Finding new business is one of the most important parts of being a successful real estate agent. Because repeat business is often spread out over many years, agents must work hard to bring in new clients regularly. New clients are the lifeblood of a real estate agent, so knowing how to tactfully ask for referrals is important in growing and maintaining a healthy business.
Just Ask – But Provide Value Too
Sometimes finding new clients is as simple as asking. Asking past clients is an important step in finding new ones.
My Realtor sends out quarterly communications to all past clients to stay in touch and keep her agency at the top of mind when thinking of any real estate transaction. She provides a useful flyer with information on home ownership, decoration, or budgeting so she isn’t just asking for something, is always providing something useful.
But, at the end of every email, letter, postcard, and even on her business card, she reminds that “I am never too busy for your referrals.” The last time I had a friend looking for an agent recommendation, I sent my friend her way.
Go to Networking Events
Harassing your friends on Facebook on a daily basis is probably not the best way to drum up business, as they are not on Facebook looking to be pitched. People at networking events are looking to make connections, meet new people, and work with other business owners.
Going to a Chamber of Commerce event or local Meetup group event for business owners is a great place to connect with people who are going to be much warmer to someone asking for referrals than just asking people out of the blue.
Make Yourself Easy to Find
When you are putting yourself out there and asking people for help, make it as easy as possible for them to help you. Have business cards available that make it easy for someone to contact you however is most convenient for them, whether that is email, the phone, or through a social networking site like LinkedIn.
Like AgentHarvest founder Bill Petrey, you can make yourself profiles and business pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and your own website that you control. Bill takes active steps regularly to make sure people can find him easily and contact him quickly.
Provide Excellent Service
The best way to get referrals is from satisfied past customers spreading the word. To build your network of evangelists, always provide top notch service to every single customer. You never know who they know and may send your way in the future.
If you did a great job for them, like my Realtor has done for me, you won’t have anything to worry about when asking for referrals. Just like I did when the opportunity arose, I happily passed on contact information so my friend could get in touch with a quality agent quickly and easily.
If you always do a great job, give gentle reminders, and make it easy to connect, you’ll have plenty of referrals coming your way soon.
What Not to Do
There’s a time and a place for everything. Some events may seem like a good idea to harvest referrals, but in reality they aren’t. Here’s a true story of a real estate agent that approached AgentHarvest founder, Bill Petrey over his grandmother’s casket during the funeral visitation. I’m sure we can all agree that this is what NOT to do.