PLACE Magazine Inaugural Issue, December 2022

THE LOYALTY GAP AND OPPORTUNITY When asked, most buyers and sellers are satisfied with their agent’s performance. In fact, according to The National Association of Realtors® most recent Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 90% of home buyers would use their agent again. But when it comes down to it, the average Realtor® gets only 16% of their business from repeat clients and customers. I call this the loyalty gap. And it represents a huge opportunity for agents. I believe this is due, in part, to agents focusing too much of their attention on attracting new clients rather than maintaining their existing ones. When push comes to shove, agents would be far more successful if they focused on enhancing the customer experience for their existing clientele and on deepening those relationships instead of focusing on the next new lead or shiny new lead-capturing tool. I encourage you to ask yourself how many deals you got from your personal network — whether directly or by referral. These relationships are where the best long-term business-building opportunities lie. And when you really work to enhance these relationships and meet the needs of those clients, you will close the loyalty gap. WHERE ARE THE REPEAT CUSTOMERS? I see it over and over; you’ve served your clients well. They were happy at the end of the transaction. But next time they need an agent, they don’t return to you. Awareness isn’t the problem. They know you exist — they’ve used you before. Affinity isn’t the problem, after all, your client liked you. Representation doesn’t come into play either, as most people on both sides of the transaction use an agent these days. When it comes down to it, you’re likely overlooking the details required to instill true loyalty. Clients are touched by the things they find valuable. All too often, I see agents who either don’t bother to stay in contact with their past clients or don’t provide quality touches. Your clients are looking for more value than the latest housing inventory. They’re looking for advice, insight, and counsel. When a client can go online and promptly get their questions answered by the internet, they are looking for more from you. When you provide the deeper knowledge that can only come from your experience and personal connections, you instill loyalty. BECOME INDISPENSABLE To become a truly vital asset to your customers, you need to provide them with value they can’t get anywhere else. Think about your sphere. Everyone in it leads lives busy with work,

families, obligations, and social activities. They don’t need us to toot our own horn and talk all about our successes. They aren’t interested in self-promotion; they want us to guide them.

To do so, we need to figure out their ongoing household conversations over real estate. As agents, we may not always know what our clients don’t know. It pays to find out, and share your expertise. For instance, maybe your satisfied clients are currently trying to save money, or extend the life of their home with maintenance. Maybe they are focused on expanding their equity by making smart decisions around refinancing or remodeling. When we determine what they need to know and provide this information to them, we become a valuable guide. It naturally provides a longer-term connection. A book I often suggest agents read, “Building a StoryBrand,” by Donald Miller, highlights the importance of putting the customer’s needs above our own. This goal is especially true in real estate, where we can not just encourage our buyers and sellers, but equip them with the information, insight, and expertise that will help them to come out on top. When we take the time to show our customers we understand their frustrations, they’re far more likely to trust us to solve them.


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