The power of giving so you may receive.
A career in real estate is for many a career in sales. I subscribe to something a little different. To a large extent, I see it as a career in “giving”. In exchange for compensation for service rendered, we offer our expertise, time, financial resources and emotions. I present myself to my clients as their Realtor® for life. I don’t mean this to be a trite promotion. It’s a sincere statement which conveys that I am their real estate resource and professional not only during but well before and beyond any purchase or sale transaction. Yes, when a deal closes I am paid. Any further service, however, is offered free of expectation with the hope I will continue to maintain their trust and continuing referrals. In effect, I am their real estate concierge.
This brings us back to the notion of giving in order to receive. My inspiration for today’s blog comes as a result of an e-mail I received yesterday from fellow AllBusiness author, Kevin Stirtz, who writes the Smart Marketing blog. Kevin’s e-mail was an unsolicited act of welcome, a gesture on his part letting me know I have joined a community of bloggers whose shared goal is to impart our experiences as entrepreneurs and small business owners in a useful, educational and engaging manner. It was not just Kevin’s warm and congenial tone I appreciated, but that he took the time to inform himself about me and my business. In reading my recent posting , Who Do You Want Your Clients To Be?, he recognized a potential need I and my clients might have for content he could provide. In essence, he offered me something of value in exchange for nothing more than courtesy and consideration.
One of the most powerful means of developing your business is staying in front of customers on a consistent and permanent basis. I make it a policy to get in touch with my database on a monthly, certainly no less than quarterly basis. If I am sending out a mailing or other element to my promotional campaign, I insure it is something of value; perhaps useful information concerning current housing market trends or coupons in support of a local small business. Sometimes I will promote a client’s own business to my database. I have an annual client appreciation event and make certain that every client receives a considerate and useful gift at closing. Rather than employing mass marketing techniques, my approach has been to cultivate relationships with a select few clients who refer their friends, family and colleagues to me consistently. And I never leave my gratitude unexpressed. Without clients, we have no business. They are our most valuable resource and should be treated as such.
Recently, I wrote about my father-in-law who is retiring from real estate this month after a lengthy and very successful career in eastern Washington State. His attitude was simple. Walking out the door to meet a new client, he’d say “I’m just making a new friend”. And he meant it. Give of yourself sincerely and unconditionally and your clients will return the favor in the most important way they can, referrals.