There is no better compliment to your business than receiving a referral. Receiving a referral is great, but are you taking the time to properly thank the referring party the right way? If not you very well may be pissing them off.
Equally as important to generating the referral is what you do after you receive one.
61% of Agent Business Is Referral Or Repeat Clients
Why People Refer You Business…
Let’s first go why people refer you business in the first place. Once you understand this you will be able to see why you must positively reinforce any and all referrals you receive!
When people refer others to you, it is almost always because there is an ongoing conversation about real estate going on. A referral takes place when people are talking about buying or selling a home. Suddenly, someone jumps in and says, “Hey, I know an agent, you have to call him/her. They are great!” Then, a referral is born.
The million dollar question is: what made that individual refer the client to that agent?
Referrals take place at work, dinner conversations, or even parties. They take place anywhere people are having conversations. Mastering the art of referral generation is all about training your audience (relationships) to associate your name with real estate so that you remain on top of mind for when they are ready to use your services or come across someone they know who may need your help.
Think about the last time you referred something to someone.
Ask yourself, why did you refer that person or thing?
When people refer services/professionals to others, they do not get any type of award, big shiny trophy, or anything monetary. There really is no tangible incentive to refer anyone to anything if you think about it. However, we as humans are genetically programmed to refer our friends, co-workers, and family to things we like.
Why do you think that is? Everyone always “has a guy”. Everyone always wants you to use “their guy”.
You can make a post on Facebook right now and ask for any type of service provider and people will respond with several of their “guys”, but the question is why do they care? What’s in it for them?
People refer you when the following three things are present:
- They have to like and trust you;
- They have to like the person that is asking or suggesting for a referral for an agent; and
- The person referring the agent has to notice that an ongoing conversation is taking place (about real estate) and they have to THINK OF YOU (this is the key).
If these three things are present your chances for referrals greatly increase!
Somebody Acknowledge Me
Who doesn’t like to be thanked or acknowledged? If you are wondering why people refer others to things or services they like, it is only because they feel like they helped someone they liked solve a problem and are looking to be thanked later.
That is it. People refer others because it is embedded in our DNA to be natural problem solvers. After they solve the problem they then look to be thanked for their good deed. Don’t you like solving problems for others? Of course you do, we all do. It’s part of being human. When we solve a problem we also look for praise for solving that problem. Think about the last time you referred someone something. In the back of your mind you were already thinking:
“I am awesome and now they owe me something because I gave them a great referral. I should get a free trip to Hawaii for it. I like them so I’ll just settle for a thank you”
When you give somebody a referral, you are subconsciously waiting for a simple “thank you” from them.
This Is What You Should Do With Every Referral You Receive Going Forward
When somebody sends you a referral they are more than likely expecting your acknowledgment of it. Put yourself in their shoes. If you just handed somebody $5,000 wouldn’t you at least expect a phone call? That’s the very least you could do. People who refer you business now will refer you more business later so make sure you treat them like gold!
It surprises me that most agents don’t do anything about their referrals! Someone just sent you a client that you will make money with so you better acknowledge that person as soon as possible unless you want that to be the last referral you ever receive from that person. Remember, they are looking for the “thank you” so follow this system every time and you will be fine.
When you get a referral you need to acknowledge it the same way you do when your dog goes to the bathroom outside by using positive reinforcement. You must let your referring relationships know how much you appreciate their referrals. Have you ever received something from someone unexpectedly and even though it is something small, you very much appreciated it? That is what you need to do with your referrals.
This is how to do it:
- Make personal contact with referral;
- Personally call back referring party and thank them;
- Send a “Thank you” letter and $10 Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/Gas Gift card to referring party and personalize it;
- If referral closes, call to thank referring party and update them on status;
- Send party a $100 dinner gift certificate when referral closes; and
- ACKNOWLEDGE THE REFERRAL ON FACEBOOK AND TAG THEM. This lets others know you are referral-based and you are appreciative of anyone who sends you their friends and family members for real estate assistance (the referring party should be one of your FACEBOOK friends).
If you really have your act together you can tag your referral source on social media with a simple video like this. We call this referral programming. It’s a cute way to tell everyone you are connected with on social media that you are referral based.
(Our video editor makes these videos for members of Attracktor)
Stand out in your business and leverage referrals into additional spin off business.
How Do You Find More Clients?
Creating a better system to reciprocate your referrals with is one of the things you can be doing to increase referral business, but it’s not everything.
Would you be interested in learning more about adapting a several marketing systems that work simultaneously in your business to create multiple lead sources? Do you want to run a business instead of being run by one? Do you hate cold calling or cold prospecting?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might want to check this out…
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