10 December 2018
6 Keys to Attracting a Consistent Flow of High-Quality Referrals
Are You Getting All the Referrals You Could Be Getting?
You probably know many REALTORS® who consistently get a lot of referrals. Their phone keeps ringing with people who want to work with them. They land a lot of listings month-after-month. They make a lot of money. These are quintessential referral-worthy REALTORS® – the first people their clients, prospects, and other contacts think of when they, or someone they know, need real estate help. So how will you get to this enviable position in your business? How will you become “referral worthy”? Is it just a matter of doing a good job for clients when you’re helping them buy or sell a property? Is there anything more to it? That’s what this Referral Success Guide is all about. Throughout this guide, you’ll learn the six key steps you need to take in order to consistently attract more and more referrals each month. By the time you get to the end of this guide – (it only takes a few minutes) – you’ll have gained a new perspective on your business, and what you need to do to become the referral-worthy REALTOR® in your market. This guide is designed to help you think about the key questions you need to ask yourself when analyzing your current referral system. If you have any questions, call us at 1.800.308.6134 or email us.
1. Get into the Right Mindset
You would think that satisfied clients would be delighted to spread the word about your services. But that’s just not the way things work. Sure, you did a terrific job helping a client sell their property and buy a new dream home, but was that months or even years ago? If so, what have you done for them lately? The fact is, your clients and other contacts would give you referrals if they heard from you on a regular basis. They need to have the ongoing benefit of your expertise. They need to continuously see that you’re there for them – not just during a transaction, but also in the years in-between. The service you provide during a transaction is only part of what it takes to be a referral-worthy REALTOR®. An important part, yes. But just one part. Ask yourself this question: “What have I done for my clients, and other important contacts, lately?” Have I sent them an update on the local market? Mailed a valuable newsletter? Sent a birthday card? Phoned or visited to see how they ’re doing? Be honest here. The purpose of this exercise is to help you clearly see how often your contacts hear from you, and the experience they have when they do.
2. Stay in Touch
“Can you recommend a good REALTOR®?” asks a friend or neighbor. That conversation happens more often then you may think. In fact, studies show that each of your past clients will have the opportunity to recommend a REALTOR® two or three times each year. Your prospects, business contacts, and other important contacts also get asked for recommendations regularly. Do the math. That’s a lot of potential referrals for you! But studies also show that if you don’t keep in touch with your contacts regularly, you’ll get very few, if any, of those referrals. Keeping in touch with your contacts is an important key to maximizing the number of referrals you get each month. If you don’t stay in touch, you won’t get many referrals. It’s that simple. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How often am I staying in touch with my past clients and other important contacts? (Monthly? Yearly? Not at all?)
- Do I know the ideal frequency for staying in touch with my clients, prospects, and other contacts?
3. Add Value
Unfortunately a lot of REALTORS® focus on selling themselves rather than building a professional relationship with their clients and prospects. Imagine getting a letter, telephone call or email from your accountant each month, in which he continuously pitches his services and brags about all the great work he’s doing for his clients. “I’m number one in town!” he keeps writing. That would tire pretty quickly, wouldn’t it? The key to building a professional relationship is to use each letter, email, telephone call or visit to position yourself as the trusted, helpful, knowledgeable expert. That way your clients think of you, when they, or someone they know, needs real estate help. How do you do that? By adding value… value in the form of timely updates, helpful home-related articles and tips, and personal messages from you. Also, consider creating a Business Directory so you become the go-to person for recommendations. Offer to do an annual real estate check-up. When you add value, your clients and other contacts will realize that they are continuously benefiting from your expertise. That builds trust and loyalty, which leads to more referrals. Make a list of the various ways you’ve stayed in touch with your contacts over the past three months. For each communication, ask yourself: “Did I add value?”
4. Use the Right Mix of Contact Methods
These days, there are many ways to stay in touch with your clients, prospects and other important contacts. You can use direct mail, email, phone calls, personal visits, and even social media. Which one of these methods works best for attracting more referrals? Direct mail is ideal for your most valuable contacts – those who are most likely to give you referrals, such as your past clients. A direct mail piece that’s eye-catching, highly personalized, and packed with truly valuable information sends an important message. Email is an effective way to stay in touch with prospects. It’s also a great way to send timely messages such as hot new listings, solds in the area, local market news, and more. Chances are, at least some of your clients and prospects are active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Do you know how to use social media effectively to attract more referrals? Clearly, you need to get direct mail, email and social media working in tandem. Answer the following questions:
- How am I using direct mail to stay in touch with the contacts that are most likely to give me referrals?
- How am I using email to stay in touch with prospects?
- How am I using social media to support my direct mail and email marketing?
- How am I using phone calls, personal visits, and events?
- Do I know the right mix of these contact strategies, and how to get them working together in the right way?
5. Manage Your Contact Database
There is nothing more important to your business than your contacts. These are your past clients, business contacts (companies in your Business Directory), prospects and other contacts who could potentially recommend you to others. Maintaining your database using a good CRM is essential to attracting more referrals. Your CRM should have the following characteristics at the very least:
- Be easy to use.
- Provide the fields you need to input all important contact information, including birthdays, occupations, household members, property details, original source of contact, referral history, contact groups, past conversations, etc.
- Provide activity plans.
- Include mass email, drip email and email campaign reporting.
- Make it easy to filter and sort your database.
- Have an area to manage all your communications with your contacts.
- Incorporate a calendar and task list.
- Have website lead capture capabilities.
- Sync with Smartphones and,
- Be designed specifically for REALTORS®.
Ideally, it should also be a one-stop-shop for staying-in-touch, building relationships, and managing your day-to-day business. Answer the following questions:
- Is my contact management system up-to-date with all the relevant information on my contacts?
- Can I access the information in my contact management system quickly and easily – and from anywhere?
- Is my contact management system easy-to-use?
- Does my contact management system save me time? (Or is the system cumbersome and time-consuming to use?)
- Does my contact management system help me build relationships with my clients, prospects and other important contacts?
6. Have a “System”
As you can see, you need to communicate regularly with your clients, prospects and other important contacts. You need to make sure you’re sending the right messages, at the right frequency. You need to use the right mix of contact strategies – direct mail, email, social media, telephone calls, personal visits, and events, and direct them to the right contacts. That would all be very difficult, if not impossible, to do and manage if you didn’t have a system. Without an effective system in place, it’s too easy for things to fall through the cracks. Opportunities for more referrals will get missed. Worse, you’ll spend a lot of time – too much time – trying to keep it all under control. With the right system in place, things work better and take less time. Everything is coordinated. Nothing gets missed. As a result, your clients, prospects and other important contacts will increasingly look at you as the REALTOR® to call when they need help. And, you get… More Referrals. More Listings. More Contacts. So what does your system look like? Are you doing too much of the work yourself? Is it too complex because you’re using multiple suppliers and other services? Does your system do everything it needs to do to attract the most referrals?
Hopefully, this Referral Success Guide has helped you think about your referral marketing in a new way. The key to increasing the number of referrals you get is to become a referral-worthy REALTOR®. Let us help you. At Morris Real Estate Marketing Group, The Referral Marketing System does everything described in this success guide – and much, much more. It will help you become top-of-mind with your contacts and the first REALTOR® they think of when they, or someone they know, needs real estate help. The system includes everything you need: direct mail, email, social media, and contact management software. And, the best part is… We Do the Work. You Get the Results! Want to learn more? Click here. Or call us at 1.800.308.6134. Business is good, when you’re referral-worthy!