November holidays have a way of reminding us all about the power of gratitude, in life and in business. But thankful expressions don’t have to be saved for the holidays. As a real estate agent, gratitude has a place at the table all year long. Why?
Gratitude is what keeps agents connected to their sphere — and vice versa — beyond the business transaction. In this high-touch, relationship-based profession, what do you offer that fuels the connection you have with your sphere? It’s often the tangible real estate services that agents provide that make them invaluable to their clients, but gratitude elevates your business transactions to mean much more on an emotional level, which is why it makes for such a successful business strategy as well.
How do I show gratitude to clients?
It’s obviously important to be gracious and respectful whenever you interact with clients. But you want to do a little more than give a friendly handshake once the deal is done. To paraphrase, the road to failure is paved with good intentions; you might have every intention of showing more gratitude to your clients and sphere, but unless it’s in your business plan it’s probably not going to happen. So, your first step is to make “gratitude and giving back” a central element of that plan.
Brainstorm various ways you could show gratitude to clients throughout the year. Maybe it’s a small gift basket delivered after closing, or a quick note sent after a productive day of showing. Think of others in your circle you could include in your gratitude outreach — those who have or might suggest a referral, or who have benefited your business in the last few months. Now, mark a regular time every week to execute these little gratitude tasks. If it’s built into your schedule, it won’t slip through the cracks when things get hectic.
It might feel a little mercenary to plan out your gratitude and giving enterprises, but unless you carve out space for them now, they’ll be the first things to fall away when business gets a little hectic. And, planning for these activities will help make you more aware of potential opportunities as they come up naturally.
The key to a strong referral base and repeat business is twofold. You need to be front of mind when someone thinks about a real estate need, and then you must provide real value. Going the extra mile to show genuine gratitude for a relationship goes further than any amount of salesmanship toward satisfying those two conditions.
How do I show gratitude to my team?
If you lead a real estate team, the relationships you have with your team members are as important as those you have with your clients. Seriously — without a satisfied team, you’ve got as much of a business as you would have without satisfied clients. If the team dynamic thrives on an attitude of gratitude just like client relationships do, your business will profit from the amount of appreciation you express to your team as well.
As with clients, intentionality will make your gratitude more productive. Strategies for internal “gratitude and giving back” should go into your business plan so that you can actually execute the practice.
Another good first action point might be adding gratitude to your core values. Doing this allows you to have more open conversations about it during huddles, meetings, or even trainings. The more intentional you are with developing these values, the more impactful they will be for your team and community, and the quicker they will become second nature to what you do.
Also make a point to regularly recognize your team members for their achievements and contributions. As the country continues to deal with staffing issues and people are reevaluating what they want from their careers, it’s more important than ever for business owners and team leaders to demonstrate real appreciation for those they employ.
The American Psychological Association has found that employees who feel appreciated are far more motivated to do their best work, and less likely to want to search for other employment. If you lead a complex team, make sure that all members personally feel appreciated. Not every role will be as glamorous or obvious as closing large deals, but it doesn’t mean those roles aren’t essential to the business’s success.
Incorporating commitments to giving and gratitude into your business is a simple but powerful way to add value to what you do every day. The more you demonstrate how valuable your clients, team, and sphere of influence are to you, the more value these individuals will see in what you do for them. You can, and should, always bring gratitude to the table — no matter the time of year!