Today we are going to talk about how to stay in communication with your sellers after the closing! This can be a little more tricky than following up with buyers, but it can mean additional commissions down the line!
- Why Should You Stay In Touch With Past Sellers?
- Setting Up A Followup System To Stay In Touch With Past Sellers
- Follow Up Plan For Past Sellers Wrapup
Why Should You Stay In Touch With Past Sellers?
It is easy to understand staying in touch with past buyers, they are in your area, maybe even living in your real estate farm!
But what about sellers? Especially if they are moving out your local market? How can following up with them help you turn them into potential clients again?
Their Local Friends
So first off, your sellers probably will maintain some connection to the area they are moving out of! I know that am still friends with many people in Denver where I lived for 8 years before moving back to Florida.
If you stay in touch, you will remain top of mind even after they move out of the area!
If you have done a great job being your seller's advocate and getting them a great price for their house fast, they will love you!
When they plan to sell their out of area house they may contact you to ask questions. Let them know you are always available to them and are willing to find them a great agent in their location (and make sure to do you research and find them someone amazing!)
In most cases that will be a 25% referral fee and you know you will be there to help them make decisions with their new agent!
Additional Resource: Referral Tips and Ideas For Realtors!
Funny story… my husband transferred to Denver to work with a company that recruited a bunch of guys from the Tampa Bay area. Out of the 10 or so that moved out, only one is still in Denver 10+ years later and most of them moved back to the Tampa Bay area.
Staying in touch could mean a super easy buyer side if your seller decides to move back to the area!
One last thing to remember it is MUCH easier to work with past clients than to have to do spend your time chasing real estate leads and doing lead generation marketing!
You have already taken the time to build trust, learn about their needs and established a relationship. It seems silly to just let that all slip away after the sale is closed.
Setting Up A Followup System To Stay In Touch With Past Sellers
Now that I have convinced you to follow up with your past listings, here are some suggestions for how to do that!
For Clients Who Buy and Sell with You in the Same Location:
If you have both sides of the deal and your listings are also buyers I recommend that you treat the followup like a buyers agent! But here is a quick overview of a few things you can do!
Day 1 After Closing
Send a personalized thank-you note expressing gratitude for their trust in handling both sides of the transaction. Offer to help with any immediate post-move needs they may have!
Check in via phone call or email. Ask how the move went and if they need any additional help, such as recommendations for local services or home improvement.
They for sure might need some recommendations for services like AC, handyman or other trades people for their new house!
Send a small housewarming gift or a card. This shows that you still care about them and are thinking of them!
Send quarterly communications, such as market updates, home maintenance tips, or community news. These should be informative and relevant to their new home and community which is in your local area.
Additional Resource : Staying In Touch With Past Buyers
For Listing Clients Who Move Out of the Area
It can seem fruitless to keep in touch with your listing clients after they move out of the area!
Above I listed a bunch of reasons to stay connected, but in general I feel like Facebook and the internet have made us all closer so being “their Realtor” doesn't have to end when they leave the area!
Day 1 After Closing
Send a heartfelt thank-you message, acknowledging the completion of the sale and expressing hope for their future wellbeing in the new location.
Reach out with a follow-up call or email, making sure they're settling in well or to address any post-sale questions they may have.
By now they are probably missing the daily conversations that you had been having and will be happy to reconnect in lower stress way!
Send a thoughtful message, possibly including interesting real estate news from their new area. It's a way to stay relevant and helpful!
Because you don't have access to their local MLS it is a bit harder to stay relevant over the coming months and years. You can't really do CMAs without knowledge of their market and so you need to be creative! (don't forget, you aren't doing this for just one client but everyone who moves out of the area!)
Think of this as an update from an old friend and send them things that you find interesting personally or that are “big news” in the area they moved from… for example:
Hello from sunny Florida! I bet you are wishing for the warm beaches right about now, but I wanted to pop in and see how you are doing and mention that I am a tiny bit jealous seeing all the snow and cute sweaters you can wear!
Now that is definitely in my tone of voice, but you can write fun things in your own tone of voice! Use your marketing database to personalize these messages with their first name for extra brownie points!
Okay, here is where you want to get really strategic! Homeownership years have been edging up according to NAR since 2008 to 13 years overall and lower for more urban areas.
With this in mind I would have a 9 year anniversary marketing plan! As the 9 year mark approaches, increase the frequency of your communications slightly.
Offer an evaluation of their current property, discuss market trends, and remind them of your services and referral network.
You KNOW there is a good chance they will be selling their house sometime in the future and maybe they will even be moving back to your area!
Follow Up Plan For Past Sellers Wrapup
Okay, that is great start to developing a real estate followup plan! The key to this and all your real estate marketing efforts is to be true to your real estate branding and use that as a way to stay in touch with your past clients.
Just the fact that you are thinking about this puts you far ahead of most real estate agents… you are going to do great!