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How to Identify Past Clients Who Will Refer You

03 August 2018

By Phil Hollander

How to identify past clients who will refer youLet’s say you have 75 past clients in your real estate CRM database. According to many studies, these homeowners are in a position to recommend a real estate agent two or three times a year, on average.

That’s a lot of potential referrals for you.

And that’s why having an effective real estate marketing system is so important. You need to stay in regular contact with those past clients to remain top-of-mind and build loyalty.

However, some past clients are more likely refer you than others. So it makes sense to give those contacts extra attention. You’ll want to send them monthly direct mail updates, call at least twice a year, and perhaps schedule an in-person “Home Owner’s Checkup” annually.

To put it another way, there are past clients who should get the VIP treatment!

So how do you determine who those are?

One way is to consider the experience you had working with the client. Was it positive? Were you able to get them a good deal? Were they happy? If there was a problem, such as a listing taking longer than expected to sell, was it resolved amicably?

Rate your client’s satisfaction level on a scale of one to ten. Those who scored 7 or higher are your VIPs. Obviously, happy clients are more likely to recommend you than others.

Another way is to ask your client if they would be willing to recommend you if asked. Ideally, this is done one month after the move, but you can ask the question anytime — even to long-ago clients. Simply say:

“Barb, as you may know, I build my business on referrals from great clients like you. If someone you know is looking for real estate help, would you be comfortable giving them my name?”

If the answer is an enthusiastic yes, then that client will likely recommend you when the opportunity comes up.

Finally, consider your past client’s situation. Are they in an area with lots of turnover? (An area where they’re likely to be asked by neighbours, “Do you know a good real estate agent?”) Are they located in communities you’re currently targeting? Are they high-profile in the community with lots of contacts? These are all indicators that your past client might become an excellent source of referrals.

Once you’ve identified your “VIP” list, update your real estate CRM accordingly. Make sure these contacts are getting the works: direct mail updates, birthday and move-in anniversary cards, calls and personal visits.

Your best past clients are potentially your best source of new business. Make the most of these contacts!

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