Your client's best friend in the area is often you!
Having worked with countless buyers who are relocating from other areas (well, maybe not "countless"), I usually enjoy being the first person that they get to know in Austin, Texas. Of course, with this privilege comes responsibility, because they may lean more heavily on me and my knowledge of the area when they have questions. Frankly, they may not know or trust anyone else enough to ask. This is not limited to real estate expertise, but instead extends to restaurants, entertainment, lodging, and more.
Once they are moved in, they will also have questions about who can mow their yard, or paint the house a different color, or build a fence for them. Who to ask? YOU, of course!
I was working with a client recently and we were getting along reasonably well. I don't know if we would have been friends under different circumstances or not, but it hit me one day when we were talking that I was his sole Austin area friend. The tone was different somehow, like he was truly interested and appreciative of my time. Then I began to think of other people I had met over the years, and how important my friendship was to them, at least for that season.
I have always tried to be a "friend to the friendless", and my career has been no different.
To be sure, many of these client friendships have lasted for years after the transaction. Others, however, have withered on the vine, primarily because my mind shifts toward the next piece of business, and because I have plenty of close friends and my family to keep me busy.
I probably could leverage these friendships more effectively, if I am being honest with myself. Unfortunately, follow-up has never been my strong suit. I am more of a hunter-gatherer when it comes to real estate, it would seem. I am not bragging about this.
That being said, I manage to get most of my business from referrals and past clients, probably because I am just as transparent in real life as you have seen me in my blog. I have found that people simply trust more quickly when I am open about myself.
The next time you are working with an out-of-town or out-of-state client relocating to your area, keep in mind how important you really are to them. In addition to being a real estate professional, we are called upon to be therapist, adviser, and friend.