Client retention and expansion is a key component in building a sustainable brokerage practice. However, many commercial real estate professionals find themselves closing less than a majority of their inactive (don’t call them past) client’s renewals and expansions. Examine your renewal and expansion closing ratio. If you are not maintaining an 80% plus success rate, you are leaving money on the table and hurting the growth rate of your income.
Communication is essential to any relationship; albeit professional or personal. Yet, we get busy with the day to day aspects of the job and all too often neglect opportunities to relationship build with our clients through good communication. Most good brokers appreciate the value of this and have good intentions with respect to maintaining relationships. However, good intentions are not enough! You must consistently, persistently and effectively communicate to maintain top of mind presence and keep your relationships moving forward.
Here is a program that gets you off on the right foot with your clients and opens the door to client engagement. It’s called anniversary calling. It’s easy to do; it’s effective and it takes minimal effort! Just follow these steps:
1) On the close date of every transaction: schedule future client calls on
- One week anniversary
- 30-day anniversary
- 90-day anniversary
- Each quarter thereafter
2) On the call
- Acknowledge the anniversary
- Thank them for the privilege of working with them
- See how the facility or investment is performing for them; offer help if needed
- Offer expanded services or reinforce your value proposition
- Ask if they can help you grow your business (referral)
That’s it! Make four calls the first year of the close, followed by quarterly follow ups.
The anniversary call is easy to do because it is a process that is easy to follow. The calls are well received because they demonstrate thoughtfulness versus being perceived as a sales call. They also demonstrate to your client that you are organized and have them “top of mind”.
The result: you remain top of mind; and your ratio of closings for renewal, expansions and referrals increases, as does your income.