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Referrals are the backbone of a lot of top agents businesses. Where the big opportunity lies is in blending digital and traditional advertising strategies. Using digital methods to effectively (and in some cases immediately) increase referrals in a modern way. This week we cover what Agentsboost coaching clients have been doing to get more referrals in their business in 2021. Agents often get referrals on accident. They are very passive and take them and appreciate them when they come but they do not proactively seek them out other than some lame slogan on their business card or in their email signature. The appeal and upside of referrals is obvious. Referrals convert faster than most other lead sources. When a past client sends a friend your way it is usually because they are in the market to buy or sell soon. You don't get a lot of referrals that you have to nurture for a year. Referrals are also likely to be more profitable than other lead sources as there is little to no cost to acquire the customer. Another upside of a referral is that they are more likely to refer as well. In fact, studies show that a referred customer is 4x more likely to refer more customers to your brand. Now a warning. Don't wear the fact that all of your business comes via referrals like a badge of honor. You need to be more diversified than that if you really want your business to grow and become predictable. The challenge with referrals is you don't really know when or where or how many will come your way. When referrals are a slice of a more sophisticated pie it is actually a better indicator that a business is healthy.
1. Launch an agent newsletter - So many coaching clients are generating a six figure a year referral business from agent to agent referrals annually. Blog, podcast and video content sharing money making ideas for fellow agents. Stay top of mind with agents in your market and from around the country by sharing a newsletter loaded with tips and tricks specifically focused on teaching other agents. It may seem counterintuitive to teach agents who you compete with some of your best practices but by doing so creates a steady stream of agent referrals from local agents and a nationwide audience. You probably have a newsletter for your past clients and leads, try adding one specifically catered to agents. By the way, a good way to build up a list of agent emails to send. Every time you attend a conference, seminar where you take a lot of notes go on Facebook and tell anyone who would like a copy of them to drop their email in a comment and you will send them to them and watch the emails pour in your comment area.
2. Email Your Listings (the right way) To Your Past Clients. - No one wants to send their past clients emails about new listings every week. But if you do it the right way you can turn a new listing into referrals, fast. The key is in the positioning. Let's face it, anyone you sold a home to in the last few years is most likely not already in the market to buy another one. But we have developed some magic words that you can use so that you can email all of your past clients about a listing to get referrals from them. The magic words are...who do you know? The reason this works so well is that it is not a direct ask. Most agents go after the recipient of the message. By focusing on who they know, not them, you get referrals without being the typical agent sending out another "Just Listed" campaign. Give them early access, point out that the home would sell fast and also asked them to reply for additional details. Don’t just send them all of the details and use a very appealing listing. Even with the magic words you don't want to use this technique for every listing that you take so try it when you have one with massive curb appeal or in a highly sought after neighborhood for the best results.
3. Create Your Own Rewards Program. - Not all referral sources are created equally. And I am sure you have certain past clients or people in your sphere of influence that send you a lot of business and some that don't send you any at all. What you can do is double down on those who send her referrals by creating a Partners Program. Put a lot of thought and effort into the program which basically rewards your past clients and referral sources with prizes and giveaways on a regular basis. One of the things that I really like is when you send out the quarterly email with the prize you require the person to reply saying that they want to claim it. This gets conversations started and you get a lot of "thank you so much" type messages. Starbucks has rewards. Peloton has rewards. You should too. And of course be sure to make any reward program you start compliant with local, state and national laws. Your program isn't attached to a closing or transaction. It's a thank you for thinking of us and sending our name to someone. Even if we never hear from the person they referred the person giving the referral is still part of the program."
4. Take Advantage of Facebook's Algorithm to Stay Top of Mind. - Did you know that Facebook has a proprietary algorithm called Edge Rank that determines what people see in their newsfeed when they log in? The most important factor that you can actually control is the Interest. Basically, Facebook knows whether or not someone is interested in seeing what you post based on how often you interact with each other's content. Put simply, the more you engage with someone the more likely they will be to see your posts. So to ensure your posts are seen by your best past clients and most likely referral sources from your sphere of influence. 5-5-5 technique. Each day, you comment on five people's posts. You send five private DMs. And you Like five people's posts. Doing this consistently signals to Facebook that there is a relationship between the users and thus the algorithm becomes more likely to show those users your future posts.
5. Compete Where You Can Win For Reviews. - Not everyone is going to be on top when consumers are looking for agents based on their customer reviews. In fact, here in Kelowna where I live a brokerage with the most reviews has 676. So while getting 5-star reviews on Zillow, Ratemyagent etc. overall is a good idea what you don't want to do is neglect getting reviews on Google and Facebook too. If you look at the search results notice that on the right side his Google reviews are the most prominently displayed and Facebook reviews actually outrank his Zillow, ratemyagent reviews in the organic results. Your website should have a dedicated page for her customer success stories that is insanely compelling and then you use these stories in her retargeting campaigns. By being smart about your online reviews and competing where you can win you can generate "referrals" over and over again without your past clients ever having to speak to a new prospect who is doing their research online.
6. Vertical Integration. - By partnering with the right service providers you should be getting referrals from them, regularly. But a trend we are starting to see is that brokers and agents are increasingly trying to offer many of the peripheral services themselves. That is why smart entrepreneurs are looking to bring things like mortgage, title and escrow in house. It makes things simpler for the consumer and it makes the transaction more profitable for the brokerage. Be laser-focused on continuing our mission to bring more value and services directly to the consumer while keeping the real estate agent relevant in every single transaction. We will continue to focus on finding more opportunities to save the consumer money and time when they work with one of our agents or purchase one of our listings. We expect to see a lot more of this "vertical integration" as a way to increase referrals to additional add-on services in the coming months and years.
7. Being Active In The Right Facebook Groups. – I work with some of the most passionate and successful agents on the planet. A lot of our clients get to be a part of Facebook groups where they can share ideas in a safe space. Because our services are highly exclusive by market our customers are comfortable giving away their secret sauce and best practices knowing they aren't doing so with all of their competitors, who would inevitably copy them. But they also send each other a ton of referrals. See, top agents want to send referrals to other top agents. They know that if they send a referral to another Agentsboost client their referral will be well taken care of as they have the right systems, processes, technology and mindset to deliver five 5-star service. We asked recently how many of them had actually closed one or more referrals from being a part of our community and it was amazing how many had. What we noticed based on their responses was that there was a direct correlation between how active they were in the mastermind and how many referrals they would get. If you are going to get referrals from a Facebook Group you have to give to get. Post helpful advice frequently. Answer other agents questions in the comments. By being an active participant you will increase the number of referrals you receive and people will even tag you when a referral opportunity is posted.
Getting more real estate referrals takes a plan. Sure, you can get them passively but the magic happens when you get proactive about your "referral generation" efforts. Feel free to share any other strategies you have that help generate more referrals for you and your real estate business.
Strength and courage,