Referrals are probably one of the most underutilized resources for leads for real estate agents. Not convinced? Check out the stats:
- 92 percent of people trust earned media, or publicity like recommendations from friends and family, more than all other forms of marketing according to a Nielsen study
- 82 percent of real estate transactions were from referrals or repeat business
- 11 percent of salespeople like real estate agents actually ask for them
The numbers don’t lie. Referrals, while there for the taking, do require some strategic thought and consistent action. If you have some fear about asking for referrals, just remember: You don’t ask, you don’t get!
Simply Asking for Referrals
You and your clients may have just come off the high of a sale or purchase. Take advantage of it. You may feel like it’s overkill to ask right away for referrals, but a simple, “Congratulations, we did it! I’d love to help anyone else you know who may be in the market to sell (or buy) a home,” is simple yet purposeful. You have to start somewhere!
Asking for referrals before a prospect becomes a client is perfectly acceptable, too. During the listing presentation, mention how you grow your business through referrals and that you will work hard to ensure that your client is happy enough to send them your way. It plants the referral seed in their minds from the get-go and also instills confidence that you will do the best job possible for them.
Put It in Print
Your marketing materials should always include some type of ask for referrals. After all, you’ve spent time and money producing them. Make them work for you even more.
A simple line such as, “The highest compliment we receive from our clients is recommending us to a friend. Thanks in advance for your referrals!”
If you have a testimonial that highlights how someone was referred to you and you did a stellar job or that mentions how you are the real estate agent of choice for a particular group or community, include this, too. Nothing brings more confidence about your services then actual words from a client.
Good Old Social Media
This is where you are in touch with clients on a daily or weekly basis, so make sure you include referral asks in your long descriptions and posts at least once a month.
People shy away from business pages on Facebook, for example, that only ask for business, so be creative. If you have a testimonial, for example, from someone saying how they would refer you, use that to your advantage. Post a picture (with the client’s permission), their testimonial and then a short, “Let me know how we can help someone you know list or find the home of their dreams.”
A unique way to highlight referrals is to blog about it. If you have a pair, trio or more of clients who all came from the same group of referrals, then write a story about it. You might uncover a great human-interest story about how every person had a unique need and how you were able to successfully help each one.
Cross promote it, of course, in your newsletter and social media – then make a formal ask again in your post or eblast.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Just as with your leads, it’s important to follow up with your past clients. Send them a letter asking how their new home is going or, if you sold their home, how their new situation is. This is a great spot to ask for referrals.
It’s important, too, to thank any clients who have sent referrals your way. A mini-update mentioning that you met with the referral and that you are excited to help them sell/buy their home is a nice way to tie it all together so the client knows just how much their referral means to everyone involved.
Try to keep your asks personal so you don’t come off too salesy. Don’t worry if you don’t perfect your referral script from the beginning. It takes practice, as with anything, to feel comfortable asking for business and knowing when to execute. If you start now, soon it will be second nature.