What is the Lifetime Value of a Customer?
“Your real estate agent for life.”
It seems like the right thing to put on our business cards, websites and any other marketing and sales material we put out into the marketplace.
After all, if an agent meant that and did what it took to make that mantra a reality, they would have a huge impact on their business over “their” lifetime.
The average person moves 11.4 times and buys three to five homes in their lifetime and could easily refer two people a year to you who want to buy or sell a home.
Over a 30-year real estate career, that’s as many as 65 home sales and as much as $440,000 in GCI...if not more.
Find even 25 people you can create that kind of relationship with and you can have an enjoyable, financially comfortable real estate career and life over those 30 years.
While most agents want to be a client’s real estate agent for life, many don’t understand what it means and even fewer do what it takes, which is too bad because amazing things happen for you and your clients when you take the task of creating clients for life to heart.
Rather than give you a long dissertation on the in’s and out’s of building clients for life, I’d like to share a perfect example of what it looks like to build clients for life from my own personal experience.
You may have heard it before and if you have, you can’t hear it enough.
If you haven’t heard it before, then your going to find some incredible value in what I’m going to share with you here.
I give you...The Shannon Brown Story.
The lifetime value of a customer
You know I love me some Jay Abraham.
He’s one of my personal mentors and he’s super smart, to boot.
Roughly 15 years ago, he made this statement on one of the webinars we did with him: “The agents that are going to succeed now and into the future will be the ones who are experts and who optimize their business and maximize what they have lying in front of them.”
Getting referrals and staying in consistent contact with the people that you’ve already met and done business with is a way of doing that.
Point of distinction here: it’s consistent contact that makes a difference.
How you “touch” them is up to you, but either way, you need to maintain a strong relationship with those with whom you want to do business.
And this is where Shannon Brown was better than anyone you might ever meet in your life.
I bought my first Hummer in 2003.
That vehicle was all the rage and getting it wrapped with your brand had a huge impact in your marketplace at the time because it was so different than anything you’d ever seen.
The day I bought my first Hummer, there were no “fireworks” surrounding the sales process from the salesperson I met that day, Shannon Brown. I was happy with the vehicle and I drove off looking forward to enjoying my new ride.
The day after the sale, Shannon called me to ask how I was enjoying the car. Again, didn’t think it was a huge deal, talked with Shannon and let him go.
A week later, Shannon called me to see how I liked the car. He also offered to help me with anything I needed and asked me if I needed any amenities or add-ons for the car.
It was at this point I started to really appreciate the effort Shannon was putting forth and I admit, I felt that he and Shannon I were becoming friends.
In fact, I had such a good experience with Shannon that I put his number in my phone (which was odd for me because prior to this day, I’d never put the number of anyone who’s ever sold me anything into my phone).
After three weeks, Shannon called again.
Since I had his number in my phone, I picked up and Shannon and I talked about the Hummer, family and other things not related to the car at all.
At the end of 30 days, Shannon called to follow with me yet again.
At this point, Shannon, currently at Eskridge Lexus in Oklahoma City, had created a raving fan out of me and was in position to ask me for a referral.
Since then, I’ve has purchased other vehicles from Shannon and referred him a bunch of business. To this day our relationship is as strong as ever and I happily refer business to him whenever I can.
Now, you may not have a Shannon Brown in your life, but you can create raving fans just like he did with me by doing a super job staying in touch with them.
Here are a few strategies that you can employ to make sure you truly become someone’s “real estate agent for life”:
- Know the actual lifetime value of your client: It’s important that you actually do the math so you can see the real impact that taking care of and staying in touch with your clients has on your business. Also, it will be for you to know so that you can see the effectiveness of your ongoing efforts as you increase the lifetime value over time.
- Create an annual plan for staying in touch with your clients and sphere: Be deliberate in your approach to contacting the people who are most important to you - calls, handwritten notes, invitations for coffee or a meal, birthday cards, holiday cards, annual events, etc. You should have these things planned out and scheduled so that they happen like clock work.
- Automate as much of it as you can: There are scores of online programs and software packages that will remind you about (and even administer) the different deliverables associated with your past client and sphere program. It’s well worth the investment to have the program run smoothly and on time.
- Put someone else in charge: To the extent that you can delegate running and executing on the program to someone else...do it. It frees you up to do more selling and running of your business.
- Get your vendors involved: Your clients are likely your vendors’ clients, too. Work with your vendors to offset the cost and effort in delivering a world-class client service experience to your customers.
- Make sure you ask for business: The great thing about being consistent in staying in touch with someone is that you’ll likely get referrals without asking. That said, you still need to ask. 85% of consumers would gladly give a referral if asked. Unfortunately, only 11% of sales people actually ask. Be sure to harvest the fruits of your labor by asking for referrals in a professional manner.
Your goal should be to become the Shannon Brown in other people’s lives.
Be the person who takes action, stays in touch with people and delivers a level of service that makes people want to stay in touch with you.
It doesn’t take a lot of money...just some strategy, effort and time.
And the payoff is well worth it.
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