Buffini & Company Blog

Creating clients for life: How to build long-term relationships with your clients

Brian Buffini’s Mid-Year Bold Predictions 2024 registration is now open. Has there ever been a more complex time in the real estate industry? Brian will give you the inside scoop on what’s taking place behind the numbers at 10 a.m. PT on July 22. Register now.

“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.” ― Jay Danzie

For almost 13 “lucky” years I have been privileged to be in the Real Estate Coaching and Training industry as a Business Coach for Buffini & Company. I started this career at 32 years old and brought a number of life experiences with me, including sales and marketing strategies and customer service ideas. That expertise combined with the excellent training that I’ve been taught at Buffini has shaped my perspective and solidified my approach to building my practice with one main objective in mind: How do I create enough value to create a client for life?

Building customer loyalty may seem difficult, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for the lifetime of your business. A client’s lifetime value is huge! Some estimates say it can cost between 7-30 times more to get new clients than to keep/retain the existing clients you already have.

How to Create Clients for Life

So, how do you create lifelong clients that enhance the long-term life of your business? Yes, the quite obvious answer is providing excellent customer service; however, your unique service and the way you do things in making your business different from the rest of the pack are the real reasons clients keep coming back to you time and time again.

  1. Create a sense of community. A sense of community is a feeling that clients experience of belonging to something great; a feeling that clients truly matter to one another and to the group, and shared values that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to being and “doing life” together. A shared emotional connection, a sense of belonging, and having an influence on other members of the group can be a great way to retain clients. Here at Buffini & Company we have thousands of stories of our clients doing just this with their clients through client parties (big and small), business mixers, client breakfasts and luncheons, “house it going” parties, happy hours, etc.
  1. Create an emotional “hook. Most really good songs have a chorus or “hook” that really draw people close to the message or feeling that the song is trying to create. Likewise, your branding needs to stir up some kind of emotion that people want to connect with and be a part of. Dare to be different and to get out of the box you might be keeping yourself in. Create some excitement and passion for your clients to want to refer you more, and to use your services more regularly. The more you can create that hook and connection within your database, the more productive and successful your business will be. Brian Buffini found his hook by doing client impression surveys and discovering his unintentional branding which became “I’m never too busy to negotiate on behalf of you and your referrals.” His clients truly valued his unique ability to negotiate and create winning results for them.
  1. Emotionally connect with your clients. Being authentic and genuine is not a type of thing that companies can pretend to be over the long haul. The expectations of long-term clients are high in terms of who they choose to use consistently. It should be part of the mission statement of your business to build a much deeper emotional connection between your service and your clients. How? Be semi-personal, leading with your heart and soul, and stay relevant to what the clients wants and needs are. This is part of the reason why we strive to “impact and improve the lives of people,” “live what we teach,” “practice servant leadership,” and have “excellence is our minimum standard” as our mission statement and core values at Buffini & Company. We want to continue to be the type of Coaching and Training company that creates more loyal clients who will stay with us year in and year out!
  1. Show you care. I love the phrase “put a little love into it” that I heard one of my client’s wives says to him when he appears to not be engaged in a certain activity that she wants him to be more engaged in. Like John O’Leary says, always be asking “what more can I do” to serve my clients and exceed their expectations. Ask “what more can I offer” in order for my services to be contagious and attract that loyal, lifelong client who can’t help but refer their sphere of influence to me and my business as well? Make a strong, lasting impression that exceeds their expectations—you’ve got to produce more value than what they expect to “wow” them. Go out of your way to make that one extra check-in call, personal note, or Pop-By happen—it could make all the difference towards creating that raving, loyal fan that you’re after!
  1. Create “subtle obligation.” When someone gives you something of value, or does a favor for you, you feel “culturally obligated” to reciprocate to them and return the favor in some way. When you’re giving helpful tips and information that people can use every month (like your Items of Value) that make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable, they naturally want to reciprocate. You just have to ask.

Regardless of what you do, taking good care of their business, being responsive, and giving them the time and attention they deserve will generate referrals. Remember to focus on building up the customers who already like and love you. Apply these five principles to your business strategy and watch your Customer Lifetime Value go up and up! Working by referral and creating happy customers creates one of the most powerful referrals in real estate.


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