May 30, 2021 – As Seen on RisMedia (Niraj Patel)

You may have heard the often-cited National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) statistic that 90% of homeowners would use their real estate agent again, but only 12% actually do. What you may not know is the reason behind it.

According to Chris Stuart, president of PLACE, Inc., the real estate industry spends more on customer acquisition than any other industry but doesn’t invest the same amount in customer retention. The numbers back him up, with companies like Southwest and Marriott spending less than 3% of their marketing budget on customer acquisition, while the real estate industry spends a whopping 20% of its marketing dollars to add customers, only to lose them as they leave the closing table.

Of course, retention in real estate is made more difficult by the fact that the average time between real estate transactions is five to seven years, not just a few weeks or months as it would be for retail or travel companies.

Looking at other industries that focus more on customer retention, they do so not by offering a host of random services, but by creating a customer experience that brings people back over and over. With that in mind, here is a tactical approach that will allow you to prove your value month after month—for years to come.

The experience should begin pre-move, where the agent and the brokerage provide end-to-end services including mortgage, insurance, closing, home warranty and moving concierge.

While the pre-move services help solidify your role as a market expert, they still “wow” the client only in the short term. But there are a few things to consider in order to continue being sought out as an expert:

Content Creation
-Create relevant content—blog posts, social media content, mailers and infographics that inform and educate your clients on various aspects of homeownership, helping them maximize the value of their investment. In addition to blog post content, create small handouts or articles on different home improvement or maintenance projects.

Initiate Timely Reminders and Savings
-Your content calendar shouldn’t just include blogs. Reach out with reminders about tax deductions, refinancing opportunities and other ways to save money or optimize the value of their investment. When clients believe you have their best interest at heart, they’ll be more likely to respond to your message.

Leverage Local Resources
-Create an in-house concierge who can help connect clients with trusted local vendors and service providers. This complements your home improvement content. They could also connect the same client with your moving concierge to help them with utility deals a few years after they move.

Remember that every touchpoint should leave your client feeling better off for having spent some time talking with you or engaging with your content.