If referrals make the best clients, and if referrals are the best way to build a sustainable real estate business, then why don’t more agents do what’s necessary to get more referrals?
I ask this because in my line of work (real estate marketing) I frequently meet experienced agents who’ve never done anything to keep in touch with past clients or their sphere of influence. They have no systematic way to maintain a connection or build a relationship with someone who’s not right in front of them. The result is that they’ve lost touch with hundreds of potential clients or referral sources over the years.
And these are smart, mature agents, who understand the business.
Here’s what I think is going on, at least for some of these agents.
Down In the Bones
The problem is not lack of understanding. Every agent know what the word “referral” means. They understand the need to provide great service in order to be referable.
But many agents don’t “get” it in their bones. Subconsciously they don’t believe they have any real power over generating referrals. They think referrals are things that simply happen as a result of being a good Realtor, which is true…but in much smaller measure than is required to build a referral-based business. Occasionally they’ll ask for a referral, but the idea of actively generating referrals in any other context (outside of the immediate transaction), is uncomfortable or even confusing.
By contrast, agents who really rock referrals genuinely believe they can generate 10, 20, 30 referrals per year, and they go about building a marketing strategy around that goal.
Because of this, they’re the ones who have sustainable businesses that survive the down times and smooth out the bumps in the business.
What to Do?
If you’re someone who hasn’t cracked the referral code yet, then by all means, put in place strategies and techniques to create referrals—like an interactive newsletter, social media, personal notes, gifts, check-in calls, and special occasions for asking.
But first, address your inner game and see if you really believe you have control over getting referrals. You do have control…but you have to believe it. Start there, and the rest will be a lot easier.
Or fake it ’til you make it! Start putting all the systems in place, and when you see them start to work—as you generate referrals—you’ll start to believe more and more that you have the power!
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