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How to make clients for life

16 May 2017

By Cameron Nicholls of Nicholls & Co. Estate Agents

My approach to our clients is what I call “hit and stick”, because from the initial contact we stick with them.

With each person I meet, I aim to create a ‘connection for life’.

It is a long-term approach that involves servicing someone from the very initial point of contact with no end-point.

When I meet a buyer and ascertain what they are searching for, I stick with them until I find exactly that. But the service does not stop there.

I continue to connect with that client on a continuous basis as people’s property needs are forever changing and evolving.

During buoyant markets, agents can be guilty of quickly forgetting many of the buyers they meet.

Customer service is at the absolute crux of our industry. Where properties no longer “sell themselves”, agents need to be actively servicing buyers well beyond the point of purchase.

My approach sees us ‘stick’ with our buyers to ensure their goals are achieved. This may take one month, or it could take years.

Real estate is cyclical, and buyers become vendors, and vendors become buyers. This is why continuous service is so important.

A perfect example of this is a property we recently sold at Breakfast Point for $2.9 million. I first met the vendors seven years ago while I was working at a different agency as a property manager.

In true ‘hit and stick’ style, I nurtured the relationship well beyond the realms of your standard managing agent.

Seven years later the vendors sought me out to sell the property, despite still having a professional relationship with the previous agency that has managed the property that entire time.

I identified a buyer for this property immediately, having worked with this person for nine months. I knew before they inspected the property that it was going to be exactly what they were after.

My top tips to “hit and stick” are:

  • Don’t be afraid to suggest other agents’ listings and even offer to have a look on their behalf
  • Know your client’s preferred method of communication
  • Remember that each property they don’t like takes you a step closer to the one that they do
  • Even if there is no new listing to report, still get in touch to let them know you’re thinking about them and have them on your radar
  • Invest in high quality stationary to deliver personalised messages. The effect of email has worn off, and receiving a personalised note has more impact
  • It’s a marathon not a sprint - be prepared to look at all relationships as an ongoing commitment, where there may be no result for 12 months or more 
  • Constantly update and refine your buyers’ requirements in your database.