Did you know that it’s significantly cheaper (six or seven times, to be exact) to retain a current client than it is to bring in a new one? While most agents focus their marketing efforts on generating new leads, top producers know the biggest ROI comes from working past clients. It’s a win-win!

Outbound Engine notes that real estate agents lose 20% of their clients per year because of attrition. The best way to maintain relationships with past clients is through a “multi-touch” approach. This means that you remind them of your presence (and how great you are) through multiple avenues and mediums: social media, email, and events. Think of your clients as old friends. Keeping in touch requires work, but the payoff is worth it.

The fact is that most real estate agents don’t use the same marketing savvy to gain future business from past clients that they use for new leads. And, actually, it’s simpler than you’d think. Yeah, there is a bit of technology required, but the little bit of effort will yield massive results. And even better, some of this can be done through automation to decrease your overall workload.

Let’s put our heads together and get you that referral business – ALL OF IT.

Target Past Clients with Your Facebook Posts & Ads

This might be your scenario. You’ve spent years building your real estate business to great success. You created a Facebook Business Page, but aren’t seeing the kinds of results you had hoped for. Well, you are in luck. We’ve got a nifty little trick for you.

Your contact database is a Facebook targeting goldmine and you’re the leprechaun who just found the path to the sparkling pot of gold at the end of that rainbow. All you need to do is make the connection between your database and Facebook. Here’s the magic.

Facebook can match your contact database to user profiles within the platform to build what is called a Custom Audience. All you need to do is head over to Audiences in your Facebook Business Manager and select Create Audience. Select Build Your Audience from a Customer File (i.e. your CRM) and voilà – you’ve created a Custom Audience.

Once you’ve created your Custom Audience , write and boost posts customized for that specific audience. Because, to be frank, even if past clients “Like” your Facebook Business page, your organic reach from just writing posts is virtually nonexistent.

Let Your CRM be Your Memory Drive

Imagine having an assistant who whispers everyone’s birthdays, anniversaries and children’s names into your ear when you were talking to them (Black Mirror, anyone?). Imagine if they also sent out personalized communications to each of the most important people in your network. That assistant is available for you to hire right now. It’s called a CRM, and costs a mere $35/month.

With a humming CRM, you can avoid the awkwardness of basic human forgetfulness while also fostering close ties and long-lasting relationships with your clients.

The truth is, It’s impossible keep up with thousands – or even with hundreds – of past clients without using automation. Good CRMs can work magic by executing bulk actions that appear (and sort of are) customized and personalized. The good ones even integrate with email marketing companies like Mailchimp to create bulk campaigns that feel personal. We’re a partner agency with Contactually, so we happen to be (educatedly) predisposed to them. With Contactually, you can create what they call “buckets” which are essentially a way to categorize different groups of your contacts in order to receive reminders based on shared status and effectively personalize messages to those within each “bucket.”

Contactually and other CRMs help you leverage data to your best advantage – setting you above and apart from agents that don’t bother with the numbers that make or break them.

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Create a Successful Referral Marketing Program

Setting up a referral marketing program is an easy way to (you guessed it) generate more referrals. According to Deloitte,

The key to an effective referral marketing program is figuring out which of your past clients are most likely to recommend you. How do you do this? Focus on past clients whom you were able to form a close relationship with, as well as those clients who have historically recommended you to friends and family.

Following this, it’s crucial to pick the most effective incentive for your program. Hubspot recommends asking your clients what they want and considering what would be most valuable to them. A double-sided incentive – a program that rewards both the referrer and the referred – can be highly effective. Hubspot goes on to say that “some of the best referral programs work so well because they tie their rewards and incentives to their business.” And once you’ve got that perfect incentive, tell everyone about it through – you guessed it – Facebook and email marketing. If this sounds complicated, we know how to help.

To Conclude:

If you’re looking for that quick bump in leads, you should focus your energies on people within your sphere of influence. This means staying in touch with them for a long time – and, more importantly, staying in touch well. Wielding CRMs, social media and strategically built referral marketing programs should be part of any agent’s short- and long-term plan.

“Honesty and trustworthiness are ranked as the most important factors home buyers and sellers consider when choosing a real estate agent” according to the National Association of REALTORS® (realtormag). The trust you’ve worked so hard to earn is waiting to be leveraged. With a bit of technology and marketing skills, you can make sure you’re getting and making the most from what you’ve already worked so hard to build.

If you’d like to see what we have to offer in terms of referral programs, click here.

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