Tag Archives: clients follow-up

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

ducks-in-a-row

One thing we know for sure…being a real estate agent means having MOUNTAINS of paperwork at any given moment. And no one likes dealing with paperwork so it is generally just piling up as each stage of the selling/buying process continues. We know we have to keep paperwork around in case of a dispute or audit, but sometimes it almost seems impossible to keep up with it. Everyone has a different way to organize their office but here is a quick and easy way to stay on top of your desktop mountain, while making every client easy to reference.

Invest in binders and organization tabs in bulk. Not only are they tax-deductible (save that receipt), but they will keep each client separate and easy to access at a moment’s notice. Simply put a label on each binder spine with the client’s name and date. The tabs will break down each step of the selling/listing agreement, so break each category down to make finding a certain piece of paperwork really easy. Tab labels that are handy to have around? Client profile, listing details, notes, loan or escrow documents, and closing paperwork are just a few of the tabs that would be useful in each client binder.

Now that you have your system in place, it is time to put it to use. This is where it gets tricky. Because the way to best utilize this system is to keep on top of it all. Yeah, I know…that’s easier said than done. I get it. But it is absolutely necessary in order to keep your ducks in a row. Create a binder as soon as you sign a contract and keep the binder with you whenever you are working with that client. As you complete a stage in the process, add the paperwork to the binder directly. The sooner you add it to their binder, the less chance you have of misplacing said paperwork. Once the transaction closes, go through the entire binder to make sure you have included everything you need in it, then store it away. Doing this right away will ensure everything is all together and not lost in your paperwork abyss.

Storage is the final decision to make your new-found system complete. This generally depends on your office situation. If you work in an office, maybe there’s a spot available for storage. Fire-resistant cabinets or storage units are other options. If you have gone paperless, make sure you have a proven backup system in place to save all your transactions. The experts in the industry suggest that at any given time you should have a backup of all essential information on three types of media. It can be a jump drive, an external hard drive, and ‘the cloud’, such as Dropbox. Nothing is worse than losing your clients’ database because you missed scheduled backup and proper storage wasn’t considered.

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Closing Gifts: A Personal Touch

One of the biggest concerns realtors have is the idea that once you’ve found, or sold, a home for your client, how do you thank them for their business? Do you do anything? A lovely muffin basket? A quick handshake and a ‘thank you’? After all, your job is done and it is now time to part ways. You’ve spent a good amount of time with them, you have learned their likes & dislikes and you’ve likely gotten close to the whole family. Now you must move on. It’s almost bittersweet. But let’s be realistic… You would love the reference to their friends & family. Word of mouth is quite possibly the best marketing tool we have.

For many realtors, one of the key ways to thank clients for their business is to give what is called a closing gift. In a survey of 1000 real estate agents, 43% spend upwards of $60 on a closing gift, while 18% keep it between $30-40, depending on the amount of the sale. But what does one give? That’s really the question. Gift ideas will vary from agent to agent; there is no standard. Choose a gift certificate to a home store, a bottle of wine with glasses, or better yet, something with a personal touch. Something tailored to your client is creative gesture to let your clients know that you’ve enjoyed working with them and look forward to continuing your professional relationship down the line.

The best way to do this is to customize your gifts. Maybe your client loves the ocean. Put together a gift basket with oceanic things you know they’d enjoy. Or perhaps go with something personalized, like an engraved keychain, to celebrate their new adventure. It really isn’t about what the gift is. It’s the idea that you’d like to give a simple gesture to say thanks. And as with anything we do for others, the more personal we make it, the more it is appreciated. Whether you choose something small or extravagant, the adage is true: It’s the thought that counts.

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