Remembering Your Clients

Deep, Meaningful Connections

I attend a lot of conferences.  Some of them are annual conferences.  At these types of events I often see the same people year to year.  However, in between those times, I’ve had no interactions with the person whatsoever.  Therefore, I see the person, I know I SHOULD remember their name and information about them, but I just can’t.  Before now I thought it was a matter of having to train my brain.  But it’s not.  It turns out there is some science behind why we sometimes just can’t remember those that we don’t have regular interactions with…

Dunbar’s Number

It’s said that the average human can actually only keep a true relationship with about 150 people. This research was done by a scientist named Robin Dunbar, and the 150 number is now called Dunbar’s Number. However, sites like Facebook and Twitter allowed us to have connections with thousands of people right?  Well maybe…

Social Interaction Organization

Facebook and Twitter are great tools.  Tools to encourage interaction and get me just a little closer to a few more people.  Facebook allows me to check in on people and get a good understanding of what’s going on in their life.  I’m encouraged to interact with those people through quick little updates on my own schedule.  I can Like someone’s photos of their home in Hawaii, I can quickly comment on a tear jerker of a video about an elephant and his best friend a dog, or something more cerebral about a blog post from one of my friends.

Twitter offers lists to better categorize your contacts.  I can quickly go to one of my lists and find out what a few core groups of people are doing.  It’s a way to keep me organized and to help squeeze perhaps a few more connections out of my brain.

But I think the key concept here is that Dunbar’s Number relates to deep meaningful interactions.   A relationship in which I know what’s going on in their life, what’s new, and feel a connection to that person on a more meaningful level than just a general wondering of what is up in their life.  I think what Facebook is doing is to help us hold on to our acquaintances and be much closer to them than we ever have before.  However, I still question whether we’ll have deep meaningful relationships with more than our number / brain allows us to.

The Good News For Realtors

Clients don’t expect you to have deep meaningful relationships with each one of them.  If you have a connection with one of your clients that is great!  But while I was selling there was usually vast age differences between myself and my clients.  I keep up with most every client I sold homes to back when I was active, however, I doubt I’ll ever be invited to their regular dinner parties, nor ask to vacation with them.  And that’s ok.  However, what I can do is use tools to check in on them every so often.  Is a new baby coming?  Did someone get a new job? Is it a time to check in with them about their housing needs?

Enter Tribus Social

If you want to pay attention to your clients what better place than on these new channels we have today?  Furthermore, we thought instead of having to log into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to check on clients.  Why not go to one place and get the information and have all your notes on your client right there.  So sometime very soon we’ll be launching a new feature inside of TribusCRM to allow our agents and brokerages to get a quick update about their clients on their contact record.  There are many great other features that allow Realtors to stay in better contact with their clients and prospects.  Imagine meeting someone at an open house and without scaring them by friending them that afternoon, to get a better idea of who they are by seeing their LinkedIn profile etc…

It’s coming soon.  And I’ll be very proud the day it launches live.  It’s one other place where we’re doing our best everyday to cut down the number of places Realtors have to go to login and connect with their clients.  It’s a way to help keep those connections up without a lot of effort.  Also it’s a way to build a truly integrated campaign to keep up with your clients along with drip / blast emails, and our client for life system.

The Little Things Go A Long Way

Did you know that according to the National Association of Realtors, 88% of clients say they will either definitely or probably use the same Realtor again at a closing table.  But…. 6% do.  Why?  It’s identified that the major reason is that people can’t remember their agent’s name!  It’s all about integrating and setting reminders.

When you have a large group of clients, it’s the little things that go a long way to keep up with them of at least where they can remember your name when necessary.  When you aren’t inside someone’s 150 people and you take the time to write a Happy Birthday message on their wall or comment on their photo, you have the opportunity to get just a little closer to become inside that zone.  It’s the Realtors that are most effective at either being in the zone or being very close to the zone for the most number of people that will be the most successful.

(Thanks to my friend @MelAclaro for spurring my thoughts about Dunbar’s Number.)

3 Responses to “Remembering Your Clients”

  1. Mel Aclaro July 29, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    Thanks, Eric, for the mention. :) And, I have to say, I'm very much looking forward to Tribus Social. I'm a firm believer that, with the assistance of relationship-based technologies, like that which you're developing, that Dunbar's number can be made to stretch a bit more. I also agree with your suggestion to RE agents about techniques for keeping in touch with past clients. These fit in with a new live / online course we're developing at JU for introducing sm. biz professionals to social marketing best practices… which I think should also include the use of some of the Social CRM technologies that I know you love. :) Great post. Thanks.

  2. Jay @ EasyImpress August 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Eric, that’s a fascinating statistic that only 6% of clients use the same agent again. Could you point me to the source? I’d be curious about what other info it may offer.

  3. Eric Stegemann August 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    It’s NAR’s either 2008 or 2009 profile of Homebuyers and Homesellers. The data was derived from multiple data sets because they actually don’t tell you the specific number you have to go through two or three other statistics and regress back to it.

    http://www.realtor.org/prodser.nsf/products/186-45-09?opendocument

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