Follow Up: The Cost of Existing vs. New Customers


Everyone knows that it costs more money to acquire new customers (5 to 7 percent more on average) than to stay in touch with existing customers. Yet so many sales associates don’t have follow up programs in place.

It’s shocking because it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with customers now because of technology as well as companies that do the work for you.

The problem is that sales associates think of marketing as a cost, something they have to spend money on and can cut during tough times. However, the reality is that you spend more money to get a new customer. Think of how much more business you could have if you spent a little time and money on follow up.

Customer follow up should really be seen as an investment. Use some of today’s money to generate a future income stream. Look at the lifetime value of a customer versus the cost to acquire a customer.

Here are a few ideas for sales for following up with customers after a closing and retaining them for life:

  • Thank you note – Send a hand written thank you note to clients after each closing thanking them for working with you.
  • Marketing follow up – Pay a company to do mailings for you. The Personal Marketing Company has a follow up program for only $25 that sends your clients 23 mailings over 5 years. All you have to do is upload your client list. They’re offering a special deal to BHGRE Metro Brokers agents through Nov. 24.
  • Enroll client in Lowe’s Realtor programLowe’s Realtor Benefits Program allows Realtors to enroll clients in a program where they’ll receive 10 percent off coupons, home buyer guides and ideas for fixing up their home. Realtors also receive a 5 percent discount off gift cards purchased online.
  • eNewsletters and ePostcards – There are many programs and systems for creating eNewsletters. You can provide information on home improvement, local events, reminders and include a just listed and just sold property. BHGRE Metro Brokers agents have access to a free system called the Digital Marketing Center in the Greenhouse with hundreds of templates, articles and photos to choose from.
  • Facebook – This is one of my favorites because it’s free and it’s more social. You can stay in touch with clients by commenting on their Facebook. It’s even better if they see subtle reminders that you’re in real estate (i.e., Getting ready to go on a listing presentation. Wish me luck.). Most people check their Facebook status each day for just a few minutes. Marcel Combs of BHGRE Metro Brokers had 4 closings in October, all of which were a result of leads from Facebook.
  • Remember special days – Let clients know you’re thinking of them with cards, a Facebook post, email or a good old fashioned phone call on special days (i.e., holidays, birthdays, anniversary of home purchase, wedding anniversary, births, kids graduation, etc.).
  • Magazine subscription – Give your clients a free 1-year magazine subscription. They’ll think of you each month when they receive the magazine. BHGRE Metro Brokers agents can purchase the Better Homes and Gardens magazine for only $14.72 per client per year to have your logo, name and contact information along with a message from you on the label on the front of the magazine.
  • Framed photo – Take a photo of your client’s family in front of their new house and frame it with your business card on the back. Deliver it within a few weeks after they’ve moved in.
  • Document Binder – Create a folder with your business card (we sell them for $1.20 in the supply store) for clients containing copies of all of their paperwork, such as appraisals, inspection reports, warranties, settlement statements, generated during the transaction. They’ll remember you each time they look at this information.

Tell me what you do to stay in touch with customers and get more referrals.

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One Response to “Follow Up: The Cost of Existing vs. New Customers”

  1. Arthur Harris Says:

    Great article, follow up is the key to future business through referrals with your past clients. Folks will do business with people that they know and trust and word of mouth advertising continues to be an effective tool.

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