Appreciation marketing is, to some extent, simply good business manners. But it's good manners applied systematically across the business, to build engagement with your customers and to maintain a relationship with them long-term. The next time they, their friends or family, have a need for an agent, you’ll be the obvious person to call because they know you.
Here are four key ways to make appreciation marketing part of the way you do business.
1. Make it personal
People relate to people, and nowhere is that more true than in appreciation marketing. When a customer instructs an agent, they should get a communication thanking them and giving the personal details of the agent who will look after them. That includes office extension number, work mobile phone, individual email and full name.
It's remarkable how many agencies expect a client to phone the office and explain every time to a receptionist, who they are and what they are selling. It doesn't make the customer feel appreciated. In fact, the message it gives out to customers is that now the agency has their business, they can join the queue for customer service.
2. Build on the relationship by demonstrating appreciation
Many agents feel that if what they are saying is in the customer's best interests, it's fine to be quite demanding.
So, for example, you might suggest that the garden is tidied up by first viewing on Monday, because you know that this will help to sell or let the house. But take the opportunity to build your relationship with the client, simply by expressing appreciation. Thank them for the time they've spent tidying the garden and tell them that it's a really great help when it comes to selling.
They'll feel better and they'll like you more. Does this sound simplistic? It is.
3. Appreciation marketing is all about detail
Personal detail about your clients is the one thing you have that your competitors don’t - so use it to your advantage.
Let’s go back to that moving-in card (a moving-in email won’t hack it). A generic moving-in card with the firm’s logo printed inside will be in the wastepaper basket as soon as the client has unpacked it. Now suppose that you know the client’s first name and you know the client has a pet poodle. You select a card showing a dog and write a personal message about Fifi enjoying her new home. You sign it with your first name, “Ahmed from Brown’s” and add your business details underneath.
Who’s going to be the first call when your customer’s friend or relative decides to sell their house? You.
4. Let’s party!
Christmas is a quiet time for sales, and agents’ offices are often near shops or in the centre of town, so it’s an ideal time to offer clients from the past year a coffee or a glass of wine and a mince pie. Alternatively, try putting on a raffle that’s limited to people who’ve sold or rented with you. This is your chance to show your appreciation and at the same time, refresh your knowledge and generate leads, simply by talking to people. Let’s face it, many partners will be only too glad to sit on your sofa whilst the other half does the Christmas shopping.
There are lots of other opportunities for other appreciation marketing ideas. And if all of this is simply what your mother would have described as good manners, now would be a good time to thank her.
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