Relationship building: The key to estate agency success

Real estate agent handing the keys to two new homeowners

Amid a continually fluctuating property market, the ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with clients can be a game-changer for estate agents. Relationship building is more than just good practice; it's the secret to ongoing and sustainable business generation. But is your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system setting you up for success?

We conducted a study with a group of our clients and found that an astonishing 91% of contacts in the average agency's CRM had been neglected for six months or more. That's a staggering amount of potential business lost to competitors. This lapse often comes as a result of CRM systems that make it too easy to 'archive' and forget about contacts. But what if the tides were turned? Your CRM database could be a veritable goldmine of untapped potential.

Are you transacting or relating?

The question every agent needs to be asking is whether their CRM system serves as a true 'Relationship' Manager or just a 'Transaction' Manager. Most traditional estate agency CRMs focus on the linear process of Valuation-to-Instruction-to-Sale, often allowing valuable contacts to be archived and fall into a pit of data, left to be sporadically sorted through when the business pipeline is running dry. In contrast, a CRM that is a true ‘Relationship’ Manager helps maintain ongoing connections, thus cultivating long-term relationships that drive business growth and resilience.

Paving the way to increased business

In the UK, the vast majority of property owners will not sell with the same agent that they bought through. Why? Comparing multiple agents and deciding based on service delivery is common practice. If your buyer never heard from you after the sale, you’re unlikely to make the cut.

As soon as the keys are in hand, past buyers are already thinking about their next steps – be it renovations, garden makeovers, or even browsing for their next potential property. Savvy agents will insert themselves into these conversations by offering valuable advice. They can help guide these eager homeowners, offering insights on renovations that could bump up the property value or advising them on remortgaging after the fixed term period. They can even provide estimates on how much additional equity these homeowners might accrue over the next 12 months. Simple, consistent post-sale interactions like these will maintain the relationship and keep your brand front of mind. 

A good CRM system, like Rex, can unlock the potential of an 'archived' database and put you back in touch with these crucial contacts. Leveraging relationships beyond the initial sale, positioning you as the go-to property expert for your clients.

The power of word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth referrals are worth their weight in gold in any industry. A client recommending your services is the ultimate sign of trust and satisfaction. If you hear, "...You sold my brother/sister/friends/etc. house, and they recommended that I give you a call…" know that you’re on the right track. 

But here's the thing: you can only achieve this if your CRM is relationship-centric. This means being able to go above and beyond to meet your client's needs and provide them with a seamless and stress-free experience. From keeping your vendors updated and responding to emails promptly to providing detailed property reports, there are plenty of ways to improve your customer experience. As long as you provide excellent services throughout the transaction, your clients likely won’t need any prompting to recommend you to others.

Turning the Tide

The agents striding ahead in 2023 and beyond are those committed to a long-term strategy of building and maintaining relationships. This approach involves continual engagement with past buyers, keeping track of market changes, and offering insightful advice when needed. Utilising tools like Rex CRM that will not only help you manage transactions but also enable you to maintain and cultivate relationships with your clients. It’s about turning one-time transactions into lifetime relationships. After all, a client for life is worth much more than a single sale.

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