There’s a big difference between past clients and forever clients.
At this year’s Success Summit, I challenged attendees to a monumental mindset shift…
I called for the END of “past” clients.
It’s a minor distinction with a major impact. And I’ll explain why in this blog.
Let’s get started.
Shifting the Mindset
Before I tell you why, let me ask you: Would you ever call someone a PAST client to their face? That’s a serious question.
Would you introduce them to someone else by saying, “This is my past client”?
No, that’s stupid, so stop thinking that way. Hopefully you’re beginning to see my rationale – the way that you THINK about things affects the way you behave towards things.
Does your attorney think of you as a PAST client? Does your doctor think of you as a PAST patient? Your CPA? Financial planner?
Of course not.
The fact is, treating your clients like PAST clients is the surest way to keep them in the past.
When you genuinely don’t see your clients as “past” clients anymore and realize they’re all just “clients,” you’ll begin to behave in ways that make them see you as:
- The go-to resource for all real estate needs
- The educator
- The insider
- The fiduciary
My friend Allan Dalton strives to make his agents all of the things listed above, and that’s why he’s coined the term “Forever Agents.” I mean, who would ever let this kind of agent go?
There’s not a single aspect of your personal relationships or business that doesn’t stand to improve from making the shift, and that shift comes from moving out of a purely transactional state of mind…
It Starts at the Beginning
When does a client become your client?
If you’re anything like me, it begins the moment the connection is made. What’s truly important is that I view people as my clients WAYYYY before they ever sign anything with me, and you should too.
When you begin giving the same level of exceptional service and attention to every person you meet, regardless of whether you think they may transact with you, there’s going to be a new level of trust and respect for the services you provide.
You are in the business of serving people – because “people” are your clients. Once you begin to think of them as people, and yourself as someone whose job it is to simply improve their lives, you’ll begin to step out of the transactional mindset.
One of our breakout coaching members, Dwayne Pano has an epically brilliant and simple strategy… Every time he meets someone, whether it’s for the first time or not, he asks the question, “Is there anything I can help you with? And it does not have to be real estate related.”
Start asking this question and see what happens not just for your business but also your mindset.
More Than Just an Agent
A world without past clients is also a world without traditional real estate agents. Now, I’m not saying that you don’t already do a lot, because you absolutely do, but it’s really more about the way you position your services (AKA your brand).
If you want people to come back to you time and time again and enthusiastically refer you to every person they know, you need to become more than just an agent. Here’s a list of some additional roles you should play in your clients’ lives:
- Lifestyle concierge
- Community leader
- Asset manager and wealth consultant
Which role is best for you? In my opinion, all of them, because the more roles you play, the more essential you’ll make yourself in people’s lives and in the community at large.
Let’s take a brief look into some of these roles you could play…
Role 1: Friend
Dave Archuletta from Rancho Mission Viejo has built a killer business in just a couple of years based on one strategy – he runs a community softball club open to anyone who wants to play. But here’s the real kicker… Dave has never once asked someone for their business or said, “I’m a real estate agent,” or anything like that. Because of all the great things he does for the community, people naturally come up to him seeking his services.
Dave’s advice: find something you’re passionate about and create a club based around that.
Speaking of events… Just a few weeks ago, I published a blog about Rockstar agent Donna Molet’s phenomenal strategy for throwing her annual holiday party. This is another example of throwing an event without ever asking for business which cements your clients into your life as friends who look forward to spending time with you.
Because Dave and Donna have established such unshakable bonds with their clients, do you think those people (or their family or friends) would ever run off to another agent??? Not a chance!
Role 2: Lifestyle Concierge
What if your real estate agent didn’t just sell you your home but also provided you with almost everything you needed for it for your entire time living there?
As part of our recent Success Summit, everyone at the event was given six Ultimate Real Estate Playbooks, each containing two case studies of top agent strategies that are dominating their markets right now (coaching members get even more – 70 case studies in total!).
All of them are phenomenal, but there was one that particularly blew my mind. Amy Stockberger out of South Dakota runs a program she calls the “Lifetime Home Service Program.”
Without giving too much away (you really have to read the full case study), Amy gives her clients access to a variety of resources and services completely free for LIFE. These include:
- A moving van for whenever they need it
- A shed full stocked with party supplies
- A shed stocked with every type of home improvement tool you could imagine
- And SO MUCH MORE
The point here is, you want to be the master key that unlocks the community for people, not just the person who unlocks the door of their home. I mean, if Amy was in your area, wouldn’t YOU even want to work with her?
Role 3: Community Leader
Speaking of the Ultimate Real Estate Playbooks… Christi Reece out of Grand Junction, Colorado has a phenomenal case study about what it takes to become known as a leader in your community.
Through a combination of podcasting, philanthropy (such as allowing people to vote on which charity she gives a portion of her commissions to), and getting in tight with the Chamber of Commerce, she’s made herself known by everyone as much more than a real estate agent.
I’m not saying that you need to go to the level that Christi does if you’re not up for it. Find your own way.
When you’re a leader in the community who demonstrates how much you care for the people of the community and feel a responsibility towards them, they’re going to feel that same responsibility towards you.
If you want to get started right away, I’d record a video of yourself explaining that you “DON’T HAVE PAST CLIENTS” and post it to social media right away. By joining this cause, you’re helping to improve communities everywhere for millions of buyers and sellers.
Role 4: Asset Manager and Wealth Consultant
For most real estate agents, this is the area I think you should start because, to some extent, it’s already a part of your business.
But I want you to take it a step further. How detailed are your Annual Equity Reviews? These shouldn’t be simple CMA overviews about how much a home has appreciated; they should be wealth consultations.
Simply imagine if you could be the asset manager helping your clients to purchase their first-time investment properties and then growing that portfolio for every person you know. This is a vision of the future where you don’t just facilitate transactions but transform lives.
When I say I want to see the “End of Past Clients,” I’m talking about completely rethinking the model for how we manage our relationships, and this is how that happens.
No More Past Clients
I want you to scream it with me…
“IT’S THE END OF ‘PAST’ CLIENTS!”
Starting right now, I want you to put your foot down and let every person you work with know that the transaction you’re embarking on is just the very beginning of your relationship together.
Take this seriously, because over time, the agents who follow this advice will weed out the ones who simply bounce from one client to the next until all the business begins to dry up.
Remember, you are the educator, the insider, the fiduciary to your clients, and the more roles you play in their lives, the more roles they’ll play in yours.
I hope this has been helpful. Please let me know in the comments what additional roles you plan to adopt to better serve your clients.