POWERFACT: 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising (RETechnology).
by guest blogger Paulina Pestryakov
When someone is thinking of making a huge decision like buying or selling a home, you can be sure they seek advice from trusted friends and family.
Referrals are a powerful source of leads for real estate professionals. No matter how much time, effort and money you invest in other forms of advertising, referral leads are highly sought after. Referrals are valuable because they come to you (rather than you chasing them down). They are also usually warm or hot leads and enter your relationship with trust because someone they know has vouched for you.
Here’s a hard question: are you getting the number of real estate referrals from past clients that you should be getting?
Here are 4 possible reasons that you may be missing out on real estate referral leads and how to start getting more now:
Reason 1: Your past client can’t remember your name.
The shocking truth is that 85% of homeowners say they would use the same agent again or recommend the agent to others – yet less than 25% actually do. The primary reason they didn’t make the recommendation? They couldn’t recall the name of their Agent! Such a simple oversight could end up costing you a lot of real estate referral business.
Action step: Make it a priority to keep in touch with your past clients. An easy way to keep in touch is by sending a monthly direct mail newsletter or an e-Newsletter ,automatically sent through your real estate CRM. Also, remember to follow up with them every few months and on special occasions. Your CRM can remind you when to reach out to your contacts, making it easier than ever to keep in touch. Your past clients will remember your name and appreciate the ongoing relationship.
Reason 2: You didn’t provide excellent service.
This is likely the reason you fear the most– your past clients are not recommending you because you did not provide them with the level of service they expected. Truth is, we all have days when we aren’t at our best. Most Agents can recall a particularly difficult transaction in their career. Move forward and learn from these mistakes, and remember that it’s not too late to add value now!
Action step: You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it and provide better service in the future. Wowing your clients with a wonderful experience is crucial for gaining more referral business. Sometimes agents become overwhelmed and drop the ball. Protect yourself from making this error by using the Active Business features in your real estate CRM. A robust Active Business area acts like your virtual transaction coordinator, keeping you organized and in control. It also allows you to handle business more professionally than you ever thought possible.
Reason 3: You’re not making referrals to other vendors.
Are you familiar with the term, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”? It certainly applies when it comes to giving referrals! If you’re not regularly recommending reputable contractors, landscapers and decorators, they are likely not referring you either!
Action step: Build a Business Directory in your real estate CRM. It’s a list of reputable professionals that you can refer to your clients. Your clients will appreciate you sending them to quality vendors, and the vendors will certainly appreciate you sending them business! Inform those in your Business Directory that you will be sending them referral business. Also, let them know you’d welcome any real estate referrals that they can send your way! (And by the way, who do you think the vendors in your Business Directory will call when they want to buy or sell a house?)
You’ll also want to take advantage of your Power Agent Directory®! This agent-to-agent directory puts you in touch with like-minded Power Agent referrals from all over North America!
Reason 4: You didn’t ask for referrals!
Sometimes you have to ask for what you want! While you know that referrals are critically important to your real estate business, your clients don’t necessarily understand the value of these referrals. Failing to ask for referrals is one of the most obvious mistakes Agents make, and they may lose business for this reason.
Action step: The obvious time to ask for referrals is when you complete a transaction with a client, so certainly include that in your conversation. As you build a relationship with your client through regular email marketing and Keep in Touch phone calls, you can ask if they know of anyone who is thinking of moving. Remember to let your past clients know how much you appreciate their referrals. And when they do refer you, send them a thoughtful thank you gift. It’s these extra touches that will inspire people to send you real estate referrals again and again!
If you’ve been making any of these mistakes, now is the time to correct them. Start generating more high-quality real estate referral business by keeping in touch and offering excellent service. Do not forget to refer to other vendors and ask for referrals!
Your real estate CRM can help you gain more referrals by equipping you with the tools you need. Keep in touch by sending direct mail or a professionally written monthly e-Newsletter. Getting automated reminders of clients’ birthdays and keep in touch calls is another good way to keep in touch. Provide better service by being better organized and on top of all the details related to your listings and closings. Broaden your reach by building a Business Directory.