By Terri M. Cooper, Dirk Zeller

Part of Success as a Real Estate Agent For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australian/New Zealand Edition)

The success of your real estate business is entirely dependent on the quality of your business relationships. Lose your clients with mediocre or unethical service and it’s almost impossible to get back on track. The key to your real estate sales success lies in firstly creating and then working hard to keep relationships that go beyond the one-time sale or listing and instead stretch far into the future.

Here are some tips for developing enduring client relationships:

  1. Over-communicate and over-service.

    The biggest complaint heard from real estate clients is that communication is lacking and sometimes non-existent from their real estate agent. Regular communication is not only best practice; it’s enshrined in real estate legislation. Your clients rely on you to keep them informed about the real estate sale campaign. You must promise regular feedback and progress reports and make sure that you honour your word.

  2. Become a trusted advisor and resource.

    The more value you offer, the more a client will be loyal to you, trust you and refer their family and friends to you. Your newsletters or blogs should be creative, full of market information, articles from property experts, and include content that’s useful and informative. Remember that you want to be recognised for your property and sales expertise and recognised as the area expert, so don’t annoy them with irrelevant news or articles.

  3. Be honest. It goes a long way.

    Your client relationships will be short-lived if you’re dishonest with the information you pass on; clients will feel they can’t trust you. Clients are informed and they’re smart; they know when they’re being manipulated. Even telling a ‘little white lie’ about why you failed to do something you had promised will damage your reputation. Without a reputation of integrity, you’ll never be able to cultivate the kind of long-term relationships your business depends on.

  4. Live up to your guarantee of service — always.

    When you say you’re going to do something, your client will believe you and will be disappointed and let down if you don’t deliver. When you commit to doing something and have a deadline, your client will take you at your word. When you betray this trust it’s very hard to get it back. If you offer your clients a relationship based on trust, you will find your clients will stay loyal and won’t waste time looking for someone else.

  5. Think of clients as more than just ‘clients’.

    A client is more than just a means of generating your income. Treat each client as an individual and take note of their interests and their concerns. The more you can identify with a client as a person, rather than as a chance to make money, the stronger the bond between you will grow.

  6. Reward your loyal clients.

    Don’t become complacent with your long-term clients. Sometimes agents can become so focused on bringing in new clients and forget those they already have had dealings with. Reward these individuals (or businesses) with exclusive discounts, reward program offers, and the like. Be free with expressions of gratitude and look for new ways to say, ‘Thank you for your valued business.’

  7. Always think long-term.

    Work hard to satisfy your client’s needs and you’ll have a client for life. You’ll become their preferred real estate agent and they will be a valued source of new and repeat business for many years to come.