Word-of-mouth can increase real estate referralsand should be an essential part of your real estate marketing strategy. Just a few great referrals can improve your close rates, multiply your commissions and greatly reduce your advertising costs. Research has shown that it is five to nine times more expensive to find new customers than to get repeat business and referrals from your existing customers. Plus, the customers that come from referrals are more likely to trust you, close the deal and send even more leads your way.
However, many real estate professionals either forget to ask for referrals or are too busy to leverage this low-cost and powerful marketing strategy. Here are three easy ways to increase real estate referrals and grow your business:
1. Keep in touch: Staying top-of-mind is key to getting referrals. You may need to go through your customer database to ensure that all of your information is current. Then, set reminders to follow up on a regular basis. But when you follow up, don't just send out mass mailings. Be sure to personalize your communications so your customers feel valued. Send them handwritten notes, call them to chat or schedule a time to see them in person. The more you can stay top-of-mind, the more you will increase your referrals.
2. Form strategic partnerships: In addition to seeking referrals from customers, you should look for referrals from other professionals who serve your target market. For example, mortgage brokers, home stagers and lawyers may be able to refer you lots of business. Schedule time every week to meet with professionals in complementary industries so you can discuss how to refer business to each other.
3. Use Facebook: Many of your referral sources — such as friends, family and customers — are using Facebook to share their opinions and make recommendations. Be sure to create a Facebook fan page where you post your latest listings and offer advice to your community. Since Facebook is a social networking site, however, you should avoid blatantly pitching your services. This will turn off your community and cause them to unsubscribe from your updates.
Try some of these techniques to increase the referrals for your real estate business. Also remember to track all of your metrics, like who sent you each referral and which ones turned into sales. This will allow you to focus your valuable time on building relationships with your best referral sources.
What about you? How do you generate referrals for your business? Feel free to share your comments and questions below.
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