Keeping in touch with your past clients is vital to building a strong “repeat and referral” business. Here are a few techniques to implement immediately after closing:

  1. Drip email marketing campaigns – This is the simplest to set up. You can set up your drip email marketing campaign with real estate customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRMs let you choose and customized pre-filled marketing campaigns to your past clients. Content includes follow-up letters on everything from organizing their home paperwork to sorting through new homeowner junk mail. Once set up, they are automatically sent out to your contacts. There are lots of CRM software options, so shop around.
  2. Monthly newsletters – Clients love maintenance tips, “how to’s,” recipes, or even community calendars and events. Get creative and personal. There is always something to talk about that is real estate-related. This is also a great way to stay in touch with your center of influence. You can even distribute your newsletter with your CRM, which is more convenient and cost effective than using snail mail. Hint: this journal is a great source for news and topics.
  3. Direct mail– Direct mail is a great way to make an impact, if done right. It can be costly, so you may want to focus on a few, effective, campaigns:
  • birthday cards;
  • home-purchase anniversary cards;
  • congratulatory cards(wedding anniversaries, graduations or a new baby in the family); and
  • important date reminders(daylight savings, property tax due dates, election day, etc.).

To get started, you need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. Who are my contacts?
  • How will you acquire the addresses of potential clients?
  • Will you purchase a list? Or ask a title company for a list of property owners in your FARM?

2. How am I going to create my material?

  • Will you originate your materials, or will you find them elsewhere?
  • Will you print out materials with your own machine, or use a local printer?

3. What is my budget?

Knowing the answer to these three questions will prepare you to initiate your own direct mail campaign. Of course, this requires you to gather information from your clients. Have them fill out a questionnaire during the transaction process, asking them to list dates and interests for everyone in their immediate family – including Fido!

4. Quarterly phone calls– Clients appreciate a call every now and then. Remember to bring up personal details when you chat. You can use your CRM to schedule quarterly phone calls. By doing so, you will never lose track of when you should be calling past clients.

5. Social media – Create (if you haven’t already) a business Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account. Use it to brag about new listings and sales. Post links to articles relating to the real estate market.  Discuss hot real estate trends with your “fans” and “followers.” You can even ask for referrals here on a regular basis. However, remember to keep it professional. Do not mix your personal and business social networks, unless it’s relevant to real estate. Frankly, your clients probably don’t care what you had for dinner.

After you’ve created your profile(s), you’re ready to start posting. Here are some ideas of things to post:

  • your listings and the listings of other agents in your broker’s office;
  • professional successes, such as meeting sales goals, receiving an award or even giving shout-outs to colleagues you’ve had the pleasure of working with;
  • appreciation for clients, like celebrating when your client moves into their new home;
  • advertising neighborhood events;
  • neighborhood pictures, and if you have a Pinterest account, a neighborhood board;
  • practical decorating, gardening or home improvement tips; and
  • light, friendly posts about your own (controversy-free) interests to assist your authenticity ratings.

Treat each closing as a new beginning. If you stay connected, odds are that your first clients will become return clients. But don’t be a pest.  Be careful not to bombard your clients with too much marketing. Consistency with moderation is the key.

Editor’s note Stay tuned for our upcoming Career Coach series which will expand further on the items in this list.

For more information on personal branding using social media, download our Career Manual ebook.

Related articles:

How to protect real estate business reputation on social media

FARM Letters

Book Review: 5 Minutes to a Great Real Estate Letter

This article was originally posted [November, 2012 of Brokerage Reminder: Don’t be a shadow agent], and has been updated.