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 By Timothy J. Raftery

RISMEDIA, Dec. 5, 2007- The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that 80% of a Realtor’s future sales will come from referrals or repeat business generated from past clients. Many Realtors, however, will spend much of their time, effort and resources implementing activities that are designed to attract new clients, while ignoring their most valuable asset, their past clients. Real estate market statistics indicate that this philosophy does not represent a sound business plan.

In today’s extremely competitive real estate market, operating your real estate practice like a business is critical to your future success. Market knowledge combined with effective business strategies will impact the level of your success. NAR membership has grown to 1,357,732 members in 2006, which represents a 55% growth in licensed Realtors in the past five years and an 89% growth in the past 10 years. Let’s face it; competition among Realtors to attract and maintain future and present clients is fierce.

Based on market statistics, implementing marketing strategies and tools that will assist the Realtor in wrapping their arms around their past clients represents a sound business philosophy and plan. The house warming gift represents the Realtor’s one chance to get into the day-to-day lives of their clients. Instead of giving a house warming gift to show appreciation, give a house warming marketing tool designed to generate future sales.

Most house warming gifts do a great job showing appreciation, however, without a marketing arm, they are not effective business tools and do little to attract referrals or repeat sales. Instead, invest in an inexpensive accessory that compliments the initial gift. The accessory acts as a marketing arm and will allow the Realtor a unique way to keep in touch with their best clients, long after they have given the initial house warming gift. The accessory can be shipped with a personalized note from the Realtor, thanking the client for past business, while informing them about current market conditions and reminding them that referrals are always appreciated and represents the best compliment that they can receive.

Something to keep in mind is that not all clients are created equal and therefore, should not be treated the same. Successful Realtors can sense which clients are in a position to generate future sales through referrals or repeat sale. These are the clients that need to be touched several times per year, and represent a smart investment of marketing dollars. Finally, marketing expenses represent a tax deduction in the real estate industry and should be utilized to target past clients (check with your tax professional for additional information). Remember, 80% of your future sales will be generated from your past clients. If you decide not to embrace your most important asset, your past clients, your competition will.

Timothy J. Raftery is president of Present2 Marketing Company.

For more information, visit or call 484-302-6108.