As the real estate industry is often referred to as a people business, establishing a working rapport with individuals you come into contact with can be extremely beneficial. You never know when you may be introduced to your future business partner or receive a particularly lucrative deal. Therefore, do what you can to create as many quality relationships as possible. At the very least, building relationships with like-minded individuals in the same industry can lead to referrals.
Studies conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have already acknowledged the benefit presented by referrals. The majority of buyers and sellers get their agent from a referral. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of clients say they would refer their agent to a friend. This cycle of reciprocity is an important cog in the real estate industry.
While referrals are technically the efforts of another person recommending your services, they are entirely dependent on how you carry yourself within the industry. Make it a priority to provide a great, one-of-a-kind business, as it is the foundation to any referral-based service.
The following is a list of 5 things real estate investors can do to boost their referrals:
Keep In Touch & Provide Value
It is important to respect all of your clients, past and present. Do not take those you have worked with in the past for granted. If you neglect to keep in touch with someone, they may not even remember the services you provided in the past. Without a solid relationship, you can’t expect anyone to refer clients to your business.
In order to develop a successful referral-based business, it is imperative to keep in touch with your clients and continue to offer them value in the future. This will not only generate a quality relationship, but the likelihood that they will reciprocate their appreciation is going to increase. You should have a system in place that allows you to constantly keep in touch with your previous clients and update them on current projects. Accomplish this by sending an e-newsletter, putting contacts on a drip marketing campaign, and more.
Respectfully Request Referrals
While simple enough, not many investors go out of their way to simply ask for referrals. There is no shame in letting your clients know that your business is entirely dependent on referrals. However, you can’t come off too strong. There is an appropriate time to ask for referrals. Perhaps even more importantly, when you do, express your appreciation. Let them know how much they are helping you and how grateful you are.
When you ask for a personal referral, it is important to be specific. Let them know who can benefit the most from your particular service (families, retirees, first-time buyers, etc.). Delineating your services will bring you clients who can actually use your help.
Host Gatherings To Build Relationships
In the event that you hold a get-together or a housewarming party, you are likely to generate a feeling of mutual appreciation. At the very least, inviting people over will solidify any relationship that has already been started. Proceed to encourage your clients to invite friends and expand your influence. Your clients will likely speak highly of you to those who attend the events, which means that you have the potential to generate a good deal of new leads.
Cross-Promote In The Industry
Again, I can’t stress the importance of establishing relationships with individuals in the industry. Real estate is a people business. It can only further your real estate endeavors if you befriend others. After all, every deal you acquire is entirely dependent on another party agreeing with you. Why not make it easier and work together?
One of the fastest ways to gain a referral is to cross-promote fellow investors. Promote their services to your clients and they will likely reciprocate their appreciation. There are many ways to cross-promote, including: a newsletter, on your website or at an event you host. Make sure they know you are going out of your way to help them.
Close The Loop
What you do after receiving a referral may be more important than the steps leading up to it. If at all possible, thank the individual who referred you in person and send them a hand-written thank you. Furthermore, update them on the position of your current referral. Take the time to communicate how everything is going. It might also be a good idea to send them a meaningful token of appreciation.
It is considered good practice to track who is sending you business (who your best referrers are). This way, you’ll know to give these people that extra bit of attention. With a real estate contact management system, you can easily track how many referrals you’re getting and by whom, month over month.