Unlike other professionals that we see several times a year (like dentists) a consumer may only need the services of an Agent once every several years. No wonder so many clients forget the name of their former Agent, no matter how much they enjoyed working with them!
92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising (RETechnology). And when someone is thinking of making a huge decision like buying or selling a home, you can be sure they seek advice from trusted friends and family.
Referrals are a powerful source of leads for real estate professionals. No matter how much time, effort and money you invest in other forms of advertising, referral leads are highly sought after. Referrals are valuable because they come to you (rather than you chasing them), they are usually warm or hot leads, and they enter your relationship with trust because someone they know has vouched for you.
Here’s a hard question: are you getting the number of real estate referrals from past clients that you should be getting? If you’re not, there are some actionable ways you can increase your referral and repeat business.
How to keep in touch and generate referrals and repeat clients more effectively
The shocking truth is that 85% of homeowners say they would use the same agent again or recommend the agent to others – yet less than 15% actually do. The primary reason they didn’t make the recommendation? They couldn’t recall the name of their Agent! Such a simple oversight could end up costing you a lot of real estate referral business. Staying in touch after a transaction is just as important as nurturing a lead before the transaction. It keeps your name top of mind with your past clients so when someone asks them to recommend an Agent your name will be the first on their lips.
Keeping in touch regularly builds rapport, and doesn’t have to be difficult! Wishing a contact a happy birthday, calling every few months to say hello, or sending holiday greetings are natural ways to touch base and remain top of mind with your leads and past clients.
Whether a contact is considering moving or not, it’s extremely important to add value to client relationships over time. It’s what keeps past clients coming back and referring you to their friends and family.
To add ongoing value for your past clients, market yourself as an expert on all things home related. When you do this, clients will call you for recommendations on reputable professionals like electricians, interior designers, and kitchen remodelers.
The more you can refer quality service providers to your clients, the more they will see you as adding real value to the relationship. They win by finding reputable services, and you win by strengthening your relationship!
At the same time, the product and service providers will definitely appreciate the business you refer to them, and will likely refer business back to you. Not only that, they’ll think of you the next time they themselves need an Agent!
Finally, remember that sometimes you have to ask for what you want. While you know that referrals are critically important to your real estate business, your clients don’t necessarily understand the value of these referrals. Failing to ask for referrals is one of the most obvious mistakes Agents make, and they lose out on a lot of business for this reason.
The obvious time to ask for referrals is when you complete a transaction with a client, so certainly include that in your conversation. But as you build a relationship with your client through regular email marketing and Keep in Touch phone calls, you can naturally ask if they know of anyone who is thinking of moving. Remember to let your past clients know how much you appreciate their referrals. And when they do refer you, send them a thoughtful thank you gift. It’s these extra touches that will inspire people to send you real estate referrals again and again!
How IXACT Contact Can Help
Sending a Monthly e-Newsletter or direct mail newsletter to your contact list is a strong way to offer value, and ensure your prospects and past clients remember who you are. IXACT Contact is the only real estate CRM that comes with a Monthly e-Newsletter written and designed by real estate marketing professionals, helping you make the professional impression you want to each month. Best of all, your e-Newsletter can be emailed to your contacts automatically each month, without you lifting a finger!
To further assist Agents with keeping in touch, IXACT Contact also includes pre-configured call reminders. With a single click, you can create an automated reminder to call a chosen contact bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. With call reminders in place, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to connect with a lead or past client, preventing you from losing touch.
In addition to your Keep in Touch Call Reminders, IXACT Contact will even remind you when your past client’s birthday or move-in anniversary is approaching, so you can send a note, a gift, or give them a call. This personal touch is another special way to build a meaningful relationship with your client after the transaction. Best of all, you can receive reminders automatically. No more forgetting important dates!
IXACT Contact’s Business Directory helps you market yourself as the expert on home-related services. You can easily search and filter your Business Directory and pull up the name of a reputable professional for a client in a matter of seconds. Your clients will appreciate you sending them to quality vendors, and the vendors will certainly appreciate you sending them business! Inform those in your Business Directory that you will be sending them referral business, and let them know you’d welcome any real estate referrals that they can send your way! (And by the way, who do you think the vendors in your Business Directory will call when they want to buy or sell a house?)
Finally, when it is time to call and reconnect with a past client, refer back to their contact profile in IXACT Contact to refresh your memory. Detailed notes in your database will make it easy to strike up a conversation since a CRM can store details that your brain simply cannot! Start your 5 week free trial now!