Today I’m sharing an terrific blog by Kelly Phelan, originally posted on RETechnology. Kelly presents seven statistics that demonstrate the effectiveness of referrals and the easiest way for agents to generate them.
Referrals are still the best way that real estate agents can find qualified, warm leads. Increasing your referral business can significantly boost your sales–and with much less hassle than trying to convert online leads (whose intentions are often less than clear).
You don’t have to take our word for it, however. There has been plenty of research into the effectiveness of referrals, and the numbers speak for themselves:
- 84% of consumers say that they almost always trust referrals or recommendations from their friends or family when it comes to products and businesses.
- 88% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend them to others.
- 63% of buyers who bought a home in the last year recommended their agent to others.
- Younger buyers are more likely to find their agent via referral, with 46% of Millennials and 43% of Gen X hiring an agent they were recommended.
- However, older sellers, ages 51-60, were more likely to recommend their agent (86%) than sellers ages 36-50 (82%).
- Brokers recognize the importance of referrals in their agents’ businesses, as well. According to a survey of 120 brokers, 85% of brokers plan to train their agents on sales/lead generation/referral skills this year.
- According to the same broker survey, 35% of agents’ business comes from past client referrals
The easiest way for an agent to get referrals is through past clients who had a positive experience with them. As you can see in the numbers above, a whopping 88 percent of buyers would use or recommend their agents, but only 63 percent do. That number would likely be a lot higher if agents were able to stay in front of clients in the months and years after the sale. But how can agents do this in a way that’s relevant to their intended audience?
One method that’s been effective is offering past clients periodic market updates for their local area. Homeowners want to know that their purchase is gaining value, and they want to know how their home stacks up to others in their area.
Agents can offer this information via many methods, starting with something as simple as setting up their client for new listing and price change alerts via their IDX or VOW solution. We’ve seen others send video-based market updates every month through email. Still others tap into the market data their listing service provides and create a report themselves that they share via email, social media, or on their blog or website.
For a more automated but still information-rich option, we like Listingbook‘s Home Competition feature. This report lets homeowners compare their home’s value against others in their local market, and it’s something that provides past clients value for years after the sale.
Listingbook is interesting in that it can be used throughout the entire purchase lifecycle of a client. Clients first use it to search for homes collaboratively with their agent. Once the sale is over, agents can set their clients up to use the Home Competition feature or receive Listingbook’s daily “Morning Report” to monitor the market activity in their area.
Remember, keeping in touch with clients is key to keeping them in the fold and increasing an agent’s referrals over the long term. What methods do you use to stay in contact with your sphere of influence?
IXACT Contact Tip
After reflecting on Kelly’s article, do you think the number of referrals you are currently receiving is being driven by how well you keep in touch with clients? If you find that this number is lower than you’d like, it might be time for you to invest in some new technology. IXACT Contact’s real estate CRM has automated drip email campaigns and professionally written and designed Monthly e-Newsletters that can be sent out to all the contacts in your database, making sure you remain top of mind for all your contacts and leads.
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