Wait, did you say…REAL ESTATE LEADS FOR FREE?
Yea I said that. The best real estate leads for free are referrals!
The million dollar question is, how the hell do you get more referrals? Sounds easy doesn’t it? It is, but most agents will struggle overanalyzing this to the point they talk themselves out of it.
“Will my database think I’m annoying?”
“I don’t want to bother people I know”
“Everyone I know already knows I’m in real estate”
My goal of this article is to breakdown exactly how to generate referrals from your database so you can start obtaining real estate leads for free.
There are 2 things you need to generate real estate leads for free or what we like to call, Referrals.
First, is that you need an audience. What’s an audience? An audience is what all businesses refer to their fans, followers, and past customers. Many times in real estate, we confuse an audience with a database, so let’s explain the difference.
A database is nothing more than a collection of names, addresses, and contact info.
An audience is a database that you consistently market to and have a relationship with.
An audience looks forward to hearing from you. An audience loves you. An audience pays attention to your communication. Your audience knows you exist.
Many real estate agents have a database, but they are not marketing to it consistently enough to transform it into an audience.
Take a look at this website. I have a large audience of real estate people who subscribe to my blog, listen to my podcast, or are members our our advanced marketing community, Attracktor. The only reason any of my followers know who I am is because I am consistently creating content like this and sending it to them through Facebook or email. If I do not stay in touch with my audience, I will lose customers and authority in my niche.
I create content to stay in touch with my readers and listeners. They look forward to next week’s tip so look out for it. At the end of the day my only goal is to nurture my relationship with them and continue to bring value into their lives.
It’s no different in your real estate business. If you want real estate leads for free, you need a relationship marketing system that transforms your database into an audience who shares your name with their friends, family, and co-workers.
This is the same formula for ALL businesses!
Let’s take Bye Bye baby for example and examine how they market their business.
When I had my first child, I went to Bye Bye Baby to get my baby supplies. I input my email address for the receipt during checkout and continue to get email messages from Bye Bye Baby. Bye Bye Baby is building their email list so they can continue to communicate with me. They also took my home mailing address and continue to send me coupons. Suddenly, I see them on Facebook too.
Bye Bye Baby continues to market me through email, social media, and direct mail. They are nurturing their relationship with me so I don’t forget they exist. One of their main goals in marketing is to build their relationship marketing lists.
Why would they do this?
Bye Bye Baby understands that by keeping their brand in front past customers that it will increase sales and overall net income because the subsequent sales after the customer acquisition cost are all profit minus the cost of goods.
In other words, it’s more profitable for businesses to create spin off or repeat business from past customers than it is to acquire new ones.
The other day I I needed to get a client gift for one of my buyers who happened to be prego with their second child. Where did I buy their gift at? Bye Bye Baby. Was that because I like Bye Bye baby or was it because they were constantly in front of me so it was the first store I thought of for baby stuff?
Let’s Take Another Example Shall We…
I was recently in Mexico a couple weeks ago at an all inclusive resort. The resort offered us $1,500 in credits if we would attend their morning breakfast time share sales pitch. We did it to get the $1,500 credit so we could go take the kids to swim with the dolphins, get FREE earrings, and some other stuff.
This hotel is trying to sell timeshares, but they are not doing so by running mass advertising campaigns, but rather concentrating all of their efforts on current and past hotel guests versus trying to sell their hotel packages to complete strangers.
They understand they get more sales from their current and past guests. It is a higher Return On Investment going about it in this way.
Now back to finding real estate leads for free.
It’s no different in your real estate business. You don’t generate referrals from strangers, you get them from people you know that believe in your service.
However for whatever reason, real estate agents are led to believe that the way to find business is through cold calling and prospecting constantly. Those methods work, but do you like doing them?
The key to having a long lasting real estate business is creating an audience of relationships that will support you with referral and repeat business, not buy some super duper email autoresponder that’s going to “drip” on people you never met for 30 days. That’s expensive and a far less ROI than it would be to just focus on your relationships and start getting their real estate leads for free.
The question you need to ask yourself is, are you doing enough to stay on top of mind with your database?
The second question is how are you keeping your brand in front of them?
if you want some more ideas on creating real estate leads for free, you might want to check out my Referral marketing library by clicking the link below!
People use agents they know, like, and trust, but more importantly that are remembered.
It’s not the job of our database to remember what we do for a living, but it is our job to make sure they do!
We like to call this having a relationship/referral marketing system set up in your business so you are not forgotten about.
Once you have a system to staying on front of your database that nurtures your relationships you will develop an audience out of them, but that’s not it.
Service, Service, Service
The second thing you need to generate referrals is great service, but that sounds too easy so let me explain. You have to be more than just a licensed agent. Anybody can get a real estate license, but not everyone can run a referral dominated business based on free real estate leads from their audience. You need to kick ass in what you do because people don’t refer shitty Realtors.
Think about it. You go into a brand new restaurant and the food is terrible. Do you go back? Do you tell your friends about it? Hell no you don’t!
If you want to start attracting free real estate leads in the form of referrals, you need to be exceptional! So how do agents become exceptional? You become exceptional by having effective transactional marketing systems in place.
What’s your listing marketing plan? Is it involve more than popping a listing on the MLS and putting a sign in the yard?
Are you using video?
What are you doing that a homeowner cannot do on their own?
Your listing marketing plan is an example of your service. You should have a workflow associated with each buyer and seller client that defines your level of service so you can bring consistency to your business. You cannot create a brand without consistency.
Think about the restaurant example. If you went back to a restaurant you previously visited and they changed the chef and ingredients to the same dish you previously ordered and it tasted terrible this time , could that restaurant survive? Most likely not.
So let’s go back to Bye Bye Baby and look at their product or service. They have all the name brands in one spot that I need for my baby buying supplies so it works. They have good products.
The hotel example is a little different. We did end up buying a timeshare there because I get sold everything. We signed up for 50 weeks of vacation at a HUGE discount. The only reason we did it because we fell in love with the place and had a great experience.
The salesman told us in the middle of the presentation that their company no longer focuses on trying to sell their timeshares to people who have not visited the hotel before. Instead they focus all their energy on their current and past guests focusing their entire on sales strategy on the customer experience.
He went on to say that their studies show that one positive review on Travelocity online, results in another 3-4 booked vacations, which then results in another few sales meetings being set up.
“What someone else says about your business is far more powerful than anything you can say about it”
Since I got back from vacation, I told all of my friends about this place because I had such a good experience and am planning on going next year. I plan on inviting more families and friends with us this time and will introduce all of them to the same hotel package I bought into.
So bottom line is that you should define your level of service by installing customer service oriented tasks within the workflow of each buyer or seller client you work with. The only goal is to enhance the consumer experience. Happy and satisfied past clients leads to future referral sources that create real estate leads for free! Once you do and provide a consistent streamlined level of service you will develop something your database wants to brag about.
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