7 Proven, No-Nonsense Ways to Get Way More Referrals–and Save Your Real Estate Career
For the overworked, overcommitted and all-around overwhelmed real estate agent I have one piece of no-nonsense advice for you–that really works.
Learn to make people talk about you.
Last week I wrote about the two most productive lead generation activities in real estate marketing that several Baylor University researchers discovered–referrals and IVR technology.
To piggyback on that discovery, I’m going to zero in on referrals this week and IVR technology next week.
You’ll Make More Money. Simple Enough?
Referrals are by far the most effective leads you can find. They don’t cost anything and they come with a substantial recommendation from a past client, friend or family member.
Referral leads are ready-made leads. They are leads that require nothing more than for you to bump them into the basket.
But it’s not really that simple.
It does require diligent work with clients, providing divine customer service–the kind of service that people only dream about. But when they do experience that kind of care, they can’t believe it, and they can’t stop talking about it.
Sound like a far-fetched dream?
It doesn’t need to be. Just follow these 7 practical steps to creating a great referral business and in less than six months you’ll unlock a majestic mountain of fresh, ready-to-buy or sell leads.
1. Provide Astonishing, Jaw-Dropping Service
The first step is to provide a high level of service in the first place. If the service is not exceptional, no one will send any referrals. This goes back to the idea of divine customer service.
But in my experience what most clients want from you is consistent feedback. (Has that been your experience?)
When your clients feel you have communicated with them clearly and regularly and beyond their expectations, their level of satisfaction goes up. Clients can overlook other errors at times, but lack of communication is rarely forgiven.
Achieve a satisfying level of communication with your clients and you’ve found the first key to generating more refarrals.
2. Ask Past Clients for Referrals
A second, but simple step toward obtaining referrals is to ask for them.
There is no substitute for actually prospecting for referrals. Picking up the phone and communicating with your past clients is crucial.
3. Ask Current Clients for Referrals
Third, do not forget to ask your current clients. (Tips two and three can be summed up this way: ask every client.) The people you are currently working with can be your best referral sources.
The ides is to strike while the iron is hot.
They’re telling everyone they meet that they are either buying or selling. They are in a fit of anxiety, eager to talk to people about buying or selling a home. Their whole conversations revolve around their current activity in real estate.
So, you want to hit these people early on when their excitement is high.
4. Create an Automatic System to Cultivate Past Clients
Understand you must consistently contact your past clients in order to achieve success in referrals. Creating a program that helps keep you in constant contact with your past clients will yield the best results.
You will receive a good 80 percent of your referrals from 20 percent of your past clients.
5. Track, Monitor and Measure Referrals
Make sure to effectively track who is sending you the business. You need to know which people to spend the most time, energy, effort, and dollars on.
You might be surprised who is your leading salesperson in the field. By tracking, you can accurately reward the ‘top producer’ of referrals. And people love recognition from others.
A simple spreadsheet or more complex customer relationship management software can help you do this.
6. Build Something Past Clients Are Proud to Share
Put out the welcome mat. Invite your current and past clients to visit your website to enjoy articles, tips or quizzes.
Also, make it easy for your current clients to navigate your website or blog. Do something on the web that establishes your authority.
7. Identify and Provide What People Want
Finally, the surest way to success is finding out what people want–and then giving it to them. This can even be about finding needs or wants people don’t know they have…and meeting them. Think Apple iPod.
Nobody thought they needed the iPod. But Apple mined their customer base and the world at large and discovered some keen insights that helped them develop the iPod. All Apple had to do was get out of the way after that.
My best advice to you is become something incredible. Become something people can’t stop talking about. Become a purple cow.
Be diligent in identifying and providing what your customers want or need. Pay close attention to what people on the street are saying. Never stop asking, listening, learning and giving.
Once you do this, all you’ll need to do then is get out of the way.
Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.