House flippers aside, most people will own just three homes in their lifetimes.

If you’re a real estate agent looking to increase repeat business and referrals, that’s bad news – you may have to wait five to ten years before your happy customers do business with you again. However, those old clients are worth their weight in cold hard cash if they are willing to refer your company to their friends, relatives, and neighbors.

Traditional advertising like TV spots, newspaper ads, and even digital marketing, can build brand awareness. That said, nothing is as powerful as word-of-mouth advertising for increasing sales.

Who is DeGreef Real Estate?

DeGreef Real Estate employs nearly 20 real estate agents. The company has built a reputation for excellent customer service that spans two decades. On top of that, they’ve survived economic downturns and bursting real estate bubbles.

Needless to say, Degreef was ready to grow as the housing market strengthened.

The Key Issue

Even though DeGreef Real Estate had hundreds of previous happy customers, Mr. DeGreef, the CEO and founder, felt that he and his agents spent too much time hunting down new leads rather than leveraging past successes into future profits.

He wanted to find a way to unobtrusively stay in contact with his homeowners and gently remind them to recommend his company should anyone need real estate services. He identified his goals as follows:

  • Capture more referrals
  • Retain repeat clients
  • Spend less time and money acquiring new clients

Using a Simple Calendar Magnet to Increase Repeat Business and Referrals

Working with Inspire, Mr. DeGreef created a tangible marketing strategy using branded refrigerator magnets. But he didn’t stop with the standard annual calendar magnet printed with name, phone number, website, and logo.

He wanted three things:

  1. Personalized magnets for each member of his sales team to send to their own clients to capitalize on their existing personal relationships.
  2. To send out magnets to new clients quarterly, as well as past clients annually.
  3. And, realizing that many of his target clients were on Facebook, he wanted to emphasize the address of the agency’s Facebook page in addition to standard contact information. In the Holiday card he sent with each magnet, he guaranteed neighborhood home value updates and local real estate news awaited on their company Facebook page, and urged recipients to “Like” them in order to stay informed of home values.

An Inspire Company Store made the process fast, easy, and affordable.

Inspire offered an online portal that allowed each member of the sales team to enter his or her personal contact information. A photo was generated with the info for instant proof approval.

The portal also allowed each agent to submit their customer database and send a summary to Mr DeGreef for approval.

When all was said and done, the marketing team agreed they couldn’t have consistently pulled off personalized magnets on quarterly basis. The big picture overview that the Inspire company store portal provided was paramount to their success.

The Results

Mr. DeGreef knew his strategy was working when Facebook follower numbers spiked shortly after the first round of cards were sent. He now had a way to stay at the top of his clients’ minds – and newsfeeds – every day. He also noticed more “shares” of his posts, which lead to an uptick in phone inquiries and open house attendance.

Our Conclusion

By using tangible marketing in conjunction with web marketing, DeGreef Real Estate leveraged both to stay in the homes and on the social media feeds of his best customers. Calendar magnets may be standard fair, but when used in new and creative ways, they can significantly increase repeat business and referrals. The Inspire company store made it easy for Mr. DeGreef to design just the right magnets to grab customers’ attention, supported by Inspire’s in-house design and marketing team.