Las Vegas Realtor and new Inman contributor John Sullivan says lasting success in real estate comes less from transactions and more from connections that are nurtured for the long term.

Throughout my real estate journey, I’ve discovered that building lasting client relationships is the most crucial aspect of leading a successful business. 

These connections are the foundation of our industry. Yet, the art of sustaining these relationships is intricate. It demands dedicated effort, personalized communication, genuine gratitude and an unwavering commitment to serving as a valuable resource.

Below are the guiding principles that have shaped my strategy for cultivating and nurturing client relationships throughout my career.

Serving your current clients 

Maintaining a steady flow of communication is a central component in maintaining relationships with my existing clients. I proactively engage with them once or twice weekly, combining calls with timely texts and emails.

Complementing these efforts, I send regular mailers every three months, personalized holiday cards and birthday wishes to each client. This consistent routine keeps the lines of communication open and reinforces a personal touch within our professional relationship, demonstrating reliability.

My primary objective is to anticipate and meet their needs promptly. By addressing their needs proactively, I aim to surpass expectations. Our relationship extends beyond a mere service transaction; it’s about cultivating a profound sense of trust and assurance.

Service beyond closing 

After successfully closing deals and completing transactions, the following 30 days are pivotal. During this time frame, I focus on maintaining a consistent connection with clients, averaging about seven interactions. This outreach strategy encompasses thoughtful gestures such as sending housewarming or closing gifts.

Moving forward, my commitment extends to reaching out every 90 days indefinitely. This regular communication, centered around significant events like birthdays, weddings or the arrival of new family members, holds profound meaning for clients. 

Demonstrating continuous care beyond the transactional phase can make a genuine difference in fostering lasting relationships. So, I would recommend investing some time at the end of each transaction to input your client’s information into your database, including details like birthdays and forwarding addresses. This simple step will help you stay organized and ensure no client slips through the cracks. 

Become a resource 

As real estate agents, our responsibility goes beyond the conventional transaction. It’s about evolving into a continuous resource for all our clients, both past and present, ensuring they can access accurate and current information at every stage.

To accomplish this, I remain attuned to the market, aiding past clients in making strategic decisions such as refinancing and investments. Furthermore, I’ve curated a network of reliable vendors —plumbers, electricians, painters — each renowned for their dependability and ability to address various home-related needs.

Referrals and advocates 

You might question the value of investing effort in maintaining lasting past client relationships. Why not concentrate solely on current clients? To put it into perspective, about 65 percent of my business originates from repeat clients, who treated as friends, not only remember but also refer me to others.

Expressing my gratitude, I make it a point to send gifts to clients who send referrals my way — a timeless gesture to convey appreciation for their trust in me for their homebuying or selling processes and for referring their family and friends.

Past clients also have the potential to transform into powerful advocates for your business. An unexpected cold call in 2016 led to a client, who evolved from a business relationship into a genuine friendship over time. This connection resulted in over 30 new clients through referrals. My business thrived by consistently going the extra mile, reaping the rewards of treating clients like family.

Create a lasting impact 

Client relationships stand as the foundation to enduring success in this industry. By adopting thoughtful approaches, positioning ourselves as valuable resources and nurturing meaningful connections, agents can construct a resilient network over time, consistently generating valuable returns.

Remember, success in this industry is not just about transactions; it’s about the lasting impact we create in the lives of those we serve.

Originally from Brighton in the South of England, John Sullivan is now a permanent resident of the world-famous city of Las Vegas. After a successful 10-year period as a professional soccer player in England, he decided to relocate to Nevada and pursue a new career in real estate. Connect with him on Instagram.

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