A REALTOR® that works from a strong Database knows that Referral business is the best lead generation going. With referral business, the trust is already built in. You are being recommended from someone who trusts you and has likely done business with you in the past.
Before we can ask for Referral Business, we need to understand the differences between the Buy side and the Sell side when working with clients.
Working with Buyers is generally a very positive experience. When I ask my Agents, which clients seem to have more fun, they unanimously say “Buyer Clients”.
When buyers make appointments to see houses, they are quite excited to see each home to see how it’s decorated and the style of the homes. They like to see the all the unique things that make it a Home.
Even after viewing homes, they are on the phone to their family talking about the experience. At work they are mentioning to their co-workers that they are looking for a home. They talk about the process quite a lot.
This makes it quite easy to ask for business. They are already very pumped up about the experience. As long as you are doing your best and communicating with them and acting professionally, it usually can be quite fun!
Having conversations and then asking for business should come easy. But first you need to know how to ask for referrals and when.
The when, should happen as quickly as possible. You should be talking to them all the way through the purchasing process. Because it generally takes up to 3 times longer in terms of hours spent with Buyers vs Sellers, you have ample time to ask for new business. You should be aiming for 2 referrals for each buyer you work with!
Don’t wait until the very end of the Buying process to ask for a referral!
Having a SCRIPT to work from may be the easiest way to remember how to ask for business. I would suggest something like the following…
I hope you are enjoying yourself as much as I am. I love showing great people homes for themselves and their family. It has been really great working with you so far because you really know what you are looking for.
What I like about you is, you really know what you want and you know what you don’t want. This makes it much easier for me as your REALTOR®. You are also very easy to talk to and I love working with great people.
Listen, I wonder if you could help me? I pride myself on doing the best job I can for my clients and not just during the sales process. I’ve already added you to my monthly newsletter so you will receive great information from me every month. What I need from you is this, if you happen to know any great people such as yourselves that may be thinking about moving, would you mind introducing them to me?
Thanks, I appreciate that. What I’d like you to do, is when you meet someone that may need my services, if you could give them my card and then text or email me right away with their details. I’ll get in contact with them in less than 15 minutes. I promise!
This way I spend all my time pouring it into my clients and not having to bother people constantly with phone calls and knocking on their doors. Does that sound good?
As you can see above, the agent gently let’s the people know how much they are enjoying working with them. Then asks if they know anyone who would benefit from their services.
Generally speaking, on the listing side it is much tougher to solicit referrals, just because the Vendors often want to see results before they go off telling everyone how great a REALTOR® you are. Just remember to be as professional as you can. You should be able to generate 1 referral for each Listing you take! Again, try asking for a referral lead before the sale, but certainly after the sale I would be pushing for at least 1 referral if you can.
Acknowledging a Referral
Now don’t go and make the same mistake I made early in my career. You want to acknowledge the referral as soon as you get it! I suggest a personal note with a gift certificate inside. I’ll leave the dollar amount up to you, but the important thing is showing how much you appreciate receiving referrals.
If you wait to see if the referrals pans out, and then wait again for the property to close. Then finally send a Thank you note, you run the risk that the referrer will not be impressed receiving a thank you so late and more importantly, you run the risk that you could have had many more referrals in that time!
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