By Anand Patel
Every night while tucking in my now six year old daughter for bed she asks me for a big hug. She says the hug has to be for exactly one minute. If I walk out of her bedroom forgetting to hug her, she is quick to remind me “Daddy, give me a one minute huggy!” During this “one minute” as I squeeze her tight, she squeezes back tighter while asking periodically throughout the embrace: “Is it one minute yet?” If I say no, she’ll yell, “Don’t let go then, it’s not one minute!” These one minute huggies really are no longer than 15 or 20 seconds but they means the world to my daughter.
It got me thinking about real estate…
As an industry, we spend a lot of time, effort, and money on generating leads. There is a small percentage of practitioners who actually focus on converting those potential customers, and even smaller number who intentionally spend time reaching out to stay top-of-mind with clients after the closing.
According to the 2015 NAR Member Profile, the typical REALTOR® earned 20 percent of their business from repeat clients and customers and 20 percent from referrals from past clients and customers. This means that the average member earns more than 40 percent of their business from their current and past database of customers. Many agents I talk to say that number for them is even higher than 40 percent.
So what does any of this have to do with hugs?
Once you leave the closing table, how do you keep in touch with (“hug”) your customer? Do you give them a call, periodically send a note or gift, send a video e-mail message, or drop by to say hello? Knowing the stats above, wouldn’t it be in our best interests to embrace those we have worked with? You’ll be surprised how many of your current and past customers would really appreciate a quick “one minute huggy” from you.
What are some creative ways you use to give your customers a “one minute huggy”? Would love for you to share them in the comments below!
P.S. I originally started writing this article a few months ago and just now got to completing it, but since that time my daughter has negotiated up to a five minute huggy. She drives a hard bargain!
Anand Patel is the founder and president of residential brokerage NextHome Discovery and commercial brokerage Pangea Realty Group, both based in Tampa, Fla. Connect with Anand: @anand_tampa, facebook.com/discoveryourplace, or linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1.