If there is one person in this world who has unlocked the secret to having it all, it might be Shay Hata.
By leveraging automation technology and keeping her business relationship-centered, Shay has managed to build the leading real estate business in Chicago (despite living 1000 miles away), average $75+ million in transactions per year, coach other real estate agents—and still end her workday at 3:00 in the afternoon, just in time for her son to arrive home from school.
Shay recently spent a magnificent hour with Realvolve and the members of the Residential Real Estate Council to share her secrets for automating her client nurturing. You can watch the entire webinar here, or continue reading for all of the juiciest takeaways we could squeeze from her presentation.
Why does nurturing clients AFTER the close matter?
According to surveys by the National Association of REALTORS®, 89% of home buyers said they would use use the same realtor when they buy or sell the next time. But only 12% actually did.
Why? Well, the top reason is...they didn't remember their realtor's name.
Realizing that around 90% of her business should be coming from past clients (and not wanting to be forgotten), Shay made it her top priority to build a process for nurturing her clients AFTER the close.
In this blog post, you'll find 4 of Shay's automations she set up in Realvolve to nurture her past clients (plus one bonus automation that happens just before close)!
4 Real Estate Automations for Nurturing Past Clients
1) Closed Client Workflow
This workflow is #1 on the list for a reason.
“The most important workflow you should set up is the ‘after transaction’ workflow,” Shay says. “That’s where you’re going to get the most money and the most future leads.”
The average homeowner will move again 13-15 years after closing on a home. That means your Closed Client workflow should be a 15-year follow-up program where you are reaching out to your clients every month—”ideally with helpful communication…things that will save them time and money.”
So don’t send pie recipes—they can find those easily online. Instead, send helpful information they can’t get anywhere else; intel that only YOU, with all of your real estate expertise, can provide.
Here are some of Shay’s favorite emails for closed client follow-up:
- Instructions on how to claim your home on Zillow so it can’t be used in a scam
- Quarterly home maintenance reminders
- Reminder to appeal property taxes
- Reminder to protect your pipes from freezing (and what to do if they do freeze)
- Details on free money from city and state programs
- A copy of ALTA statement in January
- Reminder to file homeowners’ exemption
*Tip: Keep emails short enough so they can be read on a phone without scrolling.
2) Moving Boxes Exchange (email template)
Shay has this email template set up to send 1 day after the client's moving date. The email looks a little something like this:
I hope the move went well! If you don’t want your moving boxes anymore, please let us know and we’ll connect you with a client who is moving soon. That way, you won’t have to try to get rid of your moving boxes, another client can save money, and we'll all help out the environment!
It’s little touches like this that make you memorable and referable in your clients’ minds.
“Once you get really automated, you can start adding extra things like this to your communication with clients," says Shay, "because you’re not stuck in the weeds of having to try to remember to tell them to show up for closing, because all of that is automated.”
3) Personal Life Check-Ins (reminders)
Anytime you learn about an important life event for one of your clients—whether it's a scheduled surgery, a vacation, the arrival of a new baby, an upcoming wedding, or something else—you should create a task in Realvolve. Set up a reminder for yourself (to check in with a text the day after surgery, to buy a gift off the registry two weeks before the wedding, etc.) so you’ll get a timely notification to connect with your client.
“People want to work with people who they feel care about them," Shay says, "so you have to check in with [your clients]. Not about real estate stuff, necessarily, but about other things that are going on in their life…Care about your clients, and show them you care by having communication with them. Realvolve can help you do that because you can put those reminders in there for you to reach out to people.”
4) Open Office Hours
“Clients often have questions for you, but they don’t reach out because they feel like they’re bothering you. So give them an opportunity to reach out.”
Every month, Shay hosts a Coffee Talk—a one-hour open office hours session on Zoom. She promotes it via automated emails and social media posts, and makes sure everyone in her sphere knows that they can hop on to ask any real estate questions they have. It might be a question about buying, selling, or even getting an opinion on tile samples for their kitchen remodel.
Encourage your clients to reach out to you, be intentional about providing opportunities for them to do so, and you’ll deepen many of your client relationships.
BONUS: Closing Gift automation
(Technically, this automation begins before the official close, but it's such a great way to end the transaction with your client, we had to include it.)
As you know, closing gifts can be quite the conundrum. Food is tricky, because everyone has different dietary restrictions. A fancy bottle of wine sounds nice in theory, but what if the client doesn’t drink? And trying to choose a unique and thoughtful gift for every single client is going to take way too much time.
Shay’s brilliant solution? A totally automated Closing Gift process.
Here’s how it works:
Three weeks before closing, an email goes out to clients asking them which closing gift they would like. Shay’s offers include:
- 4 hours of handyman help
- Cleaning person to deep clean your home before or after you move in
- Photographer to do a photoshoot in your new home
- $125 gift card to your favorite store
- Housewarming party (Shay provides the food, clients provide the booze)
After the client emails back with their selection, Shay does one of the following:
- Replies back to the client—and CCs her handyman, cleaner, or photographer—with the appropriate email template letting them know to coordinate with the contractor
- Uses her "gift card" email template to send a digital gift card to the client
- Sends her "housewarming" email template with details about coordinating the event
With just a few clicks in her CRM, the closing gift is taken care of, and Shay only has to spend a few seconds on the entire process.
Client relationships belong at the center of your real estate business
Shay Hata has it all figured out. For a real estate business to be sustainably successful, you have to center everything you do around your clients. When you provide excellent, consistent service; when you remember the tiny, personal details; when you provide helpful advice that saves them time and money; when you genuinely care about your clients—that's when they'll stay clients for life.
And they'll definitely remember your name.
Learn more about using Realvolve to automate your client nurturing! Schedule a consultation with one of our strategists today.
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