Mary & Dick's Blog

Staying In Touch With Your Client Base - Best Practices

We currently have in excess of 200 previous and current clients in our database - these are people we're counting on as an important source of future business and referrals, and we take great care in keeping in touch with them. It's a light touch, though - we don't want to be obtrusive or annoying. Our goal is to establish and maintain a simple synapse connection in their brains:

Mary & Dick

Over the years, we have found a variety of ways to reinforce our connections with our clients, and one of the absolute best - and least expensive - is our annual Christmas gift to them.

Each year, every one of our past and current clients receives an annual subscription to Sunset Magazine from us. If you're not familiar with it, Sunset is a very high-quality regional monthly magazine, combining travel, gardening and cooking topics, all around the theme of living in the western US. Our clients love it!

They recieve a notification of their subscription in our holiday greetings card to them. But even better, every month, when they receive their issue of the magazine, they're reminded of who sent it to them - it comes with a cover wrapper that has our name and message on it. Here's what it looks like:

Sunset Cover Wrap

And the best part: the annual subscription is $14 - only $1.17 a month. So each month, your clients will be reminded of how thoughtful you are - that's the word that keeps coming back to us from them when they thank us - thoughtful. Good word association, isn't it? We have to admit, though, that with 200+ clients, that annual investment in our client base is a big chunk of change. But we haven't spent any money that was more effective since we started in this business - it's probably the last thing we would cut.

If you don't live in the western US, maybe Sunset isn't the best publication for you (or maybe it would work out great - all your clients would want you to list and sell their homes so they could move here - and, hey!, you could refer them to us when they do!) But there are dozens of regional magazines that probably have similar professional gift subscription programs, similarly priced. You can probably find several that your clients would like.

If you'd like to check out the Sunset program, here's the link to the Sunset Professional Gift Subscription Program. And if you decide to use them, drop us an e-mail and we'll give you some tips to make your transaction a bit easier.

Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-689-4663
www.maryanddick.com

 

Data Source: IRES MLS

Comment balloon 22 commentsDick Greenberg • September 29 2011 01:08PM

Comments

I was just having a conversation with my business partner about what to do this year for Christmas for our clients. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group) about 7 years ago

Hi Dick -

We have given a year of NM Magazine in wtih the closing gift but never thought of doing for Christmas.  Great idea.

Best regards from The Q 

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) about 7 years ago

Dick - this so far is the best practice I have ever heard. Non intrusive, non-agreesive,  and keeps your name where you want it to be.

Not that I like the text message, I would even tone it down and make it less about begging for business, but if I were doing it, I would mitigate it and in the message I would send telling them about the subscription, i would tell them that the message is pre-printed and I am doing it because I appreciate them, not as a push for business.

Unfortunately, I can't use it in the same format, as my buyers do not move here. These are vacation properties and they may show up for a week or two, or may even not.

So, I keep  thinking

thank you for an excellent idea, though

Suggested

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) about 7 years ago

GREAT IDEA!!! Thank you. When do you typically place your order for the magazine? I have saved the site in my favorites. I have recently relocated to a new city, I am trying to "break into the market". Any tips would be great.

Posted by Erik Kloth, Serving Redding, Ca and Surrounding Communities (Next Generation Real Estate Services) about 7 years ago

Hi Amanda - It's a great Christmas gift - we have a separate little card we put in with our Christmas card announcing it. Clients love it.

Hi John - NM Magazine is a great one too, but you do have the choice of Sunset, since NM is in the coverage area.

Hi Jon - Yeah, we're not crazy about the message either, but we can't change that part of the wrap. The saving grace is that probably few of our clients ever actually read it - but they do notive the Mary & Dick.

Hi Erik - The annual subscription nightmare usually takes place in October/November. They would prefer to do it on-line, but we had a couple of years of confusion with the list, and we buy enough subscriptions, that we now have a real live person to talk to. You probably won't need that until you get quite a few subscriptions, though. The people at Sunset are really nice, but their call center is just that - a call center. If you go off-script, you need to be escalated to customer service.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 7 years ago

Dick, what a fabulous idea!  I just read your post to Justin and he agrees.  Thank you so much, we are going to look into a few magazine ideas we have for our area (Ski Magazine, etc.) and see what it would cost.  Thank you again!  --Krystal

Posted by Krystal Knott, Breckenridge CO Real Estate & All Summit County CO (LIV Sotheby's International Realty) about 7 years ago

Dick - that is a fantastic idea.   I wish I was one of your clients!  That is a great magazine, and I am sure they appreciate it.

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) about 7 years ago

Great way to stay in touch with the client base.  It's amazing how many agents in our business never touch base with past clients and then are surprised when they use the services of another agent.  We need to remind folks we are still in business constantly.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 7 years ago

hey Dick - that is a KILLER idea. How subtle yet how effective! LOVE IT.

Ok I usually close about 100 loans or so /yr (obviosuly effort and rate affected) so I spend 1400 and make 100 peeps happy as well as a monthly reminder of" WHO DO YOU LOVE"!!! lol. Sounds like a good deal

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) about 7 years ago

Dick, this is a mighty fine idea. I love how you and Mary are always on the cutting edge.  That's a bargain for sure. I have been writing my own but certainly something like this is significantly better. Have a good one!

Posted by Cathy Criado, Making Real Estate Profitable (Criado Realty ) about 7 years ago

This an interesting idea, I'll have to keep it in mind as the holiday season approaches.

Posted by Larry Atkins (State Wide Realty Co.) about 7 years ago

Great idea Dick!  Who wouldn't love a free subscription to Sunset??!  It's an affordable gift that keeps you in front of them all year.

Posted by Rebekah Radice, Social Media Marketing, Coaching & Training (Imagine WOW! Digital Marketing Agency) about 7 years ago

Dick....whatever the method, there is nothing better than keeping in touch with your DB.  Glad you found your sweet spot!!!!

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) about 7 years ago

I love this idea.  It gives your client value, is related to their home and gets your name in front of them monthly while being unobtusive.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 7 years ago

I'm back, and I remember this idea from before.  I'll have to see if they have one here locally for the east. We have many more customers, so the cost will be a big chunk, but if I think about it as $1 or so per customer (per yr), it's not so bad.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 5 years ago

I've given gift subscriptions at closing but never thought to give it on an ongoing annual basis.  Wonderful idea and I thank you!   Now to find a magazine for south Florida.

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

What a great idea! I believe we have a local county magazine and I am going to go check it out!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) about 5 years ago

And this cool post! I love this idea Dick and no doubt it does keep you top of mind. I may have to steal this one. Hahaha.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 5 years ago

Wow that is a great idea I will have to check it out hard to believe it is tha affordable

Posted by Charles Stallions Real Estate Services, Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc) about 5 years ago

Love this idea!  It's perfect for our neck of the woods. Our clients will love it - perfect Christmas gift that gives all year long.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 4 years ago

Great idea and really not that expensive when you think about other things we would spend money on for those same clients that would be far less effective.

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) about 4 years ago

I love this!  What a great idea, thank you for sharing

Posted by Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate, Broker, Results Real Estate (Results Real Estate 801.580.5624) almost 4 years ago

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