Referrals can truly be the lifeblood of a successful career as a real estate agent. Imagine if, instead of chasing after every new lead, you could count on a trusted network to provide you with a steady stream of qualified prospects. But how should you go about building that network? Read on to find out how veteran real estate agents make referrals an integral part of their everyday operations.
Join a networking group
There are literally dozens of networking groups in the St. Louis metro area, so chances are very good that there’s one that will fit your schedule, your location, and your interests. A quick online search will help you find some of them, or you can call your chamber of commerce. They will not only offer their own events, but will be knowledgeable about business events in your area. The key to making networking groups an effective referral source is to attend consistently, so you are making deep, lasting connections.
Reward people who provide you with referrals
If someone has referred you to a potential client, be sure to thank them! This will not only help you maintain a strong relationship with that person, but will also make them more likely to provide you with more referrals in the future. A simple handwritten note telling them how much you appreciate the referral will go a long way. And, if you end up closing the business they sent you, be sure to thank them for that, too. You can send a small gift (or large one, if you prefer).
Find a referral partner
A referral partner is someone with whom you exchange referrals on a regular basis. This relationship can be a great source of business, and it has the added benefit of allowing you to help a colleague build and maintain their business as well. Referral partners can be other real estate agents who specialize in locations or properties that you don’t, or they can be people who work in other roles that complement yours, such as interior decorators, insurance agents or attorneys.
Reach out to former clients
Your former clients are a wealth of potential referrals. This is a group of people who already know, like, and trust you, so they’re in a great position to tell others about how fantastic your services are. Pick up the phone, send a text or email, or even mail a quick handwritten note asking your former clients how they are doing and whether they know anyone who might be buying or selling soon. Chances are, you’ll be surprised at the response you get.
Ask for referrals
Wishing for tons of referrals won’t get you anywhere if people don’t know you are actively seeking them. So, speak up and ask! Just about everyone you know can be a potential source of referrals — your friends, neighbors, family members, dentist, dog groomer, people at your gym — the possibilities are endless, and the referrals can be, too.