It’s time-tested wisdom that you build a business through word of mouth. Of course, there are other marketing methods in real estate, but nothing beats a steady stream of referrals built with these methods.
It starts with you
Your clients will refer friends to you if they are satisfied with the job you’ve done for them. Happy customers gladly give referrals. Follow these tips to ensure the most possible referrals from raving client fans.
- Operate your business with excellence: flawless client listings, great open house events and excellent referrals to professionals such as mortgage lenders and title companies.
- Be detail-oriented, particularly at closings.
- At multiple points along the way, express gratitude to your clients for letting you serve them.
- Anticipate your clients’ needs before they do.
- Provide a superior customer service experience.
Ask, and you shall receive
Train yourself to ask for referrals. Begin early in the relationship with clients. If the clients were referred to you, mention that, saying something like, “Thank you for letting me help you with your home search. Just as X referred you to me, if you have friends or family who need to move, please let them know I would be glad to help.”
If that line sounds scripted, it is. Early in your business, memorizing scripted requests helps ease the awkwardness you may feel. As your confidence grows, you’ll make these lines your own, and your referral requests will become more spontaneous and comfortable.
Our industry has many resources that can supply you with scripts for referral requests. Start within your own brokerage firm. Invest in seminars and workshops that train you on building a successful business. Learn from experienced REALTORS® and participate in role-playing exercises. You’ll find excellent material to guide you.
Service after the sale
After the deal closes and your clients start life in new surroundings, send them a gift card to a nice restaurant or a home improvement store. Additionally, email your clients a “welcome home” list of local businesses, entertainment, recreation and other venues that can help them get acclimated quickly. After all, you want them to consider you the local community expert they readily recommend to family and friends for their real estate needs.
Seek customer testimonials
After your clients’ closings, ask them to share a testimonial on Google reviews and on your social business page. You can then add these testimonials to your agent websites and incorporate them into your marketing materials. Ask satisfied clients if they would speak on your behalf to new buyers and sellers considering doing business with you.
Start a newsletter
Build a database or CRM of former clients and professionals in your business and send them a regular newsletter. It doesn’t have to be lengthy; a single page will do. Provide market insights, information on upcoming community events, local shopping resources and more. This keeps your name top of mind for the day your clients encounter someone in need of a REALTOR®. In addition, they may share your newsletter with others, increasing your sphere of influence.
Spread your name by word of mouth
Give out business cards generously to clients, to other professionals associated with your business and throughout your network. Wear your brokerage name badge when at community events or about town. Connect with loan officers, attorneys, title companies, home service contractors, listing photographers and other people you know who could send clients your way.
Network out of your market
If you live in an area where potential buyers from other states migrate, contact REALTORS® in those states with a referral fee offer. People looking to move into your area need a local REALTOR® but probably don’t know one. A referral from the REALTOR® who helped them sell in their originating market can be a huge help.
Likewise, if people in your market are migrating out, do the same professional networking in reverse. Connect and build a professional network in the destination market. Professionals connected this way send business back and forth to one another.