Why Isn’t Client Retention As Sexy As Client Acquisition?


Web leads dominate the headlines. And companies that help you generate Internet leads charge lots of money to do so. A recent headline in my email inbox highlighted the fact that 26% of one agent’s sales volume came from the web. Of course doing some simple math (all in my head) quickly revealed that 74% of that same agent’s volume did not come from web leads. That number is not at all surprising.

I spent some time in the dashboards of our most active clients recently. One of the questions we ask on our surveys is “How did you hear about (company name here)?” In every case, the data was and is clear. Sellers and buyers are overwhelming finding their agents based on the referral of a friend or family member or because they had previously done business with the broker. By overwhelming I mean this; nearly 70% of sellers and nearly 60% of buyers find their agents as a direct result of a satisfying past experience. And these percentages are not based on a small sample sizes, these individual groups of offices each had more survey responses than the total sample size of the NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. But even the most recent NAR surveys support those results.

Is There A Need For Innovation Around Customer Retention?

When I stand in front of real estate audiences and ask the question, I get the same result. Nobody seems to doubt these numbers. So why is so much attention and energy, time and money spent on internet lead generation and discussions around it and so little spent on customer retention? Where are the companies innovating in keeping clients? And by “innovating,” I certainly don’t necessarily mean via some new technology or software.

And that’s not the only untapped area. Based on the numbers I’m seeing the real potential for innovation might be in a complete rethinking of yard signs. In most cases, yard signs rank several percentage points above Internet search for sellers. So as long as I’m dumping out random thoughts, here’s another. Where are the real estate startups set out to revolutionize yard signs? Maybe we should be looking to Australia for fresh ideas around that as well.  🙂

Both seem fertile pieces of ground to me. What do you think?


    1. Caleb June 6, 2016

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