There are many topics in the business of real estate. It can be difficult to cut through the clutter of information with such little time in the workday.
Chris Lazarus, principal broker of Sellect Realty based in Marietta, GA, says that “There are too many $40 subscriptions to this and that, that claim to make the real estate agent’s business better with less effort. What really is important? Relationships.” Relationships with clients are a fundamental part of any business. They are of key value in not only short-term income, but also future income for the real estate agent.
In the past, the real estate industry and real estate broker focused on cold calling, along with other dated tactics. There was little emphasis on a stellar client relationship after a closing. The real estate deal was mostly transactional in this sense. These older methods are now much less effective with the upcoming homebuyers; the millennial generation. Today, a real estate “home buying/selling experience” is necessary. The experience must include an agent/client relationship to be fostered well beyond the closing table.
The Millennial Way of Thinking
Millennials have access to social media and the internet. Technology and smart phones now allow for relationships many of us would never have had in the first place. Relationships can be formed across the country, and individuals can feel as though they are part of something more.
The Millennial Generation does not like being outright sold to, according to the famous advertising agency, Ogilvy. They understand that selling is necessary, but it must be worth their time. Essentially, Millennials must see value in the relationship that a business person is wanting to form with them.
Creating a Relationship with a Millennial, and Creating Value for Them
A real estate agent who becomes a local expert, has connections to parents with children in area schools, etc, can provide important value to a Millennial looking to buy a home. Instead of selling their awards, a real estate agent should sell their community information, skills, and connections.
Once they become a client, go the extra step and keep that relationship going to turn them into an advocate for your business. Hand them a thoughtful gift at the closing table with their interests in mind. Also, keep in touch. Be there to answer any questions the client may have after they have moved. Sending them a note every once in a while is also a good idea.
Long-Term Importance of a Client Relationship
The client relationship is additionally important because of long-term income for the real estate agent. Think about it in these terms. The average American moves 11 times in their lifetime according to the U.S. Census. If a client is a first-time homebuyer, their worth as a client is significantly more to you with ten more moves ahead of them in their lives.
In addition, it is less costly to retain a client than gain new ones. Adrian Payne, Professor of Services Marketing at Cranfield School of Management states that, “repeat customers often cost less to service, and satisfied customers provide referrals.”
Business insiders agree. Ed McCarthy in the Journal of Financial Planning; Denver wrote about “improving results by retaining more of its profitable customers, as opposed to focusing almost exclusively on finding new ones, is attracting increased attention.” Furthermore, Frederick Reicheld of the Harvard Business School Press, wrote a similar sentiment in his book, The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value. McCarthy states that the book “builds a convincing case that improving…profitable customers translates directly to improved business and financial results.”
Time is money, but relationships are money, too. Spend some time learning about your network, and become an expert at forming connections to help your business grow, now, and for your business future.
“It’s all about the relationship. The reason I love my job is because of the people I work with.”
-Christopher Lazarus, COO of Sellect Realty, Marietta, GA
Sellect Realty is an independent real estate brokerage located in Marietta, Georgia. To learn more about buying, selling and/or real estate careers, visit our website. www.sellectrealty.com or call our office at 770-509-0265.
Relationship Marketing – Making the Customer Count
Apart from the general attitude of not wanting to be sold to, are there other differences you’ve noticed with Millennials’ attitudes toward real estate before and after. I’ve heard from realtors who say that more homebuyers, even first-time buyers, have unrealistic expectations for their home and the real estate experience. Do you have any advice for nurturing long-term client relationships without fostering unrealistic expectations?
Sellect Realty Admin says
Great question! It’s our firm belief that, regardless of age, no one cares to be sold. We use an educational approach to ensure expectations are properly set with all of our clients. Consistency and authenticity are the keys to successfully building long term relationships in business. Our agents’ philosophy centers around serving their clients. Our agents are able to avoid unrealistic expectations because our clients know that we care about their well being beyond the sale.
Thank you for taking the time to ask such a powerful question!
Chief Operating Officer