Real Estate Marketing Blog

Morris Real Estate Marketing Group’s blog is your home for up-to-date information that is vital to every REALTOR®. Visit us regularly for the latest real estate marketing tips and REALTOR® resources. The information we share is designed to provide real estate agents with the tools they need to succeed on a day-to-day basis. Our blog is constantly updated, so be sure you check back often.

REALTOR® Referral Marketing: 9 Tips on Asking for Referrals

All Realtors want referrals. If you follow the guidelines for effective Realtor Referral & Repeat Marketing, you’ll generate an increasing flow of referrals throughout your career.

“Focus on being a “Referral Worthy REALTOR®”. Do a great job. Stay in touch. Be there when your clients need you.”

But have you ever felt uncomfortable asking a past client for a referral? You’re not alone. A lot of your colleagues feel the same way. So here are some tips for making the process of asking for referrals easier and more effective.

  • Make it clear that you want clients to refer you. Put slogans like, “We appreciate your referrals” on your website and in your marketing materials.

  • When you work with clients, let them know that your business is built primarily on referrals from satisfied clients.

  • When asking for a referral, do it face-to-face or on the phone, rather than in an email. The direct conversation will significantly increase your chances of getting a referral.

  • A client won’t recommend you if he can’t remember your name. So stay top-of-mind with your past clients, and make it easy for them to contact you.

  • Focus on being a “Referral Worthy Realtor.” Do a great job. Stay in touch. Be there when your clients – past and present – need you.

  • Don’t be a pest by asking for referrals every time you talk to a past client. Instead, focus on adding value.

  • Before asking a client for a referral, make sure they are truly satisfied with your service. Ask them for their candid feedback.

  • Always send a thank you card or small gift to anyone who sends you a referral.

In most cases, satisfied clients will be happy to give you a referral, if only you’d ask!

Takeaway point: For a Realtor, referral marketing is crucial to business growth. Be sure to ask for referrals. Make a list of past clients that you believe would give you a referral. Then contact those clients.

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Real Estate Referral Marketing: 3 Steps to Thanking a Referral

“Thanks for the referral,” the contractor says to you. Then you never hear from him again about that basement remodelling job you sent his way.

Will you feel a little put out? Well, you might. Even though he did say thank you, the gesture may not be enough to make you feel truly appreciated… appreciated enough to send him more referrals in the future.

“If you don’t thank them properly, it may be the last referral you get.”

Exactly the same thing can happen when past clients or business-to-business referral sources recommend you. If you don’t thank them properly, it may be the last referral you get. Your real estate referral marketing will reach a dead end.

There are 3 basic steps to the referral thanking process.

Step 1:

Thank the referral source with a personal phone call, handwritten note or thank you card. You might even want to include a small gift, such as a Gift Certificate or Movie Pass.

Step 2:

Keep the referral source informed. Tell them what’s happening in the transaction with the person they sent your way.

Obviously, you can’t provide confidential client information. But you can say something like, “I met with your friend Brenda, last week. She’s considering her options now. I’m hoping we’ll be able to work together because I’m confident I can find her the home she wants.”

Step 3:

Once the transaction is complete, say thank you again — but in a more significant way. Consider sending a gift that reflects the value of the transaction from the client referred to you. Give some thought to this gift; you want to make a lasting impression.

But never give cash. That sends the wrong message.

Takeaway point: You work hard to be “referral worthy”. But if you’re not thanking your referral sources in the right ways, you won’t get as many recommendations as you would otherwise. Your real estate referral marketing efforts will go unrewarded. So use this three step process to ensure that you do.

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Dealing with a Difficult Real Estate Client

It happens to even the best agents. You work hard to attract great real estate clients with your Referral & Repeat Marketing program. Then, for some unknown reason, you end up with a client that is difficult to work with.

A difficult client could be someone who makes unrealistic demands on you, is testy or unpleasant, doesn’t follow your advice, phones you too frequently or is otherwise disagreeable.

“Never allow a client’s behavior to bring out the worst in you.”

Here are some tips that will help make the situation easier — and may even create more referral and repeat business for you.

It could be situational.

Buying and selling a home is commonplace for you, but often a highly emotional experience for your client. So he or she may not be a difficult person in general, but is just stressed by the situation.

Look for ways to make the buying and/or selling process easier. Do a little hand-holding. It’s not uncommon for a client who was once labeled “difficult” to turn out to be someone you’d want to work with again.

Don’t let it turn you into a difficult agent.

Never allow a real estate client’s behavior to bring out the worst in you. Even if a client is angry or insulting, escalating a confrontation will only make things worse. Play the role of the rational professional in the conversation. Be calm, patient and clear.

Manage expectations upfront.

Often clients will become “difficult” simply because they don’t have a clear understanding of the process. They may think their home should sell in a few days when, in reality, most homes in their neighborhood are on the market for two or three weeks before they are SOLD.

Be sure to explain how things work upfront. Be realistic about viewings, offers, open houses, and especially selling prices.

Hopefully, a difficult client won’t come your way too often. But when he or she does, these tips will help.

Takeaway point: Difficult real estate clients should bring out the best in you, not the worst.

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Helping Out with the Kids (And your Real Estate Referral Marketing)

As you may know — perhaps all too well — raising kids is a lot of work. So anything you can do to help your clients in this regard is going to be appreciated.

“But wait a minute.” You might be saying, “I’m a REALTOR®, not a babysitter!”

…a lot of business-building benefits for just a few hours of planning and hosting…

That’s true. However, focusing on what you can do for a family — as their “Home Expert” — will open doors to more repeat business and should be a key component of your real estate referral marketing.

Here’s an example:

Imagine you’re hosting a Saturday morning coloring contest at a local community center. You’ve invited all your past clients and current prospects, and encouraged them to bring their friends and neighbors along as well.

It’s quite a crowd. There is no doubt that you are going to meet a number of potential new clients and referral sources at the event. And, they are going to see you as an amazingly helpful Realtor — the kind of Realtor worth doing business with and telling their friends about.

And this is in addition to the loyalty you’ll be building with past clients.

That’s a lot of business-building benefits for just a few hours of planning and hosting.

Here are a few more ideas for “taking care of the kids”:

  • Book clubs
  • Pumpkin carving parties
  • Snowman building
  • Sports themed events. (Idea: Hire a professional athlete for an hour to coach the kids.)
  • Picnics
  • Fireworks
  • Frisbee throwing contest

If you use your imagination, you will no doubt come up with dozens of ideas for kids events.

Takeaway point: Focusing on the entire family is important for real estate referral marketing. Organizing events for kids is a great way to build client loyalty and meet new prospects.

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