How to Get Back in Touch with past Real Estate Clients When You Haven’t Touched Base in a Long Time
When you’re in the middle of working with a client, you’re touching base with them constantly. You can actually get pretty close to them, and can’t imagine ever losing touch! But once their closing comes along, you don’t have to call, text, email, or see each other every day and it’s easy to let a little time slip by without talking to them.
Maybe you figure you’ll give them a week to settle in and then give them a ring. The week goes by, but you forget to call because you have your hands full with other clients who you’re touching base with constantly, and there isn’t a minute to spare. No worries, you’ll touch base next week!
Then the next week comes and goes and you have plenty of legit reasons for not reaching out to them. Same thing the next week, and then the next week, and then… Well, you get the point. Before you know it, you’ve let months—maybe even years—slip by without touching base!
It gets to a point where you almost feel weird about reaching out to them!
If that sounds all too familiar, don’t think you’re alone. A lot of agents find themselves letting too much time go by without touching base with people, and the longer it goes, the more awkward it feels to reach out. Here are few of the most common hangups that go through agents’ heads after too much time has gone by:
- They’re not sure how they’ll be received.
- Will the client be mad that I haven’t been in touch?
- Will they think the relationship we had when we were working so closely together wasn’t genuine? Do they think they were just another “sale” to me?
- Will they think I’m just looking for business?
- They’re not sure how to reach out.
- Should I call?
- Send an email?
- Send a letter or postcard?
- Pop by and say hi?
- Will I be able to keep staying in touch once I reach out to them?
- Is it even worth reaching out if I’m not going to be able to stay in touch with them on a consistent, regular basis moving forward? Maybe I should wait until I know I can commit to staying in touch!
After you’re finished nodding your head in agreement with the list above, we can dive into each of those issues one by one…
You’ll be received just fine!
It’s only human to worry about how past clients will react when you reach out after some time has gone by. But the truth is, they probably aren’t sitting there thinking about how you haven’t been in touch, and would be pleasantly surprised and happy to hear from you! Any negative reaction you think might happen is probably just in your head.
To prove that point, check out these two posts by The Lighter Side’s Inner Circle member Rob Hernandez:
“I’ve been selling real estate for 15 years now. In the past I received coaching on contacting my previous clients to reestablish the connection and never did it because I was so embarrassed that I didn’t stay in touch in the first place. For the past month I’ve been reconnecting with old clients, and although it has generated new business and referrals for me, that is not what I’m excited about. There is this sense of peace and well being inside me that I had no idea I was missing about not staying in touch with my clients. I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone. But reconnecting with old clients really is something I had put off for a long time and now I am so glad and grateful to them for their willingness to reconnect with me. It’s almost like I’m contacting all my old high school Buddies, it’s something different that I’ve never experienced.”
As much as he was embarrassed and putting off getting back in touch, he was well received by his past clients and was glad he did so. But wait, it gets better! Check out this post he made a few years later…
I had a closing yesterday.
For many years this was the end result of my work and value to people.
The daily calls with updates and helping manage fears and emotions were now gone. What was once close and personal just faded and become exposed for what it was, a transaction.
For more than a decade, I saw a closing as if all that was built had now been washed away. The thought of rebuilding it all over again with someone new weighed on the joy of everything.
I felt so sick about it and for many years but couldn’t really pinpoint what this feeling was. Only just a couple of years ago did I realize it and soon slowly with much second-guessing and self-guided pep talks started to reconnect with past clients that were on my mind.
We found the bond was still there.
If you’re nervous about doing something like that, I hope you find the courage to reach out and reconnect. See beyond the endings because that is not what they are.
You get paid for the end result but that is not what you are. That is not how your clients see you.
You put your heart inside the keys that you hand across the closing table. That energy, love, and connection doesn’t have to end.
If that doesn’t give you the confidence to reach out to your past clients…
…maybe start out by sending this letter!
Picking up the phone and calling people worked out well for Rob, and would probably work just as well for you. But, if you’re looking for another way to reach out and break the ice, we’ve got just the thing for you!
Here’s a letter from our Inner Circle stash that you can swipe for free:
“I wonder how [insert name of your client’s name] is…”
That literally goes through my head more often than I can count. And then I think, “I should really reach out and see how [he’s / she’s / they’re] doing. Been way too long.”
That’s usually as I pass by your house, or I’m listing or showing a house that reminds me of you for some reason. And I make this mental note to reach out later on.
Then the day goes bonkers (because that’s how real estate goes) and the next thing you know, I’m thinking, “I really need to reach out to [insert client’s name again]…” a few days later.
I know you probably get it. Your life is as busy, if not busier than mine. When I do have a free minute, I think about you and your world, and figure it’s probably not the best time to reach out. There never seems to be a perfect time to just reach out.
So, I just decided that today’s the perfect day…
How’s life? What’s new? How’s the house? How are you?
I’d love to hop on the phone and catch up, or maybe grab a cup of coffee. But, if we can’t swing that, a quick note back will be just fine!
[Agent’s info goes here]
P.S. I’ve been jotting down some ideas on emails I can send past clients on a regular basis that will be fun, useful, and a way I can be better about simply staying in touch. So, be on the lookout and let me know what you think about them! (I’ve been taking a lot of time making sure they’re useful and not boring.)
That letter was meticulously crafted to:
- Make your client feel like you still remember and think about them often.
- Give them a reason for why you haven’t been in touch, which also paints a picture of you being busy and successful.
- Show that you’re also being considerate and thoughtful about their time and privacy.
- Give them a call to action by asking them to reach back out to you with several options.
- Set the stage for staying in touch here on out.
So copy and paste that bad boy onto a doc or email template and send it out! Then…
…all you have to do now is stay in touch!
The hardest part is over once you’ve finally made the initial contact. But now you can’t let another bunch of weeks and months (or years!) go by without touching base with them and have to go through this all over again! So make sure you call, text, pop-by, or send them an email on a regular basis!
Check out our Inner Circle membership for exclusive access to:
- Dozens of fun, useful email and letter templates to follow up with. (Like we allude to in the P.S. of that letter above!)
- The Inner Circle Facebook group, where you can pick up tips like Rob’s and network with some of the most helpful, non-judgmental real estate agents on the planet!
- Tons of other useful content you can use to not only stay in touch with past clients, but also brand and market yourself to new clients!