The Secret Recipe
The best way to get a referral is during the buying or selling process, when a client can see you in action. Established agents count on the good word of their past clients and successes to help them find additional business and to grow their database. Competency, charisma, and effective marketing play a great role in contributing to the success of a referral program, but none are a greater factor than TIMING in achieving results that will sustain an abundant business. While they are buying a home, your clients can see your hard work, your attention to detail, your negotiation skills, knowledge, and diligence.
However, many agents wait much too long. Often the first time they mention their desire to be referred, is AFTER the transaction has been completed. When a person is in the process of a real estate transaction they are taking actions, talking about their experiences, and are generally more involved in the process; thereby attracting other people who are in a similar situation. Changing homes is something people talk about to their friends. This happens, for the most part, when they are in the process of doing it, not necessarily AFTER they have finished their journey, and even less likely the further the event is in the rear view mirror. AFTER the transaction, a client will have a significantly less chance of finding you another client because they are no longer consciously discussing their experience with their friends and co-workers. There are less opportunities for a referral.
Once the home is sold, the seller is now familiar with your knowledge of the market. They know how fast you sold the home and how much money they were able to walk away with at the end of the day. However once they are removed from their transaction, they are also removed from constant contact with their agent. During the selling process, there is a very high level of communication: weekly if not daily phone calls, emails, and personal visits. After the transaction, that communication and awareness drops exponentially.
Instead of a steady stream of dialogue and direct communication post the transaction; these things will become sporadic and infrequent. Judging by NAR statistics, it is practically non-existent in many cases. Not only are there fewer opportunities for referral, but the chances of the client remembering to refer you decreases because their memory of you and the experience fades. If you want an easy, automatic way to never lose contact click here.
This brings us to on of our favorite topics, Keeping Top of Mind. It’s an important aspect of real estate referrals. Your abilities and business professionalism create referrals, not just because you are related or worked with the client. You must keep reminding people of your expertise and accomplishments. The consistency of your branding is a large part of a referral. It is much easier for people to remember domain names than phone numbers and email addresses.
Consistency is the big enchilada. Branding, communication, marketing all need to be consistent. This includes your website. Imagine how difficult it is for your clients when your website it is hosted by a different provider from one month to the next,or the buttons are in new places, and the MLS search function is completely different and intimidating. People are creatures of habit- try to make it easier on them.
Lastly, most agents make the mistake of constantly asking for referrals in all of their marketing messages, but they fail to back it up with value. Your value is clearly seen during the selling process. There is a difference between earning and asking. It is not as vital to prove your competence directly to your consumer as the proof is already evident in your past successes. However, if you are a new real estate agent and your resume is a little empty, you can always promote the success of your brokerage or find a mentor with a successful track record that you can leverage when marketing to your database.