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Are You a Master of the Real Estate Referral?

To succeed as a Realtor, you need clients. Whether they are buying or selling, the people who trust you with their real estate needs are vital to expanding your business. While the right branding and marketing are incredibly useful tools, nothing tops a great referral from a satisfied client to attract more home buyers. Making sure you’re well-versed in the art of the referral will be a gateway to achievement as a real estate agent.

Go Above and Beyond.

Andy Andrews, well known author and coach, says that customer satisfaction is the lowest bar someone can achieve in business. While many are taught that customer satisfaction is the goal, going above and beyond to create an engaged customer who’s receiving an unmatched experience should be the real goal.

Everything from working to elevate a seller’s open house and providing virtual tours for buyers who don’t have time to go to showings to changing your strategy to help those looking for homes remotely are ways to prove the needs of your clients are your highest priority.

By choosing to create an unparalleled client experience you’ll naturally stand out as a real estate agent. After all, many people can sell a home but not everyone can create an atmosphere of trust and solidarity with the people they are working with. That trust is what will keep those looking to buy or sell coming back to you, and referring you out to their friends, family, and coworkers (or sphere of influence).

Want to really set yourself apart from other Realtors? Help your clients stage their home to sell the way the experts do!

Realtors are well aware of the words sphere of influence (SOI), but let’s do a refresher for anyone out there just dipping their toes in the real estate waters. Your sphere of influence is everyone you know. Simple, right? While a straightforward concept, working your sphere of influence and getting past clients to refer you to theirs takes a certain finesse. These tips to make sure you’re “people focused” will help expand your sphere of influence:

  • Be authentic: Everyone has a story of being referred to someone who only wants to make a sale. They reach out and it feels surface level and inauthentic, leaving the potential customer less than thrilled. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. By focusing on the person and what they may need rather than on yourself as the Realtor, you can become a go to source for referrals.
  • Show genuine interest in the person you’re talking to: Get to know them. How many kids do they have? What do they do for a living? What do they do for fun? All of this information can help you narrow down what they may be looking for before you even ask.

  • Ask how you can help: A referral may have just started thinking about buying or selling. By asking how you can help them, they will immediately feel at ease. For example, the potential client may not be ready to buy a home, but is concerned about how competitive the market is. By addressing every question and concern they have, you will automatically be at the top of their list when they’re ready to buy.             

Have a client who isn’t sure if it’s the right time to buy? Check this out!

Be the Expert.

People want to work with someone who is an authority in their field while still feeling like a friend. Are you proving to clients you’re an expert? While finding someone their dream home is important, people also want to know that you have the answers.

Being able to walk home buyers through things like appraisals and how interest rates affect the housing market will help get you the referrals you’re looking for because you’ll prove yourself to be a walking resource. Another way to ensure you’re a real estate genius is to partner with other experts.

A great example of this is to have a well-oiled working relationship with each client’s mortgage lender. Your buyers will know everyone is on the same page and their finances and real estate needs are in capable hands. What a way to earn that referral!

Another way to prove you’re the real estate expert? Giving your clients all the key points of their home inspection!

Now that we’ve discussed ways to make sure you’re worthy of referrals, let’s breakdown how to ASK for those referrals and the best ways for people to refer you.

The Ask.

It can be intimidating to ask people for referrals. In a perfect world, past clients would just automatically refer you out and you wouldn’t have to worry about it! Unfortunately, that’s not reality, so you may have to ask. It doesn’t have to be intimidating, though.

  • Keep it simple with an email: There’s no need to complicate things. If you have a buyer or seller who is happy with the results of working with you, make sure you express your gratitude and then let them know the best thing they could do is refer you to anyone looking for a home. We recommend doing this at the closing in person, and then following up in an email when you check in with them after their move. Remember, checking in after the move is a great way to keep the client engaged and remind them why they chose you to begin with.
“Dear Sarah and Rob,
 
I just wanted to check in now that you’ve had a few weeks to settle into your new home! I hope Erin and Jake are adjusting to their new schools! Thank you again for trusting me to find you your dream home. It was such a pleasure to work with you, and I look forward to seeing you around town! If you happen to know of anyone looking for a new home or who just has questions as they navigate the market, I’d love the opportunity to help them, as well. After all, if they’re friends of yours, I already know it’ll be a great experience! Have a wonderful week. If there’s anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to reach out.
 
Talk soon,
Cara"

This is an easy example of a follow-up email you can send a few weeks after closing. Not only are you keeping them engaged, but you’re giving them the gentle reminder to refer you, while also reminding them you’re still looking out for them.

  • Social Media: On closing day, there’s no doubt your clients will be posting a picture of themselves when signing paper or in front of their new home. What a perfect time to send a referral to their Realtor! Kindly ask them to tag you in any photos they post regarding closing on their new home and do the same for them when you post. As their likes go up, your name will be seen, giving people the opportunity to click, follow, and reach out to you!
  • Online Reviews: While leaving a review is a bit different than asking for a referral, it’s just as important. Don’t be afraid to ask past clients and current clients to write about their experience in working with you. A simple text message (following all compliance laws) can do the trick:
“I grow in my role as a real estate expert based on feedback from clients like you! Don’t forget to review your experience with me on Google, Facebook, and other platforms as you see fit. I appreciate you!”

Remember, if you keep your clients engaged and your focus on serving others, you’re almost guaranteed to grow your business though referrals! For real estate professionals, it’s all about the connection. If you’re looking to connect with a team who will put your clients first and help you reach your goals, keep us in mind. Churchill Mortgage is here to help.

                                On-demand Realtor education is one click away!

 
 
 
 
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