In the real estate industry we tend to largely focus on our client database, sphere of influence and the people that know you, like you and trust you.
I was reminded the other day of an incredibly lucrative part of my business which was my agent to agent database. For more than 2 decades I generated a staggering amount of money from agent referrals from across the country.
Many agents are not aware of this incredibly lucrative secret to success and have no idea how they would go about creating this strategy and opening the flood gates to this part of our industry.
In Septemeber 2000 I moved to another city after being in the real estate business for 8 years and it was agent referrals that gave me the biggest kick start to my business in the new city. The first year alone I received and closed almost $65,000 in GCI from the agent referral system I had in place.
“So how do we do this Wade? What did you do to create this agent referral success?”
Wade’s Tips on Creating a Profitable Agent Referral System
Firstly, I would start by identifying the areas that contribute the most incoming clients for your business, your company and your local board. These are stats I have tracked for the past decade and almost 60% of buyers and sellers came from within the 50 – 100 mile radius of our office. 20% from the neighboring province and 10% from the closest major city to us.
Now that I know this data, I will begin to build my agent referral database focused from these specific areas.
Go to websites and find agents in these areas and begin to contact them and qualify them with permission to be a part of your “Platinum Agent Referral Program”. Best idea to kick it off would be an introduction video email of who you are and what you can do for them and their referral business and why I am choosing to focus on their area from the statistical data you found.
Another great idea is to go on a road trip. A good friend of mine would take a week and visit offices and as many office meetings he could while taking a mini vacation along the way. He would go to meetings and give a quick intro and market update and collect everyones business cards for his database and raffle off a nice gift for someone at the meeting. Agents loved it.
I loved dropping by the offices of my agent referral program and deliver things like a deck of cards in their mail slots. On one side of the cards was my business card and the other side was a sticker that said “don’t gamble with your referrals… I will treat your clients like kings and queens… Your ace in the hole for your real estate referrals”
I would also make a point of taking the manager of the office to coffee, asking for advice and tips, chatting about the market and making sure he’d remember me when their agents ask for a recommended agent in my area. I personally get this all the time with my agents and coaching clients and you should not ignore this idea!
Once you have the database set up then whatever you are doing for your sphere database just double it. Send agents in your referral database video emails, newsletters, personal notes, articles of interest, small gifts and on and on. The more top of mind the more value you bring them the greater the chance of referrals.
Another incredibly powerful activity for this part of my business was to always attend conventions, sales rallies, meetings and as many agent events as I could to meet, network and grow that referral business.
I would make a commitment to work the room and shake hands and network and connect with as many agents as I could.
My favorite was standing just outside the main doors and handing out bottles of water with my business card attached. So many late night agents coming into the assembly would be so happy to see me in the morning with water for their aspirin to go down so much easier. I would quietly say “good morning” and ask for their card in exchange for a bottle of water.
After a few years I became the “water boy” of the organization and everyone knew me. This helped gain top of mind really fast.
I think the most important thing to share about this whole agent referral system is the importance of conversion, communication and acknowledging the referrals.
I treated these referrals like gold!
My attention to customer service was over the top!
My ongoing communication to the referrer and their client was constant!
My hand written thank you note and gift card was sent immediately no matter good or bad referral, they are all good!
Most importantly I converted and closed these referrals and the agents knew it and told others too.
I trust that you may be open to starting or improving your agent to agent platinum referral program in the balance of 2014 and really crush it in 2015.
Believe me, it will pay off for you… like anything it takes time, work and commitment but so rewarding in the end.
Strength and courage,
for more tips and free coaching check out www.agentsboost.com
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