Ahhh, referrals. The holy grail of real estate leads. High in quality, low in cost, always a nice confidence boost. When someone takes the time to recommend your services, it validates your expertise and the way you make people feel when they do business with you.
According to NAR, 41 percent of sellers who used an agent found them through referrals from friends or family. That’s a substantial portion of income potential and well worth the effort of nurturing. That’s why a strong referral game should be far more than an afterthought. It takes consistency, prioritization, and a positive mindset.
Let’s explore ways to ensure that your agent referral program is a key driver of revenue growth.
“The Weichert Way” to agent referrals
When it comes to real estate referrals, mindset matters. Remember that every successful closing marks the beginning of a relationship that can boost referrals for years to come. You’ve demonstrated the depth and breadth of your experience, giving clients every reason to share your name with others who need your help.
Beyond making a great impression, the best way to ensure future referrals is to ask for them directly. Instead of hinting, simply say: “I’d love to grow my business by helping more people like you. Who should I contact?” Be bold and see how much your business blossoms.
Along with mastering soft skills, Weichert brokers and their teams rely on a plethora of franchising tools to maximize referral opportunities. Some of our top lead generation resources include:
- myWeichert powered by kvCORE platform, a robust CRM with squeeze pages, landing pages, and mass text and email campaigns with personalized follow-up so agents can incorporate regular touchpoints into their referral strategyA network of 500+ offices across the country that shares broker-to-broker referrals on a daily basisWeichert Workforce Mobility, which connects clients who need to buy and sell quickly due to a job move with agentsWeichert Referral Associates, one of the largest referral companies in the US, matches agents with qualified leads
Our philosophy on real estate referrals mirrors our take on all lead-generation responsibilities. Nurturing them takes consistency and care. So we build referral brainstorms into our educational sessions, live weekly webinars, regional workshops, and other regular touch points. We share best practices and encourage each other so referrals stay top of mind.
From there, affiliates apply what they’ve learned while adding a local spin and plenty of creativity. Here are some thought starters from the field:
Build up your local referral bank
Naturally, your referral network will grow exponentially with everything you do on the local level. Becoming the go-to source of market updates, for example, will show clients that you’re fully invested in your shared community. This builds credibility and makes you a natural choice for referrals. Here are a few more ideas for igniting your sphere of influence:
Share the numbers
While most housing purchases come wrapped in plenty of emotional considerations, they are, at heart, a major financial investment. Here’s where your local knowledge can help people feel more confident in their choices.
Sharing relevant statistics with prospects and homeowners can help them gauge the health of their biggest asset, buy and sell at optimal times, and share what they’ve learned with friends and family. Just be sure to convey the data in plain English. Make an infographic if it helps. Record a short video of yourself explaining the data in everyday terms.
It’s not uncommon for humans to run high on emotion and low on logic, especially around home buying. As the expert, it may be up to you to temper certain impulses by explaining what the data actually shows. When pressure mounts, your thoughtful analysis can help give clients the best chance at a positive outcome. This level of care sets the stage for a strong referral network.
Maximize B2B opportunities
A robust referral network also keeps you connected to the business community at large. The owners of local restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, and service businesses as well as doctors, dentists, and lawyers should all know who you are and what you have to offer. Start with a simple introduction and some business cards. From there, you can build on these relationships and look for ways to help one another expand your reach.
In some instances, co-marketing campaigns fit the bill perfectly such as:
- Holding a real estate seminar at your local chamber of commerceCo-hosting a webinar with a trusted lender, home inspector, or insurance agentCreating a handy checklist of closing costs and legal fees with a real estate lawyerCross promoting your business with local electricians, landscapers, or renovation experts
Throw a party
Hey, sometimes lead gen calls for letting your hair down. If you have the resources to throw an annual party for your best referral sources, have at it! Client appreciation parties are a fun way to gather genuine fans in one place. You’ll strengthen these relationships, show your appreciation, and transform your database into a community. The networking possibilities, for real estate and other handy referrals, are endless.
If pandemic restrictions are still disrupting the social scene in your area, you can still make use of outdoor spaces that can offer friends and clients a much-needed break. Perhaps a beach barbecue, food truck in the park, or open-air theater performance.
Stay open, creative, and ever evolving
Along with a solid referral strategy and commitment to consistency, the “little things” go a long way toward nurturing leads. Here are a few friendly reminders to keep your referral game fresh:
Capitalize on happy moments
A smooth, easy closing is certainly time for celebration. But there are plenty of other moments in the real estate journey that bring joy to clients. Vetting multiple offers, negotiating a much-needed rent back, coaching first-time buyers through setbacks. These are perfect times to ask who else in your client’s circle you can help.
Be specific, not salesy
Keep detailed notes in your database about your client’s passions, hobbies, and interests making it easier to send greetings and updates that really resonate.
Be your caring, genuine self
Always keep in mind that people want to do business with agents they know, like, and trust. Your authenticity comes through when you keep in touch, share helpful or interesting news, and become a trusted source of wisdom through a lifetime of real estate decisions.
Most importantly of all –– say thank you for every real estate referral you’re provided. Even if it doesn’t end in a sale, thank the person who made the effort by sending a handwritten note or a small token of appreciation.
Remember, real estate referrals become clients more often than leads generated elsewhere. For more insights, information, and inspiration, check out Weichert’s weekly blog series.