The real estate industry spends way too much money finding new clients. Approximately 20% of all marketing dollars go toward adding new clients, only to lose them as they leave the closing table. Compare that to companies such as Southwest Airlines, Nordstrom and Marriott that spend less than 4% of their marketing spend on new customer acquisition.
Why the discrepancy? For one, clients typically go five to seven years between home purchases. It can be difficult for agents to maintain consistent engagement with past clients for that long. These dynamics tend to lead to a heavier focus on new client acquisition.
Real estate companies today spend more on marketing to attract new clients than ever before, from media buys and search-optimized content to direct mail. The costs for these tactics increase every year without guaranteed return, and with nearly every REALTOR® using the same playbook, the vast majority of homebuyers don’t stay loyal to their agent when it comes time to buy their next home.
The impact of maintaining loyalty with past clients is dramatic. If an agent won two clients a year through referrals or repeat buyers, this alone would increase the average median income of real estate agents by 8% – 10%. Imagine retaining a quarter, or even a third of your past clients, and having them come back to buy their next home and refer friends as well.
To build long-lasting relationships with clients, agents need to stretch beyond the usual playbook to deliver consistent value over time. This requires striking the right balance between client acquisition and retention. Agents also need to combine a human touch with the best available technology.
Solving these challenges is what inspired the launch of MoveEasy. Available to real estate partners on a white-label basis, MoveEasy’s homeowner dashboard allows clients to compare service providers across categories including home insurance, internet and cable providers, home protection, energy, utilities and more. Real estate agents are able to share exclusive discounts and referrals with clients, as well as provide support on home improvements or referrals via a concierge service.
As technology continues to evolve, striking the right balance will be crucial for the success of every real estate firm. Agents must not only anticipate the needs of existing clients, but also past clients, regardless of where they are in their homeowner journey.
Based on feedback from real estate partners, MoveEasy now allows agents to leverage contextual insights available through the platform to save clients money. For example, if a client replaces their roof, the MoveEasy platform will automatically surface new insurance quotes with lower rates.
New technology is not without its challenges, and ignoring the human touch is a major risk. Real estate remains about people—their wants and needs. And what technology does best is give the agents facilitating these transactions the tools they need to provide the best possible service to clients.
Venkatesh Ganapathy is CEO and co-founder of MoveEasy, a national, full-service homeowner concierge platform designed to help the 130 million homeowners in the U.S. with all their move and home management needs. For more information, visit www.moveeasy.com/real-estate.