Systems for generating referrals.
Our business is driven in large part by generating referrals. We are people-first, and reinvest in our relationships with past clients and community.
Direct - Asking
Do not be afraid to ask a client directly for a referral! There are many ways to do this, but it needs to be direct enough to be clear that this is your goal. You have worked hard, delivered a great result and you are doing your client a favour by making them look good by referring you. This is not hyperbole, this is truth.
Some best times to ask for a referral (adapted from SOLD by David Greene). These are all high-emotion, positive moments for our clients:
Right after they sign the buyer representation or listing agreement.
After the first time you show them homes, or after debriefing them following their first showing.
After I tell them the offer was accepted on/for their home.
When the last condition is removed from their offer on/for their home.
When the house closes.
Best practices for asking directly:
Practice the ask with a friend or team member if it helps.
Tell clients during the listing or buyer presentation that your goal is to receive a referral and impress them so much that they refer you for life, and that you will be asking them several times during the home search or sale process. This makes it a lot less awkward for both of you.
Don’t ask when bringing a closing gift. The gift is a gift, not payment for a referral.
Indirect - Sharing Success Stories and Challenges
People will ask you about Real Estate all the time. Share your stories, but focus on the human element. No one wants to hear how much commission you made. They do want to hear stories that show that you’re excited, knowledgable and work with people just like them or people that they know.
Indirectly - Staying Top of Mind
There are ways that we stay top of mind for our clients that help generate referrals. Some examples:
Calling to check in, from a position of service. What I mean is calling to offer something of value, such as a market report, to see how someone is doing, to genuinely offer help, or invite them to a client event. Be giving without the expectation of receiving. If someone asks about Real Estate, respond with a positive story but redirect to being interested in them.
Circulating and visiting at a client event. They are at the event to have fun, you are there to work and make sure that they are having fun.
Following up a call or an event with a thank-you card or note.
Popping by with a small item of value.
Creating valuable content online.
Related to the Purchase or Sale
Posting a success story and tagging the clients (with their permission)
Writing a “how they did it” blog with the clients’ help
Helping out on Moving Day
Catering a housewarming party
Little, memorable things that are easy for clients to talk about make a great “Talk Trigger” for clients to remember an refer you. For example:
Memorable client gifts (harder than it seems)
Volunteering or donating to a cause close to their heart
Flowers and a card to celebrate a milestone or achievement (a good reason to be connected on Social Media).