In my previous post, I touched on networking and why do we network? Well, besides meeting really cool people…REFERRALS! Referrals will possibly be the number one way most of us get our business. Most of us start out in real estate with hardly any leads, working from the bottom all the way to the top. It takes time to build a referral base but ultimately, that’s what we are aiming for. Referrals seldom fall into our lap and require serious networking, socializing, getting out and meeting new people, following up on leads and getting the job done. So, what is the best way to get quality referrals? It’s pretty simple and it has a lot to do with the following quote, “It’s better to give than to receive”. Many of us are so busy and focused on ourselves that we fail to realize that extending a helping hand to outside companies and associates can actually benefit us. Of course, intent is key here. If you give to receive then you are missing the boat on this one and will probably be missing out on a number of referrals. Getting referrals is not a piece of cake but learning how to get referrals can make farming much easier.
Tips for Getting Referrals
Create your mailing list:
We all have to start somewhere, right? You should probably start with a pen and paper and think of every single person you know. Now is the time to create your sphere of influence and this can include family members, friends and maybe even the milk man. Be sure to list people that you have some sort of relationship with. If you really do not have a relationship with the milk man then that’s probably something you will want to work on. Picking out random people will be harder to nail down rather than choosing those that you are already close to and comfortable with.
Send out your information:
Once you have created your list, now it’s time to put together a little something to send out to your favorite people. This could be a newsletter, information on a listing or just a kind “howdy doody”, letting others know that you are in real estate and you would appreciate their business and/or referrals. Some say that you should personally touch your sphere of influence twelve times a year, that’s once a month. In order to keep others informed about your business, you need to send monthly reminders that you are still slamming, going and actively pursuing more clients. Don’t forget that sometimes it never hurts to be upfront and ask for business. Most of us need to work on the rejection aspect of the business. Hey, for every no…there has to be a ‘yes’ around the corner!
Make sure mailing list is current:
Once you start getting the hand of touching and contacting your sphere of influence, you need to stay on top of your contact information. This means you need to think about other ways besides the mail to reach prospects. How are you going to know that Aunt Betty moved if you do not stay in touch with her? Don’t be afraid to call her and ask how Uncle Bob is doing.
Life does not always go the way we want it to so it’s imperative that we stay positive, looking on the bright side. You would be surprised what kind of impact positivity can have on your life. People want to be around other people who are positive. If you are looking for more referrals, …”if you think it, they will come!”. Think positive!
People refer others because they have a solid reputation and are dependable. Be on time, don’t break promises, stand by your word, be generous, be polite and stick to the code of ethics. Remember that it will take some work to build up your clientele base and reputation and will require even more work to maintain it.
In order for you to know what marketing procedures are working, it’s important that you track all incoming referrals. It’s impossible to know what’s bringing in the business if you aren’t sure where the referrals are coming from. Don’t hesitate to ask clients how they heard about your services.
Thank You Notes:
Never underestimate the power of a thank you card. Sending someone a personal, handwritten thank you card says a lot about an individual. It shows that you have taken the time to sit down and personally write, sign and date something to show your gratitude. It’s the little things that can go a long way in business world. Many of us get so involved with the bigger picture that the small details are overlooked.
Get active :
If you are interested in getting referrals, you’ve got to get involved and go where the people are. In order to get your name out there, you have to put yourself out there!
Remember: Instead of asking, “What can they do for ME?”, simply ask “What could I do for them?”