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Chasing down a new client is 12 times more expensive than keeping and developing an existing client—and that’s conservative. Yet many real estate agents fixate on finding new prospects.


Most agents only focus on transactions, not relationships. They measure the value of each client by the commission being generated by that one transaction. Once the commission check clears the bank, they forget about that client and go chase (or buy) more leads. It’s a merry-go-round of chasing, listing, showing, selling, and depositing the check. ‘Round and ’round we go, never finding the time or interest to invest in building relationships. It’s a tough job, but that’s the business, right?

It doesn’t have to be.

Don’t get me wrong. I know reaching out to people you’ve never met is important. But if that’s where you’re spending the majority of your valuable time and energy, I have great news for you: you’re doing it wrong.

Turn clients into friends. Start by understanding the potential value each client brings to your business. Not just the first commission—everyone gets that. What about their next move and the friends, relatives and neighbors they can refer to you? The fact is that for every home event (listing, rental or sale) you handle for your client, you should expect 3-6 more deals from their referrals. That’s a ton of revenue that most agents never see…unless they build a relationship with their clients over time. You would think that helping clients find the house of their dreams would be enough for them to remember you, but it’s not. Be attentive, be intentional, and let them know you care in simple ways. Send them mail. Call them. Stay in touch with them. Gently remind clients that you’d love to take care of any of their friends’ or family’s housing needs.

Your kindness is what they will remember. Ask yourself, “How can I serve my clients today?” Soon, you will find yourself becoming the ultimate connector. Instead of just handing out your own business cards, connect your clients to professionals they need right then—a great house painter, the perfect babysitter, or a trustworthy mechanic. Freely recommend your favorite restaurants, theaters and shops. Be the person everyone wants to know because you know all the best spots in town.

When you become a valuable problem-solver, you become a person who people seek out. You become a person who people want to be friends with. You become a person who people want to work with.

If you’re not spending time developing your client relationships, why not start today? These are the kinds of relationships that can get you off the merry-go-round.

John Wendorff is chief encouragement officer with The Personal Marketing Company.

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