client can flow a wealth of referrals and repeat business your way – but only if you continue to keep in touch with them, provide value, and build and maintain a long-term relationship.
To generate a steady stream of referrals and repeat business, a real estate CRM is a must. And you need to leverage the CRM to accomplish three key things:
1. Provide a memorable, top-notch experience.
You need to “wow” your clients at every opportunity. This involves consistent, thorough communication (under-communication by their REALTOR® is a primary concern for a lot of clients), providing regular service reports, and offering value, every step of the way. Your real estate CRM will help you compile service reports to give to your clients and assign Activity Plans to them so no detail falls through the cracks when listing and closing a home.
2. Get past clients to keep in touch with you.
There are a number of things you can do to spark clients to keep in touch with you so you stay “top of mind” and continue building important relationships. Here are some ideas:
- Send a monthly real estate newsletter or enewsletter filled with useful and interesting information, such as how to assess the value of one’s home, tips for remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, etc. You’ll find that your clients will often reply to your e-Newsletter or give you a call to ask some follow-up questions, which is great for relationship-building, but could also easily lead to a referral or a new listing. A good real estate CRM will come with a professionally written and designed monthly e-Newsletter, complete and ready to send.
- Run a referral appreciation program (if your board allows it). Perhaps offer something like a gift certificate for any lead or referral a client sends your way (along with a real estate thank you card, of course).
- Connect on social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. This is a great way to have a casual, two-way conversation with your past clients on a daily or weekly basis.
3. Develop a strategy to stay in touch with past clients.
Be sure to engage your past clients regularly in order to maintain that top of mind awareness, which is instrumental to getting referrals and repeat business. I recommend taking a multi-channel communications/ keep in touch approach. Here’s what you can do:
- Assign your clients to drip marketing campaigns. These are pre-designed real estate marketing campaigns in your CRM; a series of emails that get sent automatically at set time intervals. Each email in these campaigns are designed with relationship-building in mind; they’ll add value to your clients by providing them with great information or ask them key questions to trigger them to pick up the phone and call you.
- Send your clients a monthly enewsletter, as discussed earlier in the article. Don’t underestimate the importance of this powerful business-building tool.
- Leverage your real estate CRM’s built-in Business Directory to recommend reputable home professionals like plumbers, painters, and interior designers. This is a great value-add and just like your e-Newsletter, acts as an incentive for your clients to reach out to you in between transactions.
- Send your clients direct mail pieces, as direct mail can be very impactful and effective if done right. Your CRM can help here as it’ll automatically create mail merge letters and labels for you. Or, if you prefer a company to take care of creating and sending your direct mail, I recommend Morris Real Estate Marketing Group. They’ve been working with Realtors for over twenty years.
- Make quarterly keep-in-touch calls to your “A-List.” Your A-List could be those who have given you the most referrals over the years or have done the most business with you. Losing an A-List client could mean tens of thousands of dollars lost over the course of your career.
- Host client appreciation events, housewarming parties, and/or home expert seminars. In addition to these events being a great source of new real estate leads, they’re powerful loyalty builders. I also recommend taking your best clients for lunch every now and then.
- Wish your clients a Happy Birthday and happy home-purchase anniversary date when the time comes. Your real estate database will automatically remind you when these dates arise.
Mastering effective relationship marketing is key to generating a consistent flow of referrals and repeat business. Make sure you’re effectively using your real estate CRM to help you with your relationship and business-building efforts. In order to ensure long-term success with the software, the CRM you use should do everything I’ve discussed in this article and be easy to learn, use, and navigate through.