Buying a new home is one of the most emotional purchases your client will ever make, so why does the final transaction seem so — cold?
Jim Walberg, a 35-year real estate professional from the Bay Area and long-time member of the Institute, spent decades perfecting his unique customer service experience to the point where his clients can’t help but share their home-buying stories with their friends and family. He understands that luxury real estate isn’t about simply building your database — it’s about building relationships.
What is Transactional Marketing?
Transactional marketing is focused on making a sale in the moment of contact with a customer, typically seen in advertisements with “Buy Now” calls-to-action. Real estate professionals with a transactional objective typically look to close deals without any interest in nurturing a relationship with a client beyond closing the sale.
What are the Differences Between Relationship Marketing and Integrated Marketing?
The thing that sets relationship marketing apart from integrated marketing is that it aims to retain customer satisfaction and value in an ongoing relationship, giving ample opportunity for future referrals and even returning customers.
Integrated marketing refers more to a business’s unified marketing strategy, ensuring the same branding message is communicated among all media utilized by their campaigns.
The Positioning Game
Walberg refers to the process of building client relationships as a positioning game.
Do you obsess enough over where you are in the mind’s eye of your audience? The objective of your database, no matter how big or small, should be about staying top-of-mind whenever your client thinks of real estate, properties, home renovations, etc. Any aspect of their house — or even their neighbor’s house — down to landscaping or a new paint job, should get them thinking of you.
The point is that anytime you come to mind — typically when they talk about their neighborhood or home to friends or family — that thought organically converts into potential referral opportunities without having sounded too “salesy.”
Staying top-of-mind is often the real challenge for real estate professionals — not only until you’ve closed the deal, but for years down the line — because the longer a client remembers you, the longer you may benefit from potential referrals from that client’s own network.
The reality is: building long-lasting relationships take effort, time, and even money.
Are you ready for the real work of relationship building?
Moments That Matter
If you really care about long-haul relationships with your clients, you must zero in on the moments that make or break your relationships with them throughout the entirety of their customer experience. Fortunately, it’s simpler to focus on opportune moments throughout the process, especially since those more significant moments tend to stand out more in your client’s mind. Remember, if every moment is special, then no moment is special.
Unexpected moments can also prove quite valuable as well though. Walberg has a database of about 800 clients that he makes some form of contact with at least 40 times a year, even with something as simple as a short message. This sort of persistence is what reminds former clients of their past experience with you and helps keep you top-of-mind whenever they think of a real estate professional.
Another moment in time that can matter down the line? A memorable closing gift is a great example of how real estate professionals attempt to maintain more of a lasting impression even after the sale has cleared. However, it’s less about delivering any old gift to a client’s doorstep, and more about designing bespoke opportunities clients can brag about to their friends, family, and neighbors for years to come.
How do you become more memorable though? It’s all about finding something deep and personal and emotional for your client. It requires you as a real estate professional to be more attentive to your client and less laser-focused on the transaction itself. Actively listen to what your clients talk about, ask specific questions to obtain the information you need, and always try to create a unique experience that clients will fondly look back on.
Stay Fresh with Luxury Real Estate Marketing Strategies for You and Your Clients
Become an Institute member today and get access to some of the top producers in the industry and ready-to-use marketing tools for strengthening the longevity of your client relationships and increasing your incoming referrals.
The Institute also offers a wide range of resources for you to invest in yourself at any stage in your luxury real estate career, so quit waiting and give yourself a competitive edge in your niche market today!