The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, April 9, 2018

4 Strategies to Earn More Real Estate Referrals

It’s an understatement to say that referrals matter in the real estate industry. 41% of home sellers who used a real estate agent say they found their agent through a referral. Meanwhile, 61% of home buyers found their Realtors through referrals or by using an agent they’d worked with before.

It can be challenging to get the referrals to start rolling in, especially if you’re a relatively new Realtor. But even if the idea of asking past clients to talk you up sounds uncomfortable, you need to make referrals a part of your business. Start building your referral base by using the following four strategies.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Direct Ask

There’s nothing wrong with being upfront and asking clients for referrals—just make sure you get the timing right. A client might balk if you start asking them for referrals the first time they walk through your office door, but they’ll probably be happy to recommend you after you’ve helped them sell their home above its listing price.

Politely ask your clients for referrals after you’ve proven how valuable you are. Explain how important referrals are to your business, and keep business cards handy so that clients can easily pass your information to friends or families who may be buying or selling a home.

Continue to Provide Value to Past Clients

A past client who hasn’t heard from you in years may not think to refer you to a friend who’s been asking for Realtor recommendations. Stay top of mind with past clients by continuing to provide useful information to them after their real estate transaction has closed. One easy way to do this is to create a ‘Past Clients’ segment in your email database and send out a biweekly newsletter with advice for homeowners, the latest real estate trends, and information about upcoming local events. Include a call-to-action at the end of each email reminding your past clients to refer any friends or family members who are getting ready to buy or sell their home.

Network with Out-of-Town Agents

Since out-of-town agents aren’t your direct competition, they can be a great source of referrals. Let’s say you’re based in Boston, and you’ve connected with a seller’s agent from Seattle at a recent conference. That agent may work with a client who is selling their home in Seattle and planning to buy a new home in Boston, in which case they could refer the client to you.

If you start building your professional network and getting referrals from out-of-agents, you should be willing to send referrals to them as well. If you don’t have a lot of referrals to pass on, find another way to provide value. For example, you could produce a home-buying tip sheet or other content assets for out-of-town agents to share with their clients.

Say Thank You

A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Send a handwritten thank you note to everyone who has tried to give you a referral, whether their lead has turned into a client or not. Thanking your referral sources will make them feel valued and show that you’re appreciative, and they’ll be more inclined to refer you again in the future.

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