June 2021

Client referrals are key to your success

Seventy-five percent of an agent's business comes from referrals and word of mouth.Footnote1 Asking clients for referrals, however, can be awkward and time-consuming. Here are some ways you might up your referral game.

First: Wow your clients

It may seem obvious, but people will only recommend someone who impresses them. Providing consistently excellent service, which includes understanding and responding to your clients’ needs, will make them more inclined to refer you to family, friends and acquaintances.

Find the approach that works for you

Agents solicit referrals at different times using different approaches.

The conclusion of a successful settlement is an obvious time to ask, but you could choose to bring it up at any moment of good news, such as the receipt of a full-price offer. If you prefer to ask in writing, include it in your follow-up communication or as part of a post-closing survey.

If you'll be asking in person, develop a pitch you're comfortable with (there are scripts online you can consult) and practice until it's completely smooth.

Make it personal

Build on the relationships you've established by personalizing your requests. Similarly, find out what you can about prospective clients so you know how best to approach them and address their needs.

Ask directly

If you've done a good job, there's nothing "pushy" about asking people to pass your name along.

Commit to gaining referrals every day

Make prospecting a regular part of your workday. This can include conversations with promising prospects, current and former clients, and people in your personal and professional circle. Setting numeric goals can help you stay focused.

Make it easy for people

Teach your sources to look for signs that indicate someone they know might be needing to buy or sell a home. Include a "Recommend a friend" function on your website. Create marketing materials that clients can hand out or forward.

Think quality, not just quantity

Like leads, all referrers are not created equal. Sort them into tiers, with the top tier representing your most dependable sources, the second tier containing people who send you referrals of varying quality, and the third tier for people who send you business only intermittently. Focus on strengthening relationships with people from the top tier down.Footnote2

Provide incentives

Reward people who make a referral with a gift card or other small gift, preferably suited to their interests or tastes. It shows your appreciation and increases the chance that they'll continue to think of you in the future.

Thank everyone who tries to help

Not all referrals pan out, but anyone who passes your name along has tried to support your business. Show your appreciation with a personal note. Make people feel good about spreading the word.

Gaining referrals takes work, but that effort pays off. The more relationships you develop, and the stronger those relationships are, the more effective you'll be.

A note from your lending specialist

Have new clients who are looking to buy? I'm here to help with their financing needs.

1 Balinas, Travis, “Real Estate Referral Business Comes from Only 20% of Past Clients (HUGE Opportunity!),” Outbound Engine, April 7, 2015.

2Mastering the Art of Real Estate Referrals,” Real Estate Express.

MAP3562093 | 04/2021

More from this month's issue