The 7 Deadly Sins of Real Estate Referral Marketing

real estate marketing sinsLike most real estate agents, you likely have a busy schedule – more hectic, in fact than most other independent professionals. You have a lot of balls in the air. You’re juggling meetings, hosting open houses, fielding offers, making phone calls, and plowing through paperwork.  It’s very easy to miss something and inadvertently create roadblocks to your own success without realizing it.

Referrals are one of the most valuable assets to your real estate business. They are high-quality leads that often lead to sales. But many real estate agents are missing the mark when it comes to referral marketing. These 7 sins represent the most common mistakes that real estate agents make when it comes to referral marketing. The majority of Agents commit at least one of these sins and  lose sales as a result, often without even realizing it.

Sin #1. Not letting clients know that you build your business with referrals.

Your past clients are not mind-readers, if you rely on their referrals let them know! Building your business by referrals is magnetic. It draws people in and motivates them to help you. The psychology behind this is simple. People believe that if you build your business by referrals, then not only must you be good at what you do, you also must work hard and make an extra effort to satisfy customers.

Once a client knows that you build your business on referrals, you’ve planted a seed, a seed that could blossom annually with a fresh crop of new leads.  Each of your clients knows on average three to five people each year who will move. When they’re asked to recommend an agent, they’ll think of the person who did such a great job for them, the agent who they know, with certainty, appreciates referrals.

Sin #2. Failing to add value.

Simply calling past clients to say “hello”, or probing (even pestering) them as to whether they’re ready to move to another home, does little to add value. In fact, it tends to do the opposite. Clients may get tired of hearing from you for no reason. They’ll see your name on the phone and choose not to answer.

You can’t generate loyalty when you come across as sniffing at the door for more business. The alternative is simple, add value to every interaction you have with clients. There are many ways to add value; offer expert advice, a home appraisal for tax purposes, professional services, and more. Each time you interact with clients, ask yourself “What’s in it for them?” If you can’t answer this question, you are likely not offering any value in the interaction. Add value to your communications and your clients will look forward to hearing from you.

Sin #3. Lack of frequency.

Some agents do a good job communicating with past clients and referral sources, but don’t do it consistently enough.  For busy Agents it can be a challenge to stay on top of regular communications.  To build momentum in your relationships, you must be consistent.

A client may remember you a few months after they move but if your subsequent communications are infrequent or non-existent, you’ll quickly fade from their memory. Sure, you may get the repeat sale when the client is ready to move again, but you’re missing out on referral business since you’re not top of mind. Communicate on a regular basis to make sure your name is the first one that comes to mind when your clients think of a real estate agent.

Make use of a real estate CRM like IXACT Contact to ensure that you’re keeping in touch on a regular basis.  The platform offers professionally written and designed monthly e-Newsletters along with Activity plans to help you stay on track and in touch.

Sin #4. Expecting a referral but doing nothing in return.

Many real estate agents expect to get referrals from past clients but they don’t think they need to give anything in return. Believe it or not, some Agents don’t even send a Thank You note!

Remember, each of your clients knows upwards of fifty people who will move in the next ten years. You don’t just want one or two of those referrals, you want many! But you won’t get more than one, or any, if you don’t reward your clients for their referrals.

A referral could be worth tens of thousands of dollars for your business over the course of your career. Be generous and put some thought into meaningful ways to thank those who refer you.

Sin #5. Contacting people who can’t offer you referrals.

Not everyone you meet, speak to, and work with is capable of helping you build your business with referrals. There are some situations where, no matter what you do, you will never get any repeat or referral business.  These people may be loyal to another agent, have a friend or family member who became an Agent, or may be moving outside of your vicinity.

Before you spend a lot of time, energy, and even money trying to cultivate a referral source, be sure to find out if that person is in a position to refer more business to you. Don’t waste time; you need all the time you can muster to build rock solid relationships with those who can give you repeat real estate business and referrals.

Sin #6. Not giving the client a quality experience.

You know that you need to do everything in your power to satisfy your real estate clients. You must give sound advice, find an affordable dream home, negotiate price, recommend the inspector and other professionals, and more! Are you giving your clients a complete quality experience? Take care to ensure that every interaction you have with your client is a positive one.

Take a look at all the ways your clients are interacting with you. Are they getting a great experience every time? Or are there some situations where your service is less than spectacular? Identify the areas where you have room for improvement and focus on stepping up your game. Keep a good attitude and strive for excellence with the experience you provide clients.

Sin #7. Thinking that referrals just happen.

In a perfect world, everyone you work with would run out and tell all their friends what a terrific Agent you are. But in reality, just because a client is satisfied doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get repeat business and referrals from them.  Referrals are highly valuable and they don’t just happen; you have to make them happen.

Readjust your thinking and be open with your clients about how much you appreciate their referrals. Be clear and courteous whether they agree to refer you or not.

Are you committing any of these 7 deadly sins of referral marketing?  It’s time to make a change! Take advantage of IXACT Contact’s 5 week free trial and discover how the CRM will help you stay on track for receiving referrals with its easy to use keep in touch system.

Want to learn more? Discover the secret to being successful in real estate sales and how to leverage your Sphere of Influence.