Lead Generation Ideas for Realtors: Referrals
Oct 10, 2013 Posted by Cribsuite
Did you know that 94% of home buyers use the internet to research and find a home?!
How realtors generate leads? Lets see the mistakes, statistics and useful tips to generate leads in the digital world!
If there’s one real estate lesson that I had to learn repeatedly in my first years, it’s that you can never stop prospecting. No matter how busy you are or how long you’ve been in the business, you need to be continuously filling your new business funnel. This week, we’re going to focus on generating real estate leads: lots and lots of leads.
Some of our ideas will be new to you. Some of our ideas will no doubt be familiar, but we’re including the tried-and-true tips that will actually make those ideas work for you.
Referrals, referrals, referrals
For most real estate agents, the number one source of leads and clients is referrals. But how can you influence how many referrals you get?
1. Ask for referrals.
Don’t assume that people will automatically think to refer you–to get maximum referrals, you need to ASK FOR THEM. It’s always a good idea to set the stage early in a relationship, by casually mentioning the importance of referrals to your business, or commenting on a referral you just received. Then when the time is right, come right out and ask for it. For example:
At a party: “I’ve been so busy lately, but there aren’t enough properties on the market for my buyers. Any chance you know someone looking to sell?”
After your client writes you a testimonial: “Thanks so much for the testimonial, I really enjoyed working with you too. As you know, my business is built on referrals, so if you know anyone looking to buy or sell, I’d really appreciate if you passed my name along!”
After giving advice to your friend who listed with another REALTOR: “Happy to give you my two cents about how much your house is really worth. You know I choose not to work with close friends, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care about your sale. Feel free to call me anytime – the only thing I ask is that you think to refer me to others!”
I also make a point of contacting my list of e-mail subscribers at least twice a year with a primary purpose of specifically asking for referrals (timed before the two busiest times in my market). I also often include a footer in my emails: “Know someone looking to buy or sell? Most of my clients are referrals. I promise I’ll treat your friends and family right.”.
2. Reward the referral, not the deal.
This strategy comes down to basic behaviour modification theory: reward the behaviour you want to encourage, not the outcome. You want to encourage your friends, family and clients to refer people to you – but whether or not the referral actually ends up buying or selling a home isn’t your referral’s job, that’s your job. So get into the habit of saying thank you at the time the referral happens, not at the time they sign a contract. And remember: it’s not the size of the prize that matters: a hand-written note and Starbucks gift card can have just as much impact as a $500 gift certificate. (and make sure you understand what bird-dogging/kick-back rules your board has in place so you don’t get into any trouble.)
3. Treat your raving fans right.
We all have them: people who are out there singing your praises to anyone who’ll listen (and hopefully it’s not just your mom). In 2011, one of our clients referred 7 people to us (which resulted in 6 sales) . Now that’s what I call a raving fan. What can you do to show that fan how much you appreciate them?
4. Develop a network of Realtors who can refer leads to you.
Our world has shrunk considerably in the last 5 years and it’s now easy to connect and develop relationships with Realtors outside of your city, state or province, and even your country. I’ve found the best way to connect with other agents is via Facebook groups and Twitter.
Don’t forget that LinkedIn has some great resources for giving and getting referrals too!
5. The easiest way to get your clients to refer you to their friends? Wow them.
Don’t just meet or exceed their expectations by providing great knowledge and service–WOW them. Everyone is wowed by different things, so you’ll need to listen to your clients to figure out how to wow them. I’ve wowed people with brutal honesty (“I really don’t think this is a good investment–why don’t we keep looking?”), car snacks on showing days, discovering an incredible deal that wasn’t on MLS, sending in my cleaners to help with getting a home ready for sale, giving my clients tickets to their favourite sporting events and surprising them on moving day with pizza and beer. I actually make a conscious effort to do something to wow every single client at least once.
To learn more about real estate marketing and lead generation, and to read five tips for real estate agents, see the infographic below:
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