Working with renters is a business in and of itself. However, nothing beats a rental client who’s been bitten by the ownership bug and is ready to make his or her first purchase. For agents who work in both sales and rentals, here a few key ways to make sure you position yourself as a resource to make today’s renters your next buyer clients.
1) Stay in touch
Real estate is about relationships. Make every effort to stay in touch with your past and present rental clients: Add them to your newsletter distribution lists, Trulia contacts, social networks, and anywhere else you can. Your list is never too small to start. I started with zero contacts and now have more than 6,000 people I can reach with an email or a status update.
Communicate offline too. I send personal cards every so often for no reason. I also host an annual client appreciation party to thank all of my renters, which always generates fantastic feedback. The fact that I take the time and effort to plan this party every year shows I value my clients’ friendship, as well as their business. People really respond to that.
2) Make sure renters know you work in sales
You don’t want people to pigeonhole you into rentals. Share both rental and sales content and statistics with your contacts. The first time a rental client buys a home using another agent because they “didn’t know you worked in sales,” you’ll realize you only have yourself to blame. Don’t let it happen. Make sure your communications and conversations include information on buying and selling homes.
3) Show them the data
The benefits of home ownership are real and measureable. Be sure to appeal to your client’s bottom line when you’re keeping in touch.
Include research from sources like Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy comparison, tax credit information, local market updates, and even for-sale listings in your market in your e-mails and online sharing. You never know when your post or message will motivate a client to call and ask you for help with their next move.
As I said in a previous post, “most owners were once renters.” So if you’re an agent who works actively in both sales and rentals, make sure you stay connected to these clients. After all you never know who will be responsible for your next big commission.