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4 Big Sources Of Referral Clientele For Agents
Many people say that referral clients are the best category of clients to acquire. This is because these customers are pre-sold on your reliability based on the trust that their friends put on you. There is a lot of truth in that. Many successful agents build their business around dynamic referral systems assisted by technology. There is also a social element involved when someone was recommended you as an agent. It would be hard to turn down your father when he insist on you hiring someone he recommends. It is this social trust and pressure involved that make referral customers cash registers for real estate agents.
But in my point of view, although clients acquired via referrals could be easy to secure once you get a foot in, it also comes with a whole baggage of extra expectations. Because the perception from the customers is that you have easily acquired their business, they might expect extra discounts, extra work out of the scope of what you do, personal attention during odd hours, etc. Giving a discount is not a big issue as long as it is reasonably realistic. You have after all saved on marketing costs for acquiring them as customers. The part that grips me the most like a claw are the heavy burden of high expectations compared to a customer you acquired yourself.
But I can understand if you want to make referral customers a focal point of your marketing plan. Here are the 5 main sources of where to look.
1) Current clients
Who are the people who currently have the strongest impression of you? And who are the people who might think that you would reward them if they are to give you a referral? The simple answer is your current customers.
People who are currently buying or selling their homes will be talking about real estate with everyone they meet. They are going to chat with their friends about how they low-balled sellers or flat out turned away buyers for no reason. They ask friends and family about their home design concepts even before finalising any deals. And it would not be out of place to talk about their super agent (you) who have climbed mountains and dived into oceans just to serve them.
If you do not ask for referrals from your existing clientele, you are leaving money on the table. You could possibly increase your income by 50% easily by setting up a referral system. So don’t be obnoxious by not taking advantage of these opportunities.
The thing is that real estate is not something people buy for no reason. When your customers put in a good word for you in their social conversations, the next time one of their friends need an agent, they are going to ask for your contact details.
2) Previous clients
These are the people which you have effectively served in the past. You have already helped them close their transactions. This means that they have first-hand experience on your capabilities and reliability. The fact that you went out of your way and going beyond what was expected of you will still be fresh in their minds. The best part is that they can recommend you to others while not having any doubts of what you can deliver.
You have to face the fact one day. Networking is part of the job of a property agent. You might think that you could get away with it by marketing yourself strategically. But it is with networking that makes your job that much easier and gives you the best ROI.
Real estate is a business that consists of many professionals. And every professional serving a client will be serving someone who is already a very good prospect. The only way you can tap onto the clientele of such professionals is by networking with them.
The list of professionals is more comprehensive then most people think. Here are just 12 of them.
Property agents from other agencies
4) Social contacts
Sometimes we choose to separate work and personal stuff so much that we forget to market to our social circles. Your family and friends are after all, the people who would want to help you the most. But you might not be able to infiltrate this group unless you ask. It is not something to be embarrassed about.
Sometimes, you might even have friends who have influential contacts in the industry and can help to introduce them to you. Business contact are just as valuable as social contacts.
The most important thing you should remember when building a referral sales pipeline is that there is no shame in asking for more business. Don’t get too deep into your head thinking that it is something to be embarrassed about. It is not something you need in order to survive in this career, but something that will take your income to the next level.