Let’s face it the real estate industry is very competitive. According to the National Association of Realtors, as of July 2019, there are over 1,383,010 members and over 1,100 local associations across the US. With so many realtors saturating the market, prospects have many options for choosing their next agent.
That’s why it’s crucial to build your business through referrals. Furthermore, NAR recently reported that about 75% of an agent's business comes from referrals and word of mouth.
With that much growth potential coming from referrals, the savviest most successful real estate agents focus on activities they can do to increase and amplify the number of referrals they receive.
Here are five great ways to increase your real estate referral business:
#1: Send post-closing surveys to customers.
Once you’ve closed a deal, your relationship with your customer should not end there. A great way to get referrals is to send them a post-sales survey where they can rate your experience and provide testimonials. A company like YesInsights is a great way to facilitate that communication. It’s a tool that allows you to send post-closing surveys to your customers, asking questions about your service and their experience working with you. At the end of this survey, you can ask them to refer you to their friends and family providing they had a positive experience working with you.
#2: Build relationships with other real estate professionals
There are a lot of moving parts in a real estate transaction. Just think of all the people that are typically involved. There are mortgage lenders and brokers, home inspectors, construction firms, attorneys, title companies, insurance agents, and of course, other real estate agents. Building strong relationships with these different individuals is a great way to have trusted experts provide you a referral. By working together to cross-promote each other’s services, you will be able to increase your referrals exponentially. In fact, according to a report released by ReferralExchange.com:
“The number of agent-to-agent referrals received remained steady in 2018 from 2017. Twenty-five percent of agents received between 6-10 referrals, and another 19 percent of agents received between 11-25 referrals last year.”
Furthermore, the report stated:
"Referral fee earnings were strong in 2018, with some agents earning more than in past years. The number of agents earning between $20,000 and $50,000 in referral fees increased to 20 percent last year from 17 percent in 2017."
Another great way to get referrals is to use a tool like eCampaignPro. It allows you to build an opt-in list of real estate agents anywhere in the US that you can send emails to introducing yourself so that you can begin establishing relationships with them.
For instance, say you are a south Florida real estate professional who deals with a lot of seasonal buyers from up north. You could reach out to agents in Chicago or New York and introduce yourself, letting them know that you are a local expert and would love to work with any of their clients who are thinking about relocating. Putting together a professional-looking email that lists your experience, qualifications, client testimonials, and any referral fees you are offering is a great way to build your referral pipeline.
Here is an excellent example of a Naples Florida agent using eCampaignPro email marketing to build a list of agents in specific Northern states promoting his 50% referral fee.
Dennis does a great job highlighting the value he provides, his qualifications, and 5 star Zillow reviews to show the agents receiving this email that he is a trusted source and that any client they refer him is handled with courtesy, professionalism, and respect.
#3: Establish a post-closing email sequence providing useful tips and local resources.
Sending a follow-up email to your customer is a great way to stay top of mind and make sure they do not forget you. These emails can provide useful homeowner tips, information about upcoming local events in their new area, or even a few restaurant recommendations. Continuing to be helpful after the sale will go a long way when it comes time for that future referral. It also allows you to build trust with your customers and increases the chances they refer you to friends and family. eCampaignPro provides an easy way to upload your customer contacts and then set up several emails on a schedule that can be deployed automatically over a pre-determined time period.
#4: Display customer referrals on your website and social channels
Another great way to get more referrals is to display them on your website and your social media channels. Once you collect positive client feedback, from things like surveys or a Zillow review, you can show them on various pages within your website. Another tip is, capturing your happy clients, post-closing with a video, or a picture, then displaying that on a testimonial page of your website, Facebook or Instagram feeds providing social proof allows you to influence potential customers even more. For instance, one of our clients, Heather Palo, does a great job of doing this with consistency. Check out her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feed here.
#5: Provide an incentive or referral rewards program
Create a contest or incentive around client referrals. An incentive could be anything from a Starbucks gift card to dinner at a local restaurant or a gift certificate to a home improvement store. Of course, nobody knows your customers better than you, so choose incentives that will appeal to them. Rewarding your customers for referring business to you will show your appreciation and increase the likely hood that they refer you to a new client or use your services again in the future.
Real estate referrals are a fantastic way to grow your business and keep your pipeline full. Taking the time to employ some of these tactics outlined in your marketing, communication, and branding efforts will help you establish yourself as a caring, expert that always provides a high degree of service. The stronger the relationships you build, the higher the chance you have of receiving a referral.
Let me know in the comments what methods you are currently using to increase your real estate referral business and if any of these tips worked for you.
If you would like to discuss how my team at eCampaignPro can help you grow your referral business contact us or give one of our marketing experts a call at 888-362-4547