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The Consumer Retention Conundrum

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By Jose Perez

consumer_retention• Only 18 percent of brokerages received repeat business.

• Six percent of agents with 3 to 5 years of experience received repeat business. You can argue that makes sense since consumers don’t move that often.

• When you look at agents with 6 to 15 years of experience, that number is only 17 percent.

• Only 38 percent of agents with over 16 years of experience receive repeat business.

Most real estate agents—or their companies—don’t make the effort to maintain a solid relationship after the closing. Yet every closing is a huge opportunity for referrals and future repeat business.

For today’s educated consumers, the standard real estate marketing strategies are destined to fail. You won’t gain repeat business with outdated consumer retention programs such as “Happy birthday on the purchase of your home” postcards or cookie recipes at Christmas. Our audience is savvy, and let’s face it, they won’t give your marketing attempts a second thought.

I have bought many homes over the years and don’t remember any agent or, for that matter, any brokerage, making the least bit of effort to develop a relationship with me after I bought my home and they got paid. The good news is I am in the real estate business, so it’s not hard for me to find agents. I just pick up the phone and call one of my broker friends.

Most real estate consumers do not have that luxury, however, and that is why consumer retention is such a huge opportunity every agent and brokerage should be looking at.

How can you maintain a genuine relationship after closing? Here are a few suggestions:

Send regular correspondence that provides relevant information such as mortgage amortization information, updates on neighborhood sales activity, or general market information.

Call to see if there is anything the homeowner might need. Even if it’s something you can’t help with, it’s an opportunity to point them in the right direction, and, most importantly, connect with them on a personal level.

Focus on social listening, and then engage with them on your social networks.

There’s a huge opportunity for agents and brokerages to increase the value of their businesses just by closing the gap between those consumers that go elsewhere the next time they’re in the market and those that come back to you. This not only means repeat business, but additional referrals from happy clients, not to mention additional opportunities to engage them if you have ancillary businesses such as insurance and mortgage. Maintain your connection and you’ll be at the top of the call list when they’re back in the market for a home.

Jose Perez is the founder and chief visionary of PCMS Consulting. PCMS provides innovative solutions leading brokerages require to enhance their market position and profitability.

For more information, visit www.pcmsconsulting.com.

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