Everybody loves referrals.
I mean, actual referrals, not just a sort of ‘warm lead’ that you still have to qualify and nurture. Real referrals are the best kinds of clients to work with because you don’t have to sell yourself and prove why you’re better than the other 2-3 agents they’re also interviewing. You just go and do what you do best!
And yet, of the hundreds and hundreds of agents I’ve talked to over the years, I’ve only met a handful of agents who never had to worry about where their next listing is going to come from ... because they had more referrals than they could handle.
One of the most effective ways to grow your referral business is to be highly intentional about building real relationships and growing your network of connections. But just knowing a lot of people doesn’t mean they’re all just going to be sending you business.
People, on average, know at least 3 Agents.
And since most people hate conflict, whenever they hear someone in their circle of friends talking about real estate - more often than not - they’d rather not say anything and just ‘let them make their own decision’ … so they're not responsible if things go wrong.
… UNLESS there is a strong relationship and an unshakable confidence in your ability to get the job done better and faster than anyone else on the planet.
=> Nothing is as powerful in your business as THAT kind of relationship.
Here’s what destroys it …
Asking for referrals.
In your email signature … on your business card … or when you’re calling your clients and connections ‘just to touch base and see how they’re doing’ and then, at the end of the conversation, slide in the ... “Oh, btw…whom do you know, that’s as awesome as you are and that’s looking to buy or sell in the near future?”
You may get a few introductions that way, but nowhere near as many as you could be getting.
Again, if you're good - they will refer you without asking! If you're not ... asking makes it awkward and won't do you any good.
So how do you actually get referrals without asking?
People will refer you if there’s a strong relationship and the belief that you are the best, most competent person on the planet to get the job done AND referring you will increase their status in the sight of the person they referred to you.
In other words, to get referrals organically, you need the following 3 things dialled in.
You need to know your stuff - I mean, really, and consistently provide a remarkable experience that gets people talking about you ... so you don't have to!
You need to have a brand and marketing message that causes people to go ..."Hmmm ... that's different! I love this!" Once that is dialled in, you need to be findable in the marketplace. I call it the OMNI presence factor where people are like ... "Man, I see your face everywhere!" When done right, it's inexpensive and very effective.
You need to have a network of real connections (I call it a Circle of Friends) that you stay in touch with in a meaningful way - consistently. But there's no need for monthly cookie-cutter newsletters, automated CRM email sequences, and whatever else is out there that's expensive, overwhelming and complicated.
Picking up the phone and actually talking to people in a world of abbreviated text messages and online everything ... is just one way ... but it's one of the most effective ways to connect with people and build strong relationships - in business and life.
Most agents struggle with that because they don't know what questions to ask to make the conversation meaningful and create a real connection.
If you'd like to get a FREE copy of the Phone Call Dialogue I used to cultivate strong relationships with my clients and network connections (Circle of Friends) you can download it here.
As always, I hope this serves you and helps you to become the #1 trusted and referred agent in your market area.
Alina Schumacher is a Certified High-Performance Coach™, host of The Alina Show PODCAST, founder of World-Class Agent Academy, and the author of How To Get Listings & Dominate Your Market ... Even if Nobody's Ever Heard of You! She helps driven Real Estate Professionals all over North America become world-class and build a 6-7 figure fully referral-based business - extremely FAST - using her proven 4-stage Market Domination Plan, which enabled her to not only become the #1 local REALTOR® in her market area shortly after immigrating to Canada and reaching the top 1% of all Agents in her province/board - but also, build, systematize and successfully scale her business into a thriving brokerage - while continuing to homeschool her three children.