Real estate professionals are driven by the need to list more properties, close more transactions and work more efficiently. And, while tools to achieve these goals are important, there’s one tool we probably don’t talk about enough: Client appreciation.

Showing your appreciation for business can take several forms.

  • Yes, communicating is a way of showing how much you value someone’s business. This starts while you are mid-transaction and if you continue the process past the close of the sale, the relationship you build with your clients will lead to referrals. The last thing you want a client to feel is ignored and nothing will sour a budding relationship faster than for one to feel you take their business for granted. Schedule time to touch base with everyone in your pipeline.
  • Anticipate needs. No one expects you to be psychic, but after you get into a work groove, you should be able to anticipate much of what a client will want to know before they ask it. There’s little that makes someone feel more appreciated than having their questions answered before they have to ask.
  • Get your greetings right. The little things matter so much, don’t they? Succeeding at this may mean hiring the right front desk staff. But whether it’s an assistant who is the first point of contact or the broker, there’s little that can sour a client relationship like being ignored. If it means you keep a position open while finding the right fit, so be it! First and final interactions are crucial and there’s no doubt clients will carry the experience with them.
  • Be generous with your knowledge. While this may be another no-brainer, don’t assume everyone knows what you know. Selling or purchasing a home can be an incredibly stressful and emotional experience that doesn’t come easily to most of your customers. Walk them through the process and share your expertise to set them at ease.
  • Give a special touch. Options for client appreciation gifts abound, from gift cards to a cleaning service when the transaction closes to a home warranty tossed in, but even more effective is demonstrating your gratitude long after money is at stake. In an era marked by instant digital communication, a hand-written thank you note shows you make an intentional effort to show your appreciation. Remember a birthday, note a loss, or even better, letting someone know you are thinking of them for no special reason will stick.

Satisfied clients not only become your best referrals but as you know, it’s much easier to keep clients than to grow new ones. As important as hard skills are, spend some time on client appreciation and you’ll reap great rewards. n