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17 September 2015

The Importance of Client Relations: Then, Now, and Always

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At Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate we constantly draw inspiration to Be Better® from our own network. Recently I had the opportunity to listen to John Baker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers about his thoughts on the value of client relations in building a lasting real estate business.

The world and the real estate industry were very different places nearly three decades ago. As with most industries, real estate needed to evolve with the times. Now deep in the trenches of technology and telecommunications, it can appear as though an agent’s place in the home-buying process has dramatically changed. However, if you ask veteran agent and top producer John Baker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, he’ll tell you the most crucial step to real estate success remains the same.

With 56 closed transactions in the first half of 2015 alone, John knows a thing or two about successful real estate. When he became a real estate agent in 1986, he wasn’t quite sure how to build a sustainable career until he received this advice from a retired builder and family friend, “Find ten people you know, sell them a home in the first year or two in the business, be good to them. You’ll have all the business you need.” From there John was off and running. He made the most of every client encounter, surpassed expectations to provide the best service, and developed a policy that would follow him through the years.

“You’ll have all the business you need.”

So how did John turn that advice into a sustainable career? When he joined BHGRE® Metro Brokers in 1991, it was all about the Rolodex. A word not commonly heard in 2015, and a tool used even less often, the Rolodex was John’s go-to for keeping his client connections strong. He kept track of every sale, every client, and every handshake. John made an effort to follow-up with the people he worked with, living his words, “People do business with people they trust and like, and also people they know.” He strengthened his spirit of influence amongst friends, friends of friends, and eventually, John was the one being sought after.

The most valuable advice John offers to new agents and those establishing themselves now, is to create an effective follow-up system and build strong client relations. Today with the integration of social media and the unmatched accessibility to the Internet, there are endless ways to keep in touch with clients! Though nothing replaces the value of a face-to-face meeting, he encourages agents to take advantage of digital resources and use them to build an amazing home buying experience for clients. When an in-person meeting isn’t possible, John loves to send a handwritten note in the mail to reach out to old clients and new prospects, reaffirming that there is great value in personalized communication, no matter how small.

Placing the priority on client relations has propelled John Baker to becoming one of the most trusted and successful agents in the industry today.  In the words of John Baker, “Relationships and follow-ups are everything”.

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