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Today’s real estate agent faces daunting challenges. It’s more important than ever that real estate agents deliver value to consumers who have a negative view of real estate due to the real estate bust and are also empowered with a range of real estate information available on the World Wide Web. Never before has it been so important for agents to differentiate themselves from other agents, competing for the business of a limited number of home buyers and sellers in any local marketplace.

Future success, as well as current survival, depends on your ability and capacity for change. Given the hesitancy of households to purchase real estate today in many towns and cities across the nation due to depressed market conditions, a commonsense strategy for agents is to initiate long-term professional and revenue growth. Over the years, the “client for life” phrase has been overstated and under-employed by agents and pundits alike. However, it’s obvious to me that a client-based” sales approach would outperform today’s popular “customer transaction” sales approach over a reasonable amount of time and if given the opportunity. No doubt, agents would quickly recognize the professional value of employing the long-term, proactive, client-based approach to the development of an ever-expanding client base.

I’m not suggesting that agents dive into a client-based sales world head first; gradually integrating a client-based strategy while focusing on customer transactions makes sense. In fact, you don’t have to drop current customer sales to integrate a longer-term view of current client sales. Both methods are compatible and easily implemented in tandem. In fact, the client sales approach supplements your current-customer sales business model.

The client-based approach serves clients for life, rather than abandoning buyers and sellers once the real estate transaction is complete. Instead, you become a trusted advisor who provides services and guidance whether a past client is involved in a property transaction or not.

With a dual sales approach, agents focus on earning money today and securing clients for the future. Agents manage current customer transactions while maintaining a loyal client base because the time and cost involved in managing clients is minimal.

This is part one of a series of articles on Client versus Customer Sales Models for real estate agents.

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