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Tips From The Top: Neil Brooks On Client Referrals

Neil Brooks

When you’re working 100 percent commission, the first thing you learn is that time is money. As a REALTOR, you are in the transacting business. If you’re not transacting, then you’ll go out of business pretty quickly. This is one of the main reasons that we REALTORS® tend to “love ’em, and leave ’em.” That’s a bad practice in both love and real estate!

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-today issues of prospecting, showing homes, negotiating contracts, and the other varied random tasks that fill our days. In the midst of all those tasks, we forget that one of the most important things we can do is to continue the relationships we’ve built with our clients after the sale.

By the time you have a client into a home, you’ve developed a very unique relationship. A relationship where the client has put one of the most life-changing decisions they can ever make into your hands. Most of us take that very seriously, do our best – and then some – and get them across the finish line into the next phase of their life.

For the first 10 years of my real estate career, my relationship with the clients basically ended right there. I was too busy running after the next client or paycheck and neglected the people who got me where I was.

I finally realized one day when a past client moved heaven and earth to find me to give me a referral how crazy I was not to spend a little extra time each month keeping in touch with my previous clients.

I started by hiring a company (for a very nominal fee) to produce a bi-monthly newsletter that I could customize, that had real estate articles, lifestyle segments and general interest home-type articles. It was designed with my branding and would be emailed every other week. I was amazed at the immediate return I started getting from my clients. It’s important to have a set up where you can track who’s reading your articles, what they clicked on, etc.

Since I started sending my simple newsletter out, I’ve closed numerous transactions, totaling tens of thousands of dollars in commissions. It makes me want to cry to think of all the commissions I walked away from in the past. Just a simple newsletter twice a month … crazy.

In addition to my newsletter, I incorporated a CRM into my business plan. I have it set up so it alerts me to reach out to my past customers every six months, just to check in. I highly recommend that all agents build this into their business. You can set it up so each morning when you get up, you pour yourself a cup of coffee and pull up your list and dial for dollars. It’s like magic!

Lastly, one of the best low-tech old-school way to stay in touch with your clients (and do a little shameless self-promotion) is to have specialty keys made with your information on them. I have them made on blank Kwik-set and Schlage keys – the two most widely used door locks. As a house warming gift, I have the house rekeyed with the custom keys. Now, whenever my client is out on the road, they have my contact information at their fingertips.

It makes me smile to think of all the business I’ve generated from those silly keys.

I hope these few tips will inspire you to change your “love ’em and leave ’em” ways. Get out there and make mistakes and learn from them.