Categories: Editorial Insider

Real Estate Client Retention: 3 Strategies for Keeping Past Clients on Your Roster

By Josh McGrath, Broker/Owner Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Central

1. Make it personal

Success in this business is directly related to the relationships you build over time.

How do you do that? Spend $50 a day on building one-on-one relationships with clients focused on two-way communication. 

Schedule a lunch with a past client, grab coffee with a friend, drop off flowers for a special occasion, pay for the person behind you at the drive-through or send handwritten notecards. I send birthday cookies to everyone in my sphere. At $6 apiece, they are only a little more expensive than a greeting card and way more impactful. And think of all the people who will post a picture of their birthday cookie on social media! Now that’s working in your sphere.

  1. Host client appreciation events

Don’t stop at just reaching out to the people in your sphere. Instead, organize events that can actually let you connect with them in person. Face-to-face time is key to building a relationship beyond a digital connection.

Aim for at least one organized client appreciation event per quarter. We like to organize events that can get clients’ entire families involved, like renting out movie theaters, rec centers or other fun locations, like Sky Zone, a trampoline park. We create personal invitations for all of our agents so they can get in touch with past clients and offer them something of value. In addition to deepening connections with clients and their families, we also benefit from all the exposure we get on social media. People love to post pictures from fun events like these!

These events are also a great way to loop in your partners from lending and title who will jump at a chance to help you out as a sponsor.

And we don’t just focus on fun – one of our more popular events falls into the practical category. Every year after Tax Day, our company rents a shredding truck to park in our office’s lot to provide complimentary shredding. We work with local press and radio to let our community know the truck is available for free to any and all local residents, which establishes us as a helpful community resource.

  1. Be relevant – don’t get deleted

How many irrelevant emails do you get in a day? And how many of them end up in the trash? The key to setting yourself apart lies in providing relevant, timely, and valuable information. Homeowners appreciate insider information, from a check-in after closing to sharing local contractors and vendors to periodic hyper-local market updates. So many agents always say, “The market is great,” which is a completely useless statement to a client. You will most certainly stand out when you can explain exactly what’s going on in the market, such as the list-to-sale ratio, average sales price, days on the market, or the impact of interest rate changes. Every month, we post updates on our market conditions on our company’s social media pages. By memorizing a few key data points from these updates and using them in casual conversations, you can make yourself look like a highly knowledgeable expert that people will want to seek out. 

And if you really want to stand out beyond the digital landscape, send snail mail! From birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, and new kids, there are plenty of reasons to send a thoughtful card. You can even reach out just to say “hi and hope all is well.” Each card you send provides an opportunity to ask anyone they know if looking to buy or sell a home. It’s a proven fact that you will never get the business you don’t ask for!

  1. Be present and be visible

Ultimately the key to becoming known in your community comes down to simply being present in your community. Make appearances at the rec center, local sports games, and any other events organized by your town. The best way for people to learn your face is by actually seeing it. 

In addition to that, stay up to date with any key issues that may be specific to your local neighborhoods. Learn what the local school boards are deciding on, sit in on chamber of commerce meetings, and keep an ear out for any information that might be particularly relevant. Become the mayor without ever needing to get elected! 

At the end of the day, people crave connection, and they want to know you care. So put your arms around your past clients and make meaningful connections with the people who genuinely want to recommend you.


By Josh McGrath, Broker/Owner

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Central

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