Beyond the Funnel: Customer Lifetime Milestones
The National Association of Realtors estimates that 73% of buyers are likely to use the same agent again. This is great news. Even if a satisfied homeowner won’t be in the market again for another 7-10 years on average, loyal clients can provide much needed referrals and help expand your list of potential client and professional contacts.
One way to categorize and track those closed clients is by using shared milestone life events. This framework can help you anticipate client needs with each event, offering a unique marketing opportunity.
→ First-time Homebuyer – For generations, the right of passage for middle class Americans has been buying a first home. Adults in their mid 20’s to mid 30’s have completed school, found a job, maybe a partner, and they’re ready to invest in a home. While millennials have been slow to start buying as a result of the recent recession, many are now ready to begin house hunting.
→ The Growing Family – Families with children need more room. That starter home is cramped and the yard is just not big enough. Ideally, these borrowers in their late 20’s to late 30’s have accumulated some equity and are making more money. Check in with first-time homebuyer clients you worked with five or more years ago.
→ Empty Nesters – The children are off to college and suddenly homeowners in the mid 40’s to mid 50’s find their homes are too large. For these individuals, it’s time to consider a move to a smaller property or even a condo. This is another opportunity to follow up with past clients.
→ Retirement – Depending on a number of factors, retirees may be looking to downsize to a quieter community, to a condo where they don’t need to worry about maintaining a yard, or to a home where all amenities are on a single floor. Others may be looking for a larger home to accommodate extended family. This is a chance to match the appropriate property with the right older client.
→ A Vacation Home – For those homeowners in their mid 30’s through early 50’s who have been particularly successful or just lucky, there is the second or vacation home. The residence may be for personal use or an investment. This group of high-end clients may be found through professional contacts as well as among former clients.
Targeted marketing using these phases as a guideline lets you reconnect with past clients—giving you another chance to ask for referrals or make a sale. Some homeowners may be open to a move even if they haven’t consciously thought about it. Look to social media, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn, to find opportunities where potential clients may be approaching that next phase and might be looking for a change.