When it comes to just about any business, referrals hold a lot of weight. In fact, 92% of consumers trust recommendations and referrals from friends and family above any other form of advertising. And the real estate industry is no different. The numbers are very similar, with 82% of real estate sales coming from previous clients or referrals and 88% of buyers, and 84% of sellers willing to refer their agents to others. As a real estate agent, taking referrals seriously is essential to the success of your business. Here we take a look at some tips to help you increase your referrals and establish a referral network.
- Real estate referrals are a great way for real estate agents to acquire quality leads and boost their business.
- While some realtor referrals come with minimal costs, others are acquired through upfront payments, incentives, or fees paid from closing commissions.
How do real estate agent referrals work?
Real estate referrals work in the same way any other business referral works. When someone experiences quality services from a real estate agent, they will likely recommend that agent’s service to others. Referrals came come in many different forms, from direct referrals in conversation to online reviews or recommendations from fellow realtors. They can come in organically based on performance or be the effects of a referral marketing campaign.
How do real estate agents get referrals?
As the numbers show, creating a steady stream of referrals can greatly affect your business’s success. As a real estate agent, there are many things you can do to help boost your referral rate and increase your lead generation. Here we look at 13 of the top tips to generate real estate referrals and build your realtor referral program.
1. Establish referral goals
As a real estate agent, you should always consider growing your referral network and how many referrals you want to bring in to reach your goals. What can you do to provide better service to your clients? How can you encourage clients to talk about your business and refer friends and family? What can you do to add referral marketing to your marketing campaign? Just as you are always looking for ways to boost lead generation, the same effort, if not more, should focus on reaching your referral goals.
2. Join real estate referral networks
Many online referral networks, such as Realtor.com, are available for real estate agents to boost their lead generation. These referral networks work to send qualified leads to their members based on specific criteria and location. This is a vital part of a referral marketing plan. Depending on the referral network, you can expect to pay by the number of referral leads each month or a referral fee or referral commission based on closing.
3. Create events in the community
Becoming an active community member is a great way for real estate agents to generate referrals. Hosting events or sponsoring events in the community is a great place to start. From holding holiday parties that include previous clients and referral partners to sponsoring local kids’ sports teams, you can build name awareness and show your commitment to your clients and community.
4. Provide exceptional customer service
The service you provide as a real estate agent can make a big difference regarding potential referrals. Exceptional services, such as prompt communication and high-quality personalized service, help to establish trust and connection with clients, making them more likely to promote your services to others.
5. Offer referral incentives
Rewarding clients for sending referrals your way is often a great motivation. Sending out gift cards to clients that regularly send referrals is a great way to thank them and show them how much you appreciate them.
6. Provide your clients with valuable content and information
A great way to generate referrals and new clients from past and current clients is to maintain a relationship by providing them with valuable information. Sharing regular social media posts or educational emails on industry topics, such as tips on home ownership, offers them information while also maintaining regular contact. Another option is sending our regular messages that focus on specific community events they may be interested in.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals directly
Once the closing occurs, your past client relationship is not over. Regular communication, such as anniversary emails or industry newsletters, is a great way to stay on the minds of your clients and provide an opportunity to ask for reviews or referrals. A simple link to a review site or a short message asking for a referral so you can help their family members or friends is a great way to pull in direct referrals.
8. Send handwritten cards with your business card
In a time where emails rule supreme, a handwritten note can go a long way. Whether you are sending a thank you card for their business or an anniversary card on the anniversary of their closing, adding a few business cards with a quick message that says you would love to help their family and friends is another great way to connect to your clients while adding a special personalized touch.
9. Connect with a real estate referral agent
Referrals can also come from other real estate agents. Sometimes a realtor will get a client that they can’t take care of for one reason or another and will refer them to another agent. Real estate referral agents are agents that specifically connect clients to buyers or sellers for a percentage of their commission. Connecting with a referral agent or creating a network of agents in your local area or throughout the country can grow your referrals while also giving you a network to refer to.
10. Engage with your social media followers
In today’s world, social media plays a vital role in communication and in marketing. Creating business profiles on a variety of social media platforms is the first place to start. Make sure to include clear contact information and share important industry news and educational information on a regular basis. But social media as a way to generate referrals is more than just making a few posts. Engage with your followers. Share big events such as a photo at closing and say congratulations. Create a poll and start a conversation. Online engagement is a great way to keep your name on the minds of past and current clients.
11. Build authentic client relationships
Connecting with your clients is essential when it comes to generating referrals down the road. While your focus is often on finding them the right home and walking them through the home-buying process, it is also important to really get to know them on a personal level. When is their birthday? What do they enjoy doing? Are they big sports fans? Do they have a family? Whenever you learn important information on a client, take note in your CRM client listing. Down the road, you can use this information to connect with them and maybe ask for a referral. When their favorite football team wins the Superbowl, send them an email and connect. This creates a great connection that shows that you listened and got to know them and that they matter to your business.
12. Connect with other industry and community professionals
While you can gain real estate referrals from other real estate agents, professional referrals can come from just about anyone. Loan officers or homebuilders can be great industry referral partners, but so can the plumber that fixed your pipes last week or your local bank manager. Creating authentic relationships with these professionals can help you generate new referrals down the road.
13. Establish a way to track referrals
Knowing where your referrals come from can help you better manage a marketing campaign or know which clients you need to thank. Connecting referrals to client entries in your CRM is a great way to monitor referrals and see what is working best for your business. For example, if you find that a lot of referrals are coming from a specific review site, you may want to share a link with your clients to that site. If you find you are not receiving referrals from a real estate network you pay for on a monthly basis, you may want to consider saving money and looking for alternatives that deliver results.
Quality referrals can take your business to the next level
Generating regular referrals can be the biggest contributor to your monthly lead generation and the success of your business. Keeping your clients happy, building and nurturing real relationships, and finding the networks that you connect with are the best ways to help you stand out above the competition and bring in more referrals.
Growing your referral program is easier than you might think
At Good Vibe Squad, our team understands the importance of a quality realtor referral program and a regular flow of monthly referrals in order to meet your business goals. We offer a wide range of tools that can help boost your lead generation and your referral network. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.