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The Lifecycle of a Client
Understanding the life cycle of a client within your database is the formula for making the most out of the relationship. Any piece of relevant data left unattended is essentially money going down the drain. Appreciate the relationship and, with our help, recognise the value and strategies each stage requires.
To understand this fully, let’s go through where the client relationship might start, and how to make the most out of it from there.
Remember; the buyers you meet today are your sellers tomorrow!
Stage 1 - Transacting
Your client (Ms. Owner) buys their dream home from you or another agent
This is often where your client’s journey in your database begins. Often Ms Owner, is someone you’ve met as a buyer via an enquiry or at an open home or auction. Making contact with them during this time is important to qualify the data [getting accurate names, contact information, real estate plans] for the long-term; otherwise, you end up like many other agents that have thousands of contacts with no value to them at all. This is also a fantastic time to service them as a buyer and start the building of trust in the relationship. Other agents in your marketplace are not doing this. While you won’t be able to do it with every single buyer, you can, with a few, keep a ‘hot buyer list’ and service it. These are your sellers in 2,3,4 years’ time.
If they’ve purchased with you, you’ve already made a connection with them – it’s now important to keep that rapport up in the steps that follow.
Stage 2 - Existing
Ms. Owner loves this home and lives here happily for a few years
Most of your database will exist in this step. Ms Owner has moved into her home she has no plans to move and is likely not even interested in thinking about the market. The key is acknowledging that she will be one day, and how can you be at the top of her list when she gets there.
We at Client Collective thrive in this step. We make meaningful touch points at least each quarter by feeding local market activity, inviting her to similar open homes, and offering agents to supply appraisals and renovation recommendations, elevating the relationship beyond the simple transaction from Stage 1.
The key in this communication is to acknowledge and approach it in a way that is purely informative and educational, not at all sales-y or expectant. A great way to do this is to acknowledge that we know they’re not selling and that they’re in a great spot.
“We know you’re not selling, and why would you! You have a beautiful home in one of the best suburbs in town. It’ll always be sought after there, we had one in Smith street around the corner from you sell for $80k over reserve on the weekend! It was a great result for all owners in the area that’s for sure.”
Stage 3 - Monitoring
She falls in love, Mr Owner moves in and they plan to have children – their family is expanding. Mrs Owner feels they are growing out of this home and will need to move soon.
This is where your long-term pipelines will live. Mrs and Mr Owner are acknowledging that their current home is too small, and are considering what other additions would make their lifestyles more accommodating. They start to long for the third or fourth bedroom, a pool, the larger kitchen, the breakfast nook. When we’re asking if they’re thinking of selling, they’re no longer saying “no,” but, “not yet”.
By this stage, you’ve kept up frequent contact with them, and you’ve built a casual relationship. They see you as their real estate expert.
Stage 4 - Decision Making
They begin their research. What homes do they like? What is their place worth? How does it compare on the market? Which agent will they choose?
This is the tipping point. Mr and Mrs Owner are going to move, it’s only a matter of when. They are looking at suburbs for schools, public transport availability, and are planning their budget.
You’ve secured meetings with them and instructed them on how to improve the value of their home and what they can do to make their dreams a reality. You have built the trust with this client over the last couple of years, and now that they’re ready to go, you’re at the top of their list. They call in one other agent as a comparison on advice from a family ‘real estate expert’ but even though your commission is slightly higher and you’re charging more in VPA they choose you. Why? They trust that you’re giving them the best advice and will work in their best interests because you’ve done that with your communication in the past. They trust you.
Stage 5 - Transacting
They find their dream home! List and sell their place and the cycle begins all over again.
Together, you’ve done it. The listing is yours, you’ve earned your commission and you’ve made a lasting relationship that will secure recommendations and future business for time to come. All because you kept in contact and put in the effort – it paid off.
You might not have sold Mrs Owner her original house, but you’re an ingrained part of the new dream home and the family that is enjoying it. You meet Mr Buyer and start the process all over again!