Incredibly powerful, referrals are among the fastest and most lucrative ways to build your real estate business. With successful agents reporting over 75% of their business resulting from referrals, it’s crucial to nurture your referral relationships. Requiring less effort than prospecting for new clients, referrals can come from your current and past clients, in addition to your friends, family, and professional relationships.
If you’ve overlooked the power of referrals, here are five creative ways to generate more referrals.
Host an Exclusive Event
Best labelled as a customer appreciation event, many successful agents host exclusive events to create strategic referral networking opportunities while saying thank you to their current clients. Though directed to ‘clients’, it’s important you invite friends, family, and other important people in your sphere. Though this strategy can be costly, other strategic partners might consider contributing too. To share the expense consider touching base with home inspectors, mortgage brokers, and lawyers too. Prospective events might include a private movie screening, pictures with Santa, and a fundraising event to name only a few.
Share Regular Relevant (Automated) Market Information
Offering everyone in your sphere tailored (and current) market information will leave you top-of-mind. For those living in condos, consider adding them to an auto-email notifying them of new listings and sales in their building. For those in certain neighbourhoods, tailors an auto-email for houses listed and sold – properties similar to theirs. Everyone is curious to know how much the neighbours sold for – best that you be the one to keep them up-to-date.
While this isn’t creative per se, it might surprise you to know many agents feel uncomfortable or overlook the importance of simply asking for a referral. Initially uncomfortable, you’ll quickly find that those satisfied with your services will be thrilled to send you more business. And, rather than asking to be ‘referred’, ask to be introduced instead (it’s lighter and more approachable). Consider asking, “If you know of someone I might help (in buying or selling a home), would you consider introducing me?”
Reward Your Referrers (Regardless of the Outcome)
Though it’s a good idea to reward referrers when a referral results in a listing or a sale, it’s even more important to reward the act of referring itself. Every time you’re referred a client (whether it results in a transaction or not), find a way to reward the referrers in some way. Consider buying Starbucks gift cards, or something similar. Anytime you receive a referral (regardless of the outcome), mail the gift card inside a thank you card.
Host a Referral Contest
Consider hosting an annual contest among your sphere including professionals, friends, family, and your past and current clients. Offer a generous prize for the individual who refers the most business in one year. Of course, it’ll be important to set up clear contest rules, but, depending on the size of your business and the prize offered, you’ll definitely get people talking about you and your business.