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You demonstrated your expertise to them time and again. They saw what a great negotiator you are, as you steered them through rough waters, working through every issue in the transaction until, ultimately, you handed them the keys, shook their hands and wished them well. They’re the people with whom you built a trusting relationship.

In short, it was a job well done, and now the referrals will start rolling in, right?

Not exactly. 

That job isn’t over. In fact, it’s just begun. No matter how good you are at serving your clients, you cannot rely solely on your track record to bring them back for repeat business when they’re ready to buy or sell again in a few years. To keep clients for life and ensure future revenue, you’ve got to continue to nurture those relationships by consistently staying in touch.

When you excel at ongoing connection with past clients, you’ll not only be able to ask for and give referrals in a professional way; there’s also a good chance you’ll become their lifetime real estate professional, the person they look to for solutions to any and every real estate need that they, their family and their friends may have.

These connections can take many forms: personalized interaction on social media and email, community involvement, in-person contact, and more. You can host an appreciation event for your past year’s clients and give out small, personalized gifts. You can hand-write personal notes or send a quick, personal message via video email. You can stay connected and engage on Facebook by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts, or you can send a monthly homeownership tips postcard via direct mail.

The ways to reach out to your past clients are firmly based on your professional expertise and limited only by your imagination. With more than 70 percent of all transactions coming from some form of repeat and referral business (NAR Member Profile, 2018), it is imperative that you make this a part of your marketing plan. Just remember that connecting creatively, genuinely and consistently is the key to nurturing past clients, gathering referrals and ensuring your future profitability.

Brian Wildermuth is senior vice president, Real Estate Services, for Deluxe Branded Marketing. In the real estate space for more than 25 years, Deluxe Branded Marketing is a premier provider of a wide range of marketing solutions you can depend on to help build your brand and your business.