Most real estate agents are always on the hunt for new sources of business and new lead generation channels. They spend hours and thousands of dollars on all sorts of strategies and tactics, but very often they overlook one very important source of easy business - their past clients and sphere of influence. Why spend money acquiring new clients when you can turn the people who already know, like and trust you into referral partners?
In order to get our past clients to keep us top of mind, we have to put a plan in place that keeps us in contact with them, shows them that we care and makes sure that whenever the topic of real estate comes up in conversation, we’re the first name they mention to their friends and family. You need to have a database value-add plan if you want to turn your sphere of influence into a solid business source, but the real question is how do we actually accomplish it?
No one ever turns down a really great gift, so if you want to add value to your database, why not get them something really special and memorable that reminds them of you? This applies especially to the people who have already done business with you. Instead of buying something generic like a gift card, why not find them something that truly reflects their personality, and shows that you know them. If they love wine, buy them a really awesome customized wine glass, and if they love chocolate, get them a box that’s packed with personality and fun designs. You can also use this as an opportunity to support fellow local businesses by buying union made products. The right gift will make you a legend in someone’s book, but that means going the extra mile and actually getting something unique and different that really resonates with them.
There are two types of agents - the people past clients look forward to hearing from, and the people who annoy their database when they reach out. The agents clients love hearing from are the ones who actually add value to their lives. What’s one piece of communication the consumer would love to receive? Regular updates on the value of their home. In a real estate market that’s seeing a huge increase in home values, people will definitely be curious to find out how their home is doing. There are resources you can use to easily generate house comps and prices, and then mail them out to your database regularly. It’s an excuse to get in touch, but it’s also a piece of communication they will definitely want to open. They might even reach out to you directly for more details. Imagine what would happen if they told their social circle about the awesome agent who keeps them updated on the market. You’ll start generating those referrals quickly!
It might seem like a tiny thing, but getting in touch with people on the anniversary of them moving into their home is a really special and attentive touch that they will love. It’s something that they might forget, but if you remind them of it, especially when they’ve been in the home for a while, it will really warm their hearts and make you an agent they’ll tell all their friends about. You can either give them a phone call, send them a text message, or if you really want to make their day, drop off a cake or something else that will really celebrate the occasion.
Become a Resource and a Connector
The one benefit of being an experienced real estate agent is that you know a lot of people, and you probably know at least one person who provides a specific service. People in your database are always looking for everything from plumbers and carpet cleaners, to roofers, kitchen cabinet experts and piano teachers, so why not leverage that knowledge? You can become the resource that people know has all the contacts of the service providers they need. They’ll know that they just have to make one phone call to find a reliable professional who does quality work. It makes it so much easier for them to remember you as a really valuable connector who makes their life easier, which includes them buying or selling a home.
If you want to be top of mind and grow your referral business, you have to make an effort the same way you make an effort with your marketing channels. If you focus on your sphere of influence, you might find that you’re less reliant on lead generation sources, which will save you a ton of money. You’ll also have a database of raving fans, which will gives you business for years to come.