69% of ALL real estate business is based on referrals and repeat clients. You can duke it out for 31% of the business with all your competitors or you can start attracting clients for much less than you’ll spend on any other marketing campaign. Why make lead generation so hard, when 69% of your business is right in front of you?
I’m not saying don’t “prospect” for additional business, you need to do that. I’m saying that you need to be doing something to stay in front of your database. If you are not marketing your database, another agent and will sooner or later you’ll risk the chance of being forgotten.
Mike, how do you market your database?
We are not talking about that today because that’s the #1 secret to generating referrals. You can visit my FREE marketing library if you like by clicking on the link below that will walk you through several database marketing tricks.
So what’s the #2 secret for generating referrals?
It’s to provide a level of service that make people WANT to send you their friends, family members, and co-workers. The most overlooked marketing component in real estate today is customer service. The reason I’m guessing is because it’s so boring to talk about!
BUT IT’S NOT IF YOU MAKE IT FUN!
Here’s the way you need to look at this…
Your database WANTS to send you referrals. Trust me they do! We don’t have time to get into the details about the psychology of why people refer Realtors business, but read my book on this if you don’t believe me and this will all be broken down for you there.
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If people are going to endorse your services to people they like, trust, and respect, they want to know you are going to do a kick ass job with them. Would you ever recommend anything you are not 100% confident in? Would you ever send anyone to a restaurant you ate at whose food tasted like hot garbage on a summer afternoon?
Of course you wouldn’t! Great customer service is what develops your relationship with clients. If you invest your time into your clients providing great service, they will more likely turn into a referral source for you. This is important because past clients have a tendency to refer you more business than someone who has not used your service before.
We are in the business of relationship building first and foremost. If you focus on relationship building, your pipeline will naturally fill itself up with eager clients ready to work with you. Here’s an example from just this week for a new listing we are taking.
After every client meeting I always send a brownie gift thanking them for the opportunity to do business. My goal with every client is not to sell their house. That’s the last thing I want to do because of this…
My goal is to build a relationship. A relationship will turn into a SOLD house and 5-7 years later another one (average time someone stays in their home in my market). A relationship is also what will create referrals for your business because when people love you, they refer you lots of business. I want to turn my clients into fans because fans refer business, clients don’t!
For example, one of the worst things you can do once a transaction closes is pull a Houdini act. Your clients know you get a FAT commission check and then they never hear from you again? I don’t care what anyone says because this leaves a sour taste in peoples mouths.
Did you ever hire someone for a job and they were super nice and personable upfront, but after you paid them, they seemed different? Subconsciously you are thinking, “they just wanted my money”.
Did you know that 70% of your clients forget you exist? Don’t believe me read this.
How can you get referrals from people who forget you exist? There are only two ways this happens. First, it’s because you literally lose touch with them and have no referral marketing system set up whatsoever. This is #1 secret to getting referrals and repeat business, but we are not talking about there in this post.
The second way people forget about you is when you provide a mediocre service that they were not impressed with. Think about it.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and the moment you took your first bite you had a food orgasm? When you went to work that week, you told some of your co-workers about how good the restaurant was so they went there and visited it.
They showed up to work the next week and immediately thanked you for recommending that restaurant to them. It made you feel very good so you told more people about that restaurant and they in turn told more of their friends.
This is how running a real estate business based on referrals and repeat business works. When people love you, they brag about you in all kinds of ways. They want others to share the same experience they had, which is why this is so important.
So many agents focus on trying to be “professional” instead of trying to be personable. Basically, you should act as if you are on a first date with them at all times because they are your key to future referral business. Open the door and wine and dine them if you have to! Your current clients are a bridge to your next deal. This is what I call playing the long game in real estate.
What kinds of things can you do when working with buyers?
- Visit a client’s house after the closing with a bottle of wine and hang out for a little bit.
- During showings with buyers stop and grab a bite to eat so you can break bread.
- Have coffee ready for your buyers in the car when you pick them up (Don’t take 2 cars take one if possible. It’s the best time for relationship building).
- Assist in transferring utilities.
- Assistance in arranging for movers
What kind of things can you do when working with sellers?
- Stay in touch with weekly updates on their progress and let it be known up front.
- Provide a real listing marketing plan and show them proof of it.
- Provide a seller net sheet up front.
- Thank them for their business with gifts prior to listing and after closing.
Here’s what it comes down to. We are all busy and often forget to do things once in a while. Providing exceptional customer service comes down to creating a pre-determined checklist of things to do with each client and then executing those activities. Once you do that you are now running a business because you have consistency within it and your brand will be defined.
Don’t chase commissions, chase relationships and your business will take care of itself.
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Creating systems to keep business opportunities coming is very important to running a successful real estate business.
Would you be interested in learning more about adapting a customer service checklist in your business? Do you want to run a business instead of being run by one?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions maybe this can help you.