Real estate referrals can be the life blood of your business. There’s really no more powerful indication of a great agent than having a business built almost entirely upon referrals.
BUT – asking for them isn’t easy. For many, it feels a bit like begging. It’s as if you’re saying “I don’t have enough business, so please send someone to me so I can pay my bills.”
If you don’t want to ask, how do you get more real estate referrals?
This question has come up in much of the reading I’ve done in the past week. One of the common answers is “don’t ask., just be referable.” However, I’ve heard from people over the years who say that some clients, friends, and family members don’t realize that you want referrals. They think you’re too busy to be “bothered” with more clients.
With both ideas in mind, I think the answer to getting more real estate referrals consists of many elements.
First, have a healthy measure of self confidence.
I don’t mean “know-it-all” arrogance, but a quiet confidence that what you do has value. You must believe that you can handle all of the responsibilities and duties assigned to you.
Knowing your worth gives you an aura of confidence that inspires trust.
If you want real estate referrals, people must trust that you won’t make them sorry that they mentioned your name.
Next, remember to conduct yourself as a professional with everyone you meet.
This applies to everyone from the grocery checker to your car mechanic. It applies even more importantly to those who play some role in your real estate transactions.
Think beyond the lender, the closer, the other agent, the appraiser, etc. to the home stager, the photographer, and even people hired to get a house ready for market. All of these people are watching you, and all of them are in a position to send business your way.
When I speak of conducting yourself as a professional, I am referring to the way you speak to people and the respect /regard you give them. The person who made a bathroom shine could be just as important to your successful transaction as the lender.
If you want more real estate referrals, know more people.
Get involved in something you’ll care about. It might be your neighborhood watch, the Chamber of Commerce, or a non-profit that matters to you. It doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s an opportunity to meet and visit with people who will come to like you.
When you do interact with others, make sure they know what you do for a living. Talk occasionally about work. Mention a house you toured (or listed) that you love, a fascinating person you met, or how the new shopping center construction is affecting home values in the immediate neighborhood.
Whenever you talk about real estate, talk with positive enthusiasm.
If you want more real estate referrals, you have to be positive about your job. Make sure your friends, family, and slight acquaintances know that you enjoy your work and have a positive outlook.
One of my copywriting clients missed out on a referral because a friend mistakenly believed that she only handled high-end homes. The friend thought she wouldn’t be interested in listing a house that was only $250,000 or so. She would have been interested! Now she makes it a point to let her friends know she handles homes in every price category.
Now is an especially important time to be up-beat.
You know people are going to be hearing doom and gloom about the real estate market and the economy in general. Let them know that people still do want to buy and sell homes, and that the market hasn’t fallen apart.
If someone asks about the state of the market, answer honestly, but do add a touch of optimism to your reply.
You can also talk about changes, such as the new technology that lets people walk through homes on a virtual tour. If you’ve begin using it, and feeling excited about it, people will repeat what you said. And guess what your enthusiasm says about you? It says you’re on the cutting edge, using technology to help your clients.
While you’re refraining from complaints about the market, also refrain from complaining about your clients.
Everyone gets a stinker for a client now and then, and everyone wants to scream about it now and then. But don’t.
If you really need to vent, talk to your spouse – or your Mom. The rest of the time, shove that stinker out of your mind.
- Talk about the clients you appreciate most. mention how someone thanked you after a tough transaction – or sent you a gift.
- Talk about how cooperative some people are.Praise clients who help you help them.
- Talk about how much fun you had meeting someone from another country or someone who is in a profession you found fascinating.
One more thing – don’t talk about being tired or having too much to do. That sends the message that you don’t have time for/don’t want more clients.
When you make an effort to focus on the positive, you’ll find something good to say about almost every day.
What else can you do to encourage more people to give you real estate referrals?
One of Graham McGregor’s messages this week shared the perfect answer. He told about an agent who has a core list of past clients and people in his sphere that he communicates with twice monthly.
In one of those monthly messages he gives a public thank you to all who referred a client to him in the past month.
Wouldn’t it be easy for you to do the same?
You could add that kind of thank you to your newsletter, to blog posts, and to social media, where it would serve two purposes. It would make those who referred to you feel good for being recognized, and it would send the message that yes, you do love referrals.
Additionally, wouldn’t it be easy to drop mentions of your gratitude for referrals when you’re talking with friends about the market, homes you listed, or buyers you’ve enjoyed helping?
You could say something like: “I’m so grateful to Mrs. Smith for referring Mr. and Mrs. Jones to me to sell their house. They are fun to work with, the house is beautiful, and it went under contract in just three days.”
One last task… Personally thank people for their referrals.
Mentioning them in a newsletter or on line is good marketing, but do make a phone call AND send a hand-written thank you note. Let them know personally that you appreciate the referral. You might even send a small gift in appreciation.
Referrals Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Think positive Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Volunteers planting seedling Image courtesy of IndypendenZ at FreeDigitalPhotos.net