Ask the question, “What is the number one way a real estate agent gets business?” and you will always hear: referrals or friends and family. This is a fundamental truth of being a realtor. In 2015, 40% of all real estate agents were found through referrals according to the 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report. That number seems outrageous, especially when we consider how other industries get leads these days.
The report goes on to say that 73% of all sellers would “definitely” either use the same agent again or refer the agent to family and friends. While that may seem great for business, the report continues to state that the average seller only refers an agent once. Furthermore, only 12% of sellers used the same agent to buy or sell a previous home.
So if so many people are willing to refer or use the same agent why does this not translate to more referrals or returning customers? The answer is actually quite simple.
Real Estate Agents aren’t asking for those referrals. It seems simple enough that not asking almost seems silly, but there are a number of reasons an agent may not ask for a referral. Either they’re unsure how to approach referrals, they’re too nervous to ask, or they haven’t really quite found the way.
Increasing your referral business is quite simple – you have to start asking for referrals first! The better job you do staying in touch with your client, the easier it is to ask multiple times in non-invasive ways. Here are some tips on things you can do to make this a painless process.
1. Create A Referral Program
If you do not already have one, this is the place to start. A referral program doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it could be as simple as offering a $50 gift card for any referral that signs up with you. By creating a program, you develop a habit, which makes it hard to forget to ask for those referrals.
2. Send Out Post-Closing Surveys
Sending these are a great way to get some initial feedback and present the client with your referral program. There are many great tools out there to do this with, such as survey monkey.
3. Build Ongoing Relationships With Your Clients
This may seem time consuming or cumbersome, but the pay-off here has great potential. Thankfully, we’ve already outlined several ideas on how you can do this in our blog post “5 non-annoying ways you can stay in front of your clients”
4. Add A Call-To-Action
Be it on your website, in your monthly e-mail newsletter, or even in your e-mail signature, making your referral program visible (without being obnoxious), is a great way to ensure that people don’t forget to refer you to friends.
5. Keep It Simple
Remove as many barriers as you can in the referral process. People, in general, do not want to work at this kind of stuff. They are busy and although they do not mind referring friends and family they really don’t want to go out of their way to do it. So make it easy.
We know that sellers are willing to give us the referrals that we need, we just need to put a simple process in place and ask for them to do it.