Imagine if you had a growing group of people who regularly recommended you to their customers, clients, friends and neighbours. Imagine what that steady stream of real estate referrals would do for your business. And your income!
To make that happen, you need to build, manage and nurture your referral database. Here are the keys to doing just that.
- Stay in touch with past clients. Various studies indicate that homeowners get the opportunity to recommend a real estate agent two to three times a year. So, your happy past clients are a potential goldmine of real estate agent referrals. But you can’t sit passively by expecting those referrals to come in. They won’t. You need to be proactive by staying connected with those people. A good client referrals system will help.
- Regularly reach out to new business contacts. Next to past clients, business contacts — real estate lawyers, mortgage advisors, contactors, movers, etc. — are a prime source of referrals. A good practice to follow is to reach out and introduce yourself to one new business contact each month. Offer to pay for lunch!
- Always say thanks for a referral. If you don’t thank a referral source for recommending you, they’re unlikely to do so again. So, give them a call or send a thank you card. Or both! Let them know in no uncertain terms that you appreciate their support.
- Use a good real estate CRM. Avoid using systems or apps that are merely general purpose and don’t address the specific realities of a real estate business. Pick a real estate CRM made for real estate agents; one that is simple to use and has all the features you need to manage your contacts and business.
- Update your contact database each week. Add new contacts. Update information, especially email addresses and phone numbers. Make notes of conversations. Keep your real estate CRM database clean and current. A good habit to get into is to schedule an hour each week to managing your database. Just one error in a referral source address or email could mean a referral — or several referrals — you don’t
According to an article in CRMtrends.com, “CRM is a strategy, not a project.” That means you shouldn’t look at maintaining your referral database as just another item on your to-do list. Instead, think of it as a business-building activity that is going to get you more real estate referrals, leads, clients and listings.
The better you take care of your referral database, the better it will take care of you!