Referrals remain one of the best ways to get more leads in real estate. Most real estate agents know that referrals from their clients can provide many great opportunities. After all, when you help someone to find a dream home or sell their house, and they are happy with the results, they will let their friends, family, and coworkers know if they’re asked for a recommendation.
However, that’s not always the case, especially if it’s been six months or more since the client worked with you. This is because you might not be as fresh in their mind at the time. Therefore, you should consider some ways that you can continue nurturing your clients, not just while they are working with you, but after you’ve helped them. There are plenty of great things you can do to make sure that your clients remember you and that your name is the first out of their lips when it comes to referrals.
Create a Connection with Clients Online
The Internet isn’t just a place to put up your website any longer. The Internet is how and where people connect with one another. This includes you and your clients. You need to build and maintain a relationship with them on the web. Try to connect with them through popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
When you help them to sell their house or buy a house, ask permission to take a photo of them and the house for your site and your social media. Tag them in it so they can share it with all of their friends and family. Not only have they just achieved something wonderful, but now everyone that’s connected with them on social media sees it, as well. They know that you were responsible for making that happen.
Don’t forget to mention important contact details on the post and have a call to action. This way, those who might be interested in engaging your services will know how they can get in touch with you to learn more.
Of course, you should make sure that you aren’t only using your online platforms for marketing. You will come across as being inauthentic if the only thing you do is try to get leads with your efforts. You need to have a balance of posts that are selling, posts about the neighborhood, markets, real estate in general, and similar topics.
Additionally, when followers post to you on social media, make sure that you respond. Always strive to have a genuine connection, whether it’s in person or online. In addition to having clients that follow you, consider joining some groups on Facebook. Interact with the people in the group and comment on content left by others. On Twitter, search for industry updates and retweet information that you feel is relative.
Of course, you have quite a few things that you have to think about when it comes to running your business. You might worry that you don’t have time to focus so much on social media.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be so hard. You can find tools that can make it easier to manage social media accounts, so you can post to all of the accounts at the same time. You could also hire someone to handle the social media aspect. Just make sure that they know how to answer and how to keep in line with your brand.
Provide Market Insights to Clients to Stay Fresh in Their Minds
Just because your clients might have closed doesn’t mean that they are no longer interested in real estate. You could still be getting more referrals if you opt to keep your former and current clients in the loop when it comes to what’s happening in the market.
The client might have recently closed on a home and they might not be interested in buying or selling right now, but they may know someone who is. It might be a friend of theirs, an old acquaintance they bumped into on the street, or a bank teller they had a conversation with last week. It doesn’t matter.
If your client sees and reads your emails regarding new homes that are available, decreases in prices, etc., they will be more likely to remember to mention your name. The marketing insights can be added to the regular newsletter that you send out each month. You could also post them on your website or your social media.
Ask for Referrals at the Right Times
When you ask for referrals, it’s a good idea to do so when the time is right. Naturally, when someone closes on a home and gets their keys, they are going to be giddy with excitement. It’s a perfect time to celebrate along with them and ask them to send people they know your way.
However, closing isn’t the only time that it’s good to ask for a referral. Think about all of the other happy times that the clients will experience, such as when you find the ideal property for your buyer, or when you get the full price of the house for the seller. Those are moments that the clients will remember. They will be thrilled, and it’s during that rush of endorphins that you want to ask for referrals.
Host Interesting Client Events
Although this is not a free option, it’s one that you should consider because it will keep you in the hearts and minds of your clients. Consider hosting a fun event where you invite some of your clients. This might be something like renting out a movie theater for a new release and providing them with free tickets and snacks. It might be a trip for some of your biggest clients to a local winery. Maybe it’s just a gathering at a restaurant where you pick up the bill.
The possibilities are endless. You will have to consider your budget and the clients that you have. Not only do you want to find something that they will enjoy, but you also want to make sure that it’s something they’ll talk about. After all, the goal of these types of events is not just to connect with old clients, but to get referrals for new clients.
The event can be in-person or virtual depending on the type of event and how much you have to spend. Try to keep things relatively small. You don’t want more than about 10 to 20 couples or so at most. This way, you’ll have time to talk with each of them, where you can again mention that you are looking for clients if they happen to know anyone that might be interested.
Have a Housewarming Party for Your Clients Who Close
Along the same lines as the last tip, this one can help you to gain some facetime with your client's friends and family. When your clients close on a house, you can throw them a housewarming party in their new home.
You don’t have to go overboard and spend a lot on the party, throwing a nice housewarming with some food and drinks can do wonders for you. Most of the time, the happy new homeowners will be thrilled at your offer and may even help with the planning.
Take the time to introduce yourself to everyone at the party and be sure that you have business cards that you can hand out to everyone. Ask them what they do and tell them what you do. Strike up genuine conversations with them. They will remember this. Even if no one in the immediate family or friend circle is currently in the market for a real estate agent, they might still know someone who might be interested.
Create Incentives for Referrals
This is one of the best ways to get more referrals. By providing the referrers with some sort of reward for providing referrals, it can increase the number you get. People like to have things that they see as free or that took them little work to achieve.
You could offer a gift card, tickets to a local event, a spa day, a finder’s fee, or some other incentive. The reward could be just about anything that you might imagine. If you know the clients well, you could even make it something personal that you know they would appreciate.
One of the biggest benefits of using incentives is that it will help to make broaching the topic of referrals with your clients easier. They are doing something for you, but they will also be getting something for their participation.
Distribute Branded Materials
Using branded materials will help to make referrals easier for your clients. Having branded business cards, flyers, brochures, signs, etc., and providing them to your customers will make it possible for them to quickly pass along information about you and your business. They don’t have to memorize your phone number. They can simply pass a business card to a friend while they tell them about the wonderful experience they had.
This will then make it easier for those new prospects to get in touch with your business, where you can take over and start nurturing them. No matter what type of branded materials you have available for distribution, you need to be sure they stand out while still matching your online content. This simply means that you need them to align with the look of your online sites, as well as your logo.
Ask for Testimonials
Here’s a great way to get some quick content for your website that will continue to work for you now and for years to come. Have your customers write out or record a testimonial about what it was like to work with you when you helped them with their real estate needs. Request permission to post this information on your website. Most of the time, the clients will be happy to do this.
Those client testimonials will act like referral generators on your site. When people see what other actual clients have to say about working with you, it can help them to decide to work with you rather than another agency. It’s a simple thing that many other industries do all the time. Don’t forget to make it part of your website, as well.
Request Referrals Through Your Website
You have a website set up for your real estate agency, so make sure you’re putting it to the best use possible. While you need to have information about the agency and agents, listings, and a blog, you need to make sure that you have all of the right calls to action on the website.
This includes CTAs for referrals to remind your clients and others to let people know about you. Remind them of any incentives that you might offer for referrals, as well.
Collect positive feedback from your customers including testimonials, videos, photos, etc. that show all of the good things that you have done for clients. Have this information prominent on your site. Those testimonials can act as interest generators for your business, essentially helping you get referrals that see them. The stories on your site about your past customers will influence those who are considering working with you.
Create and Share Useful Online Content Free
Although it can take some added time and requires consistency, creating and sharing content your current clients and potential clients would find valuable is important. You can create things like blogs, videos, e-books, podcasts, etc. Doing this will help to spread your influence on the web, and it will help you to solidify your spot as an expert in the field, especially in your market.
No matter the type of content you are creating, you should make sure that it’s easy to share on social media or to download. Have a call to action on the posts with the content that requests people share it with their friends and family.
Beyond Current and Past Clients
While your clients are likely to be your best source of referrals, they are not your only source. Think about all of the businesses in the area that could be a good option to use for referrals, as well. You will want to develop relationships with places like the gym, restaurants, furniture and appliance stores, and the like. Get to know the people who own those places and who work there. Ask to put up your business cards and flyers. The more you get your brand out there the better.
The people you know around town, whether they are business owners, employees at the grocery store, your friends, or your own relatives, can act as billboards for you. They can provide you with referrals from time to time, so don’t neglect this aspect of the business.
Relationships with Industry Leaders
In addition to having relationships with people and businesses around town, you should also consider cultivating relationships with leaders in your industry. You can connect with them through workshops, conferences, social media like LinkedIn, and more. These professionals who are in your industry or related industries can start to provide referrals for you.
Because they are professionals, their expertise helps to add credibility to your real estate business, which can make it easier to find leads that turn into clients. There is already a level of trust there, just as there would be if someone’s family were to recommend you.
Some of the types of industry leaders you can reach out to and connect with include:
● Construction companies
● Mortgage lenders
● Housing inspectors
● Other real estate agents
When you take the time to build strong relationships with these professionals, it will increase the chance of getting a referral from them. It also helps to spread your name and your brand.
Remember to Be Authentic
If you want to build good relationships with your clients, and you want them to provide you with referrals, authenticity is important, as touched on above. You should get to know more about your clients and tailor your messaging specifically to them. When you know more about your clients, for example, it makes it easier to leverage that information later.
The key to learning more about your clients is staying organized. Have a quality customer relationship management tool and keep notes about each of your clients. Provide personalized messages, cards during the holidays, emails, etc. to ensure you stay in their minds. Always strive for authenticity in your communications, so you don’t come off as being fake and only interested in what they can do for you.
Provide Great Service
While this should go without saying, it’s something that all real estate professionals need to remember. The only way that your clients will provide you with referrals is if you give them an outstanding experience from start to finish.
This doesn’t mean that everything will go their way when they are looking for a home or selling a property. However, it does mean that you need to strive to provide them with the best care and attention possible while they are your clients. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t expect referrals.
Your clients remember things that you don’t simply because they have a different perspective. For example, if a client calls with a question and you tell them that you can’t talk right now, but you will call them back in an hour, that’s what you need to do.
If you don’t, they will remember that phone call they were waiting on that never came. Even if it happened only once. They might still seem happy with your service, but when they talk with their friends and family, they might say that you didn’t seem very attentive to their needs.
Strive to be empathetic and caring. Work hard toward making each client’s experience as pleasant and as memorable as possible. Yes, it might take more time and effort on your part, but the results—more referrals—are well worth it.
Never Be Afraid to Ask
One of the biggest hurdles agents face, particularly those who are new, is getting up the courage to ask for referrals from clients. It can seem nerve-wracking or like a big request to ask your clients to provide referrals, but it’s really just part of the business. While you don’t want everything you do to feel like you’re begging for referrals, you need to be willing to ask when the time is right. Consider all of the tips above, and you’ll find that the process can be easier.
It Can Take Time
One of the most important things that you have to keep in mind when it comes to generating more referrals is that it doesn’t happen overnight. As you have seen from the tips provided above, it’s all about curating relationships with the people who can provide you with those referrals. When you do this, you’ll find that you end up spending less on your marketing because you are getting more of those important organic referrals from your happy clients.
Increase your engagement online and offline, create some free content, use email marketing and newsletters to stay in touch, and regularly engage with your past clients. When you are consistent with these methods, it can make a real difference in just how many referrals you end up getting. You may eventually find that referrals are one of the key ways you are making money.
What If You’re Still Having Trouble Getting Enough Leads?
If you’re having some problems getting leads, or you would like to increase the number of leads you are getting faster, consider working with a company that can help. LeadOptix can provide you with a wealth of quality leads that can convert. Let them take care of the leads so you can focus on closing and other aspects of running your real estate business.
It can help to reduce the cost of marketing, provide you with more leads, and ensure you are getting the right leads.