REALTOR® Sales Tip: The Art of Getting Referrals

 Bubba Mills  |    March 06, 2015

Pretend that you didn’t have to market your services. Wouldn’t that be great? You would just serve and help clients all day — it’s why you chose real estate in the first place, right? To help people. If you’re like most REALTORS®, though, you’re likely working your butt off just to get those clients. 

So what’s the answer? The answer is referrals — from your current and past clients, your family, your friends and your acquaintances. Imagine what your business would look like if everyone you knew gave you just one good buying or selling referral. Yeah, savor that feeling for a minute. 

Run the numbers. Your average client who sticks with you is worth $25,000 if they move three times. First average commission from that client is $5,000; they move in five years, that’s another $10,000 for the buy and sell; same with the third move — another $10,000. If that client refers two people your way, suddenly you’re talking $75,000. And this $75,000 comes without marketing costs — so add in that savings. Remember this: when you take exceptional care of your clients, they’ll do your marketing for free.

Referrals are where the money is, and here are five tips you can start using today to get more referrals and more money:

Make your service downright unforgettable: Past clients can’t refer you if they don’t remember you. Help them remember you by giving them memorable service. Take time to brainstorm ways to increase your service. Remember that referrals are earned — not paid for. One easy way to make your services memorable is to put some serious thought into your closing gifts. I’ve given Cutco Knives with my name engraved on the blades. Every time the clients use the knives, they think of me. Give gifts that have a shelf life.

Cross-promote and partner with other businesses: Think about all the local businesses in your city and then ask this question: What can I do to help those local businesses while promoting my business? Consider giving those businesses’ coupons to your clients as well as leaving your business cards in local stores. It’s a win-win!

Think “A.B.A.”— Always Be Asking: If you don't ask, you don't get referrals. Add a “P.S.” to your email signature. Your “P.S.” note could be something like this: “P.S. If you know anyone thinking of buying or selling real estate, please tell them about ABC Real Estate, and hit the reply button and tell us how we can help them!” 

Get involved in your community: People are more likely to refer someone they believe is a good person — someone who gives back to the community. And remember, your signs all over town don’t make you a community icon — it’s what you do for your community. Volunteer at retirement centers, help rebuild and paint local parks, serve food at the local soup kitchen, take part in fundraisers, and be seen at block parties and street picnics. 

Show your gratitude when you do get referrals: Thank your referrers for their help, and keep them updated on how the new relationship is going. The referral system is built on strong relationships and shared value.

Use these tips to improve your referral numbers in 2015. You may soon find yourself with lead after lead after lead, thanks to your hard work and your happy clients!

Bubba Mills is the executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc., an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into real estate companies, mortgage companies and small businesses.

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