A large number of home buyers and sellers find an agent by way of real estate referrals. The experience starts off strong when the new client already feels comfortable, thanks to their friend or family member’s confidence in that particular real estate agent.
It goes without saying that if you want to maximize real estate referrals, you must offer exceptional service that stands out from others in the industry. While this is the foundation of earning more clients, you can also use the following four ways to drum up even more real estate referrals.
Don’t take your past clients for granted! However happy they were to work with you, they may not remember you years down the road. It’s easy for a satisfied client to refer you mere days, weeks or even a few months after working with you, but you don’t want to lose the potential for referrals simply because more time has passed.
The trick to overcoming this hurdle and staying top of mind is to keep in touch over the long term. Long after the real estate sale or purchase is over, you should still be the first company that comes to mind. Use a customer relationship marketing system to make it easy to keep in touch by:
- Sending out monthly or quarterly printed or e-mailed newsletters; consider recommending other trusted home experts your clients could benefit from
- Personalizing the media in your follow-up marketing campaign
- Scheduling out at least 5 years of “keeping in touch” communications
It’s not shameful to be direct with your clients and ask for referrals; just do it the right way. Make it clear on your website, business cards, email signature and marketing communications that your business depends on real estate referrals. Your loyal clients will be pleased to pass along their positive experience to their friends, family members and acquaintances.
When you ask, make it clear what types of people you’re best equipped to help. Whether you serve growing families, first-time buyers, retirees or international buyers, be clear so your clients refer the right categories of people to your company. You might offer a referral reward program to ensure your clients know how much you value them. Also, it’s important to make it easy for them to be able to submit the referral information to you, either online or through the mail with a postage-paid response card.
If you haven’t already developed rapport with other industry professionals, now’s the time. Business relationships can be a great source of new real estate referrals. For example, you might team up with a roofer, landscape contractor, interior designer, mortgage broker or kitchen remodeler. Each company promotes the other’s services in postcard mailings, e-newsletters, on their websites, at industry events and while conducting business with clients.
One specific example is to host a home experts seminar and ask a few of your cross-promoting partners to speak at the event. Your best clients and most promising prospects gather in one room to listen to the home experts provide valuable tips on whatever topic they’re most experienced in. The attendees learn useful information, both companies garner referrals and everyone wins.
How you respond to getting referrals matters tremendously. To help encourage more referrals in the future, do the following:
- Thank the referrer in person and send a thank-you card.
- Stay in touch with the referrer, letting them know how the process is going and the final outcome of the referral.
- Offer to promote your best referral partners on your marketing pieces.
It’s also good practice to keep track of who your referrers are with CRM so you can easily see how many real estate referrals you’re gaining and from whom.
For additional tips on drumming up more real estate referrals and helping your business flourish, please contact Continuity Programs today.