There are certain words and phrases in the English language that are not acceptable to use for a variety of reasons. The real estate industry is no exception. The words and phrases you use can have a subtle yet marked effect on your approach to sales. One such phrase is past client marketing.
What’s so wrong with past client marketing? After all, it is a real estate term for a person who has engaged in a transaction with you, and that transaction has now closed. At first read, the definition seems to be an adequate description of the state of that client; after all, you are not currently dealing with that client at the moment.
Take a step back and look at the term, particularly the word past. It implies something that is done, has finished, is over. But with all the work you put forth into research, prospecting, marketing, gaining a new client, and finally closing on a home, do you really want to think of it as past client marketing? That kind of mindset can cause you to ignore still-valid clients in your real estate database, and ignoring them can cause you to lose revenue.
Really? You can lose revenue by thinking of a client as past? It’s true. By forgetting about that client, you can also forget about their potential referrals, additional investment purchases that they may want to make, and in the long-term, that client upsizing or downsizing their current property. Therefore, a small change in your vocabulary can result in a different mindset, help you build credibility, and establish a better real estate strategy. But how exactly will you change your vocabulary?
You start with your real estate database. The categories that you assign to the different types of clients needs to be updated with more realistic and positive terms. For example, change past clients, former clients, or the term that you have assigned to that type of client and change it to current clients. Now, that may sound odd, as you may not think of them as current. But they are - if you think of a current client as one involved in a closed buyer or seller property transaction. It makes additional sense when you change other terms in your database. All those clients that you are actively working with right now – change their status to active. Once their homes have closed, then you can move them to a current client status. Keep in mind that a current client can still provide referrals to you. On your end of the client relationship, it keeps those clients in your mind instead of pushed to the back burner.
Other positive, client status terms that can help you gain a better mindset and strategy can include referral client, meaning a client that has provided at least one referral, regardless of whether that transaction has closed or not; testimonial client can be a client who has given testimonials that you have used in any of your marketing campaigns; investor clients are those clients that have completed investment property transactions with you; and partner clients are those clients who have entered into co-branded marketing with you. You may have more client statuses in your database; if you do, review them to make them into pro-active terms.
Think of your real estate database as living, meaning that it will always be changing and evolving, and changing your client status vocabulary can help you think of all clients as potential opportunities regardless of their status. It can also help you determine where your business is coming from, the time frame for your next contact with each client, and the method of that contact.
Simple changes can make a huge impact. In your real estate business, a change in your phrasing and mindset can mean a better business. Get rid of the phrase past client marketing from both your vocabulary and database, and look to the future as a place of continued client relationships – and opportunity!