Friday, March 9, 2018

The Value Of Staying in Touch

Getting a new client takes a lot of work. From executing marketing campaigns to capturing leads to moving them through the sales pipeline, a closed deal certainly seems like a cause for celebration. But do you know how much those new customers are really costing you? While every business needs new customers to stay alive, putting most of your energy and resources into new client acquisition might not be the best way to maximize profits. So what's a more beneficial — and cost-effective — use of your resources? Keeping the customers you already have.

The Value of Customer Retention
Did you know it costs five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one? Conversely, increasing customer retention by 5% can boost your profits by 25%. Add to that the fact that your chances of selling to a current customer are 60-70%, compared to a mere 5-20% for new customers, and there's no denying that customer retention should be one of your highest priorities.

Creating Customer Loyalty
So, how can you keep the customers you already have? By continually working to delight your clients and increase customer loyalty. While we could go into a great deal of depth on this subject, here are three basic principles for keeping customers coming back:
1. Engage
Communicating with your clients regularly helps them feel valued, reinforces their decision to buy, and allows you to market to them until they are ready to buy again. Not only does frequency matter, but so does the medium. According to a recent survey of U.S. digital marketers by Gigaom Research, 56% hailed email as the most effective digital channel for customer retention, followed by social media (37%), content marketing (32%), and referral marketing (26%). Remember to add variety to your messaging, providing a good mix of educational content, friendly keep-in-touch messages, and transaction-focused communications.

2. Reward
People love perks. In fact, 65% of consumers enrolled in loyalty rewards programs feel more valued, They're also more likely to rate a higher customer experience and recommend your business to others. Not sure how this could work in real life? If you're in the real estate biz, it could be as simple as having a Home Depot or Lowe's gift card automatically mailed to your client once they close on their home. You could even enroll in a loyalty rewards program in which clients get access to discounts on home-related goods or earn points that can be redeemed for travel, dining, retail, and more. Just be sure any program you implement is in compliance with industry regulations.

3. Improve
Change is hard, but embracing it is vital to maintaining a healthy business and happy customers. What worked a few years ago might not work anymore, so you should continually be looking for ways to improve the customer experience. Listen to your customers, know their needs, and identify their pain points. With a customer-centric mindset, you'll be more open to streamlining processes, getting rid of what doesn't work, and adopting new approaches to create a better overall experience for your clients. 
While the need for new clients will never go away, don't underestimate the value that existing customers can bring to your business. Shift your focus to retaining the ones you've already got, and you'll see bigger returns for less money and effort. 

Article Provided by FM Lending, Prosperity Home Mortgage, and Steve Fitzpatrick

For more info visit

Eddie Brown

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Is the buyer obligated to buy the property even if they can't get a loan?

Is the buyer obligated to buy the property even if they can't get a loan? 

Release Date: February 15, 2018
 John Wait, Martin & Gifford, PLLC QUESTION:

In the updated Offer to Purchase and Contract (Form 2-T), there is a new “Note” under paragraph 4(a) that says: “NOTE: Buyer’s obligation to purchase the Property is not contingent on obtaining a Loan. Therefore, Buyer is advised to consult with Buyer’s lender prior to signing this offer to assure that the Due Diligence Period allows sufficient time for the appraisal to be completed and for Buyer’s lender to provide Buyer sufficient information to decide whether to proceed with or terminate the transaction.”

My buyer-client is very confused and worried about this note, because they cannot afford to buy the home without a loan. So, in their eyes, the contract is contingent on their obtaining a loan. What does this note mean and what should I tell them?

ANSWER: This note has been part of Form 2-T for many years. The reason it probably seems new is because when the forms were updated last year, notes like this one were placed in a new bright blue box to help them stand out better. Warnings were also placed in new bright red boxes to help alert consumers to important issues.

The purpose of the note under paragraph 4(a) is to make clear that the buyer is obligated to purchase the property regardless of where the buyer obtains funds. As a legal matter, Form 2-T simply states that the seller promises to sell and the buyer promises to buy on the conditions set forth in the contract. The note under paragraph 4(a) means that the ability of a buyer to obtain a loan is not a condition of the contract that will relieve the buyer of their promise to buy. In other words, the transaction will not automatically blow up just because the buyer cannot obtain a loan. The transaction will proceed until the deal either terminates or closes.

All is not lost for your client, however. You should tell your buyer that the contract gives them the right to terminate the transaction, without penalty, during the Due Diligence Period. If they are not confident that they will be approved for a loan, they can terminate the transaction during that time and receive a refund of their Earnest Money Deposit.

If your client has not already received preliminary loan approval, you should advise them to ask for a Due Diligence Period that will allow them to complete the initial loan approval process. If, following the end of the Due Diligence Period, the buyer is unable to complete the purchase because they can't get a loan, they risk losing their Earnest Money Deposit since the contract does not contain a loan contingency.

NC REALTORS® provides articles on legal topics as a member service.
They are general statements of applicable legal and ethical principles for member education only. They do not constitute legal advice. The services of a private attorney should be sought for legal advice.  © Copyright 2018. North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, Inc

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 Listing Season Marketing Prep.

2018 Listing Season Prep

Below are a few things you can do to get a jump-start on the 2018 Listing Season.

1. Go through past client list:  Contact anyone who purchased a home with you and send a current market value report comparing current market value to their purchase price… send report and then make a call 2-3 days later to ask if they have questions.

Discovery Items: 
Are they in a position to want/need to sell?
Do they know anyone who is considering buying/selling this year?

2. Look at neighborhoods where you sold homes in 2017… go to Real List and send an offer for a free Market Value Report for those who have lived in their home for 5 or more years… Use the verbiage “I have experience in your neighborhood” and how inventories are low and now is a great time to get top dollar for their property.

3. Book of Business marketing.  Send a “No Obligation” Market Value Report Certificate to your non past-client BoB.  Asking them to give to a friend who may be considering selling their home in 2018. Include your “value proposition” as a listing agent brochure as well. Maybe add a piece on preparing your home to sell.

4. Word of mouth… Talk about listings when in groups… become the expert on market conditions. Low inventory means higher returns for sellers. Ask if they know of anyone considering selling in 2018.

5. Fine tune your listing presentation… Become one with it… if you don’t feel comfortable presenting… it will be uncomfortable for your audience. (the sellers)
Your performance in front of sellers will leave a lasting impression... make it a good one!
Eddie Brown ©2018