Real estate agents work so hard for leads, but what is amazing is sometimes how early they tap out in regards to the further value that can gained from the contact they have just engaged. In today's fast paced environment, where people are time poor and in urgent demand for nothing but the best, the value a good review or referral can provide can be the difference between succeeding as an elite agent or failing. These are 5 tips to increase the chances of getting more referrals.
1. Keep in touch at key times.
As an agent the best way to ensure you get referrals and also leads from customers is to be at the top of their mind. You will win a large amount of referrals just by staying connected and getting updates on their situation. Asking them if they know anyone in their area looking to sell or changes you have noticed to the street are great conversation points which demonstrates you know the local market well.
2. Host get togethers every 6 months.
One of the biggest reasons that people miss out on referrals is purely because they get forgotten by the person they have served. If someone feels they have been provided good service, then they are likely to refer you over to their network. However, to do so you need to have them remember you. A handwritten note inviting them to a market update is a good idea. Ask them to bring someone who is potentially interested in buying or selling so you can also build your network.
3. Provide incentives for referrals.
Think of it like this. When you ask someone for a favour, generally it needs to have a strong call to action to get them to follow through. It's amazing how simple offering something such as an iPad or $1,000 will get people to act for you. Emailing your current database about a listing you have and asking them to get in touch if they know someone with a view to them getting an iPad could be all the incentive they need to get you a handful of names that are active buyers where the property could be right for them. And if not, asking them to refer you other prospects will help serve your network with even further buyers.
4. Build a team with referral industries.
Think about what goes in to buying a home. You buy the house, but then you need furniture, boxes to move, removalists, lawyers - the list goes on. These are all your friends, because they are all people who at some stage on the way will be asked questions about property that they cannot answer or need to refer to a real estate agent. Go to furniture stores in your area and ask if you can leave a stack of cards there that demonstrates you are the local expert for all property information. By doing so, when people engage in the property search process before they need an agent, you have a head start and can already be front of mind. Also explain to these businesses that when consumers ask them for advice on boxing up their home, or where to buy new furniture, you will recommend them. Keep in mind that a lot of people like to have their kids enrolled in schools, know where they can have dinner locally before they buy, so by having a presence in those areas beforehand will increase the chance they will call you.
5. Appraise, and then ask.
Finally, this tactic should be your number one go to tactic for referrals. When you have built rapport with people and demonstrated that you are willing to go the extras mile for your customers, it is the perfect time to ask for a referral. Doing appraisals can take you no longer than thirty minutes, but it exposes you to multiple referral markets. The first is their immediate family, is one of their children looking at moving out? If so, you can help. Is one of their friends downsizing and needing an agent to sell their home? You can help. Would the owners of the house you're appraising sell if you got a magical figure? These are all referrals that you can start to build up from one appraisal.
About the Author:
Todd Schulberg handles all things marketing for Homely.com.au - Living and breathing property, Todd has a keen interest in the movements in the market and how agents can utilise new tools and technology in order to be more connected. Using all things social, Todd suggests different ways that agents can engage and think outside the square with their marketing approach.