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Real estate agents and brokers frequently misdirect their focus when it comes to driving growth in their business. Somewhere along the line, firms and agents became obsessed with online lead generation and forgot about the old-school, customer-for-life programs that keep them connected with past clients for repeat and referral business.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) publishes its homebuyers and sellers research every year, which shows that agents get most of their business from repeat clients and referrals. This number bounces around every year, but is always greater than four out of five transactions coming from repeat and referral business.

Another piece of research that should not shock anyone is that the No. 1 reason why a customer does not use their agent in a future transaction is because the agent failed to stay in touch. After decades of facing this issue, real estate is finally on a good path to solve this problem with CRM software that includes drip marketing.

The biggest problem with drip marketing is the required CAN-SPAM unsubscribe button. Basically, the best way to have a customer break up with you is by spamming them out of your CRM with noise.

According to consumers, the most useful information that supports the relationship between the agent and customer between transactions is related to helpful reminders about homeownership. There are a lot of elements of this, ranging from replacing HVAC filters to renewing a home warranty or homeowners insurance policy. This type of content sent to a client through email offers information that strengthens the relationship, rather than encouraging unsubscribes. It is the right message sent at the right time—and, better yet, services like MooveGuru provide links to local vendors who are approved by the brokerage to help the consumer.

Brokers should sign up for the drip marketing that comes out of their CRM. Better yet, sign up your spouse or another family member and ask them to share their impression of every email they receive. Email marketing can either be your greatest success in driving repeat and referral business, or it can destroy relationships with past clients. It takes some tuning to make this a center of excellence in your business.

Get back to basics and be sure to leverage the advanced tagging features in your CRM. Think about the customer attributes. Did you represent them as a buyer or seller or both? Is the anniversary date of the transaction correct? What other people are related to the primary contact, and what are their ages? Train agents to curate this information in the CRM so that the advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence features have facts to work off of. Be sure your agents are following clients on social media to capture announcements such as kids going to college or getting married. These are all transaction signals.

If you want some support with executing a communication strategy for past clients, contact us at sales@mooveguru.com.

Brian Friemel is president of MooveGuru. For more information, please visit www.mooveguru.com.

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