Ask any experienced real estate agent where or how they find their clients and they will most likely say referrals. In the real estate industry, building a strong referral network depends not just on how many people know the broker but also on how they know their work. Brokers view referrals as a result of their work, a reflection of his or her ability to offer excellent and consistent services. Ironically, despite being a fundamental part of being a broker, many still fail to see its value.
One referral is capable of connecting brokers to new leads, to let people know how to come directly to them for help. However, real estate referrals don’t come flying in without putting the necessary time and effort. To have even just one satisfied client willingly speak about the experience of working with a broker is an effective starting point for referral multiplication.
Generating referrals is not rocket science. Many view it as a complex concept because they fail to see that much of the work that comes into it simply depends on making the most of existing and past client relationships. But three things commonly stand in the way of brokers when it comes to building their referral network. For one, asking for a referral takes a leap of confidence, and brokers tend to shy away from conversations where they have to ask for favors from their clients. Another common problem is having to time it right, especially if the client is too busy. Third, even if clients would willingly want to mention the broker to friends and family, they are still unsure of how to do so.
Thankfully, there are simple ways to hurdle these common issues.
Focus on your strongest relationships
A starting point for referral generation is focusing efforts on the strongest client relationships. While getting to know a client is a fundamental aspect of the job, it’s important to be confident enough to act on the connections that feel genuine and maintain these relationships.
Approach the client with the intention of helping the people they may know or are within their inner circle. Brokers should be proud to say, “Now that we’ve closed this deal, do you know anyone else that I could also help?” Doing so shouldn’t be too difficult, because this is a client with whom a relationship has been established.
Take time to visit the client
If the client is seemingly more reserved and passive, asking them straight up for a referral might turn them off. These personality types may require more time to fully trust the broker. One way around this, however, is to keep in touch all throughout the process and even after the deal has been closed.
Visiting the client 2 weeks to a month after their move is the perfect opportunity to catch up with them and assess if asking for a referral seems likely.
Teach the client how to refer
There are three types of referrals real estate agents can ask for from their clients, and this could help determine exactly what to ask from them.
Traditional referrals are simply asking the client to tell their friends and family about the broker. Testimonials, which people can view on social media, is another way to generate referrals. Testimonials on a website can help customers trust a business more, and they can do the same for brokers. Meanwhile, reviews on the client’s social media sites are another way to get a broker’s name out.
Although it appears to be a lot of work, it is not in vain. Real estate referrals are capable of connecting brokers with potential leads and serious buyers.