Successful agents often say that the bulk of their business comes from real estate referrals, and that’s a good thing. It means their past clients are happy with their work, and that they’ve done a good job of staying in touch.
As you’ve probably noticed, I do a lot of nagging about making sure your past clients and those in your sphere of influence hear from you regularly. I even wrote a set of Event-themed keeping in touch letters that let you stay top of mind without constantly asking for business.
I believe strongly that your past clients and the people in your sphere of influence are your personal gold mine. As long as you stay in touch, many of them will send you referrals. In addition, past clients can become repeat clients.
It’s a wonderful, non-stressful way to gain new clients. Unfortunately, many agents ignore their past clients, with the kind of results that I reported in this 2013 Active Rain post.
However… even if you are diligent about staying in touch…
Gold mines can be tapped out. The client flow from your real estate referrals could slow to a trickle because:
- Even people who truly want to send you dozens of new clients can eventually run out of family members and friends to send your way.
- Some past clients will eventually leave the area and will no longer have the opportunity to refer to you.
- A few will have spouses, children, siblings, or close friends who decide to become licensed. They like you, but their loyalties lie closer to home.
- And then there are those who won’t do referrals, no matter how much they like you. They hold with that old adage that if you rave about a restaurant and send your friends, they’ll get lousy service and worse food.
Real Estate Referrals may not be enough to provide the income you want.
Even if you currently enjoy a nice stream of new clients from real estate referrals, it’s wise to keep right on marketing your services every day.
For that you have many choices. You can:
- Do cold calling and/or door knocking.
- Purchase leads from a variety of sources.
- Network extensively.
- Place ads in newspapers and real estate magazines.
- Choose a neighborhood or a niche and begin prospecting by postal mail.
- Install capture boxes on your website and prospect to those leads via email.
Which marketing choices appeal to you?
Knocking on doors or making cold calls are things I always thought I “should” do when I was a REALTOR®. The trouble was, I couldn’t make myself do them. If you enjoy it – good for you!
Buying leads brings mixed results. Some agents say it’s worthwhile – and others say it’s a total waste of money. I can’t comment, because I’ve never tried it.
Networking is something you should do as a part of your normal day. You never know when you’ll connect with the right person. But as a primary method of prospecting, I think it has serious limits.
Placing ads in newspapers and magazines is expensive. I did do it, and often wondered why, because we didn’t see much in the way of direct results. I think it was because at the time it was where people expected to see real estate agencies. I was afraid that if we weren’t there, people would think we’d gone out of business.
Today that expectation has shifted to the Internet. If you don’t have a website, people will think you either aren’t serious or don’t exist.
That leaves the two methods of prospecting.
Prospecting by postal mail
One obvious and simple way to prospect by postal mail is to send Just listed/ under contract/ just sold cards to as many homeowners as possible in homes surrounding every new listing – yours or your competitors’. (Discover how that works right here.)
The beauty of consistently prospecting in that manner is that over time, those neighborhoods can become “your” territories.
Your niche can be a geographic area, a specific kind of real estate, or specific kinds of clients.
Geographic territories offer many benefits. As you become more and more well known, you’ll get more real estate referrals within the community, and your job will become easier because you’ll know all the details about zoning, services, school district boundaries, etc. You won’t have to go searching for answers, like you do when serving a variety of neighborhoods.
You’ll also spend less time on the road, which means you’ll have more productive hours and spend less on gasoline.
If you love a certain kind of real estate, consider making it your niche.
For instance, you may love waterfront properties, historic homes, condos, or even fixer-uppers.
Perhaps you prefer helping clients in specific situations. If so, learn how to serve them best and then begin prospecting to help estate executors, divorcing couples, empty nesters, or seniors wishing to relocate.
Getting those lists is a bit more challenging, so add appropriate pages to your website, along with capture boxes offering good information in exchange for email addresses.
Capture boxes also help you attract buyer clients.
Offer the buyers good information in exchange for their email address, then nurture them with letters such as my Nurturing Internet Buyer Leads letters.
The more new clients you gather, the more new real estate referral sources you’ll have!
Think about this for a minute: When you get real estate referrals from past clients, many of those new clients will have the same friends /acquaintances as the people who gave the referrals. They may in turn refer others to you, but it could very well be the same people.
It’s wonderful for you if 2 or 3 of your past clients refer the same person to you. It reinforces the fact that YOU are the agent to choose. But since you want more clients, it would probably be better if more of your past clients had different friends to send to you.
Prospecting will expose you to a whole new set of clients – and thus a whole new set of people to send you real estate referrals.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“Remember, anyone can do it – not everyone will.
The only question is: will you?”
Gary W. Keller
“Good marketing makes the company look smart.
Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”
Another way to get more real estate referrals…
Recently an agent on Active Rain posted about how he gets real estate referrals from other agents all across the country.
He connects with those agents on Facebook and LinkedIn. Then he writes to tell them how much he pays for referrals and says he loves sending out those checks. Of course, he offers to return the favor, should any of his sellers be relocating to their communities. He reports that this system is working very well for him.
Young businesswoman Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Senior lady Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Mailbox Image courtesy of Felixco, Inc. @freedigitalphotos.net