“I work off of referrals.”
So does every other agent. Welcome to the party. (We don’t mean to sound too sarcastic, but bear with us here, we are trying to help and be the most useful guide we can be to you.)
Relying on referrals and getting referrals are 2 separate things. NAR should find out a new statistic, titled: “How many referrals an agent loses each year due to their internet presence and marketing”.
Do you set up searches for your clients through the MLS?
What URL are the search results branding? You? Or the MLS?
Do you follow up enough with your past clients?
Do you have the technology that makes this easy?
In order to maximize the amount of referrals you receive per year you have to make sure you are top-of-mind.
As you compete with Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia for your clients’ business, you must quadruple the amount of communication with your database. How you used to generate referrals and what you must do as a real estate agent today, are two completely different things.
Being top-of-mind means that you have to send more than holiday cards or the occasional email to your clients. Just because your email signature states you appreciate referrals does not mean that you have converted your database’s contacts into willing, enthusiastic sales reps for you.
You must constantly remind your clients of your domain name because the referral will look you up online. When you internalize your marketing, you are training your clients to acknowledge your domain name and proving that your website offers everything they need to buy or sell a home; and it ensures that you can be found online without much effort.
If they cannot find you easily (due to lack of internet presence or if your name is difficult to spell), then how can you expect these referrals to contact you?
In conclusion, your referral base is your database. They are the buyers and sellers that will call you when it is time to buy and it is the time to sell, and they are the buyers and sellers that will tell their friends that you exist. If you do not provide your database with a website that offers MLS search and valuable emails that remind them of your service, then who can they refer when a referral opportunity is presented? If you do not do these things, you will not be at the top of their mind when they think of a valuable real estate agent.
A referral is a free sale. It is the result of someone in your database believing enough in your abilities as an agent to recommend you to someone they know. So when you get a chance, look at your internet presence and see how difficult you are making it for a “free sale” (referral) to find you.
You may appreciate referrals but that doesn’t mean you are doing enough to earn them.