No referrals, no business
This seven-part guide should serve as a resource that will ignite ideas and help
you build a solid foundation of best practices and habits for generating leads from referrals. Simply put, developing a business based on referrals is not just important, but mandatory for a successful career in real estate. The agent who ignores the need to promote his or her business by referral may survive, but the reliability and quality of incoming leads will be severely compromised.
True story. When I was the Vice President of RE/MAX Gold, the largest independent real estate brokerage in California and the number 1 RE/MAX franchise in the world. (Currently with over 2,000+ agents in 98 offices.) I was having a conversation with a 30+ year real estate veteran who was claiming his business was all referral. I find it interesting when I ask agents to tell me where their business comes from they always answer the same way. By Referral! I said to this gentleman, after 30 years in business you must have quit a referral base of business. (This agent was responsible for $18 million a year in sales). He replied that yes his business comes from only referrals, He doesn’t have a website, is not on social media. He has no online presence whatsoever. He is a broker-owner so he doesn’t even get the benefit of being listed on a large companies website. Together we Googled his name and NOTHING, NADA, ZIP… I asked him what he did to work on his past client database and sphere. I asked if he did postcards, touch-cards, emails, or anything to reach out and stay in touch with hi 30+ years of sphere building business. He told me that he did occasionally call when he was bored and that because his town was small he felt like always ran into people he knew.
I took a long breath and said… Mr agent, you are not working by referral, You Are Working By Luck! I went on to explain that by doing nothing he was getting lucky that people occasionally remembered him and used him. You see he only took the meeting with me because he was doing 30+ million annually in the past but his business was slowing as he put it. When I turned him on to our touch systems and gave him a copy of our Elite Referral Playbook his eyes lit up. He said he never really thought about his business this way. He just assumed because he was fairly busy (which is another word you should never use in your business) that he was doing it right. Referral business takes work if you want to grow. Your sphere left unattended will shrink every passing year. If you do not nurture your sphere business will slow down. You will have peaks and valleys as we say. Up and down because you will be working by luck and not by referral.
To work By Referral you need to be in front of your sphere as much as possible. With daily social media connections, weekly newsletters, an online presence beyond your companies website. You need to create your brand and advertise. I literally have had discussions with current clients that when they came to us they would routinely take listings on Wednesday, input them on the MLS Thursday, the sign goes up Thursday, photos are taken on Friday, posted online Saturday and the home sells on Sunday for above asking and they thought this was all a huge success story. In fact, the reason they came to us was they wanted us to create a campaign with this information. I was like WHAT??? I then proceeded to walk them through all the missed opportunities. I explained that while the market is crazy hot right now and that homes sell as soon as you put them up for sale (even without any marketing whatsoever) that each time this was done there are dozens of potential new listings and clients you are missing out on. I walked them through our steps every agent should be taking to generate stellar leads and more business in this hot market.
You see marketing isn’t just for selling the home. In fact, I would argue that marketing is more about generating more business than anything else. When you place a coming soon sign up on your new listing while you wait for the awesome photos, video, and printed promotional material you plan to use on the listing the consumer Googles the address and discovers YOU SUCK! I mean really next time you are out and about and see a coming soon sign, Google the address. this is what the consumer will do. What you find is nothing… That’s right nothing about the home for sale. In fact, all you will find are other homes that are for sale or had been for sale and most of the links will go to Zillow. Is that what you want consumers to find when they Google one of your listings? The opportunity exists in the marketing of homes. Instead, hold off on the coming soon, get all your ducks in a row, have the sign go up on Wednesday, the property website live on Wednesday with the properties address as the URL, stuff the flyer box with beautiful brochures (Not cheap paper flyers), The brochure should have one photo and a brief description inviting the consumer to visit the properties website to see more. Mail postcards that will arrive on Wednesday through Saturday to all the neighbors. Walk the neighborhood and hand out one of your brochures. Don’t knock on the door and engage in a long conversation about how you just listed this home and then ask if they are thinking of selling. Just knock and if someone answers just hand them the brochure and say “Hi, I just listed this home for sale. There is a little market information on the backside. Have a great day.” Then turn and leave. Can you see all the opportunities for another listing? Here are some steps you should be taking to get ready for 2021.
Now back to how this all ties into your referral business. With each opportunity to buy and or sell a home, there are dozens of opportunities to connect with your sphere and share with them what you are doing. This is achieved via social media and email and perhaps a monthly case study on your success. Always and I mean always “ASK FOR THE BUSINESS” Too often we come across as too busy.
Remove the word “busy” from your vocabulary.
There’s not a single good use for it. When you think “busy,” your brain stops taking on new challenges and opportunities. When you say “busy,” your sphere will stop referring business to you because they don’t want to make you busier. By most accounts, the only person who wants you to be busy is you. We don’t want to cause anyone else to be busy, we want them to be happy, available, active, content, and excited.
A carefully planned and executed marketing plan that keeps you front and center with your sphere is the secret to a succesful BY Referral business. The key is to grow that business and not hope that luck keeps you BUSY!
If you are looking to grow your sphere in 2021 and need a little help we are here to assist. We manage and promote marketing success for over 150 clients who have made the choice to turn their marketing over to a professional and allow them to do what they do best. Sell real estate. From building your personal brand, enhancing your online presence, and even turning you into the Rock Star you want to be. We do it all. Plans start at just $298/monthly for everything! Check us out and drop us a message we would love to be your marketing partner.