There are plenty of things an agent can do to increase their real estate lead generation efforts. However, becoming comfortable asking for real estate leads or even knowing how to create opportunities for referrals can leave some agents staring into space.
The following five ideas are great ways for agents to generate real estate referrals and become accustomed to asking for them when the right opportunity presents itself.
Create Buzzworthy Client Events
Showing appreciation to clients who have done business with you in the past is a great way to make an even more personal connection with them. Inviting a group of past clients to a private and intimate event, such as an appreciation dinner at your home or a restaurant could be a way to show your gratitude and build an even more solid connection with them. Some agents may make these types of efforts on a routine basis, like quarterly, or even more frequently.
Keep in mind the more common the interest in the event, the better the connection between you and your clients. It could be where the common bond of BBQ could lead to a day at a BBQ cook-off competition. Or plan a night to watch the game with great food, drinks, and memorable conversation.
These types of events can also create buzz about you and your company and will surely keep you top of mind. You may find that past clients will tell their friends about their experiences and introduce you to them when they are ready to purchase a home.
Use Social Media to Gain Exposure
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide excellent avenues for generating exposure and awareness of your brand by sharing news, offers, and promotions. If you’re not using these platforms to promote yourself, then you’re missing out on opportunities to gain exposure and increase your visibility online.
However, real estate agents must be careful to provide valuable and interesting information for their online audiences to consume and that includes items that matter to them outside of real estate.
Agents can gain the attention of their audience if they provide great information about lifestyle or community events or even ways to save money. Imagine doing a group of posts about the “Best Steakhouse in the City” or providing great information around a personal interest or hobby.
These types of posts can be engaging to your audience but also keep you top of mind. When they need a real estate agent to buy or sell, they may just contact you.
Share Market Insights through Email
Keeping up with past clients or inviting your social audience to sign up for local market insights is a great way to build a bridge to them without being intrusive. This works for both potential homebuyers and current homeowners and shows you as a knowledgeable real estate expert.
Through a real estate CRM like Espresso Agent or email marketing platform, you can create a template message that allows you to send details about homes in their area that are for sale, have sold recently, or are pending sale. Once the template is together, pull the data from the listing and with a couple of clicks, you have a highly targeted email being blasted to an interested audience.
Or with Espresso Agent’s video marketing tool, you can even create a short video detailing current homes for sale in your lead’s neighborhood.
Ask When the Time is Right
As a real estate agent, you come into contact with tons of people, but the timing of when to ask for a referral is crucial. It’s no secret that current satisfied customers and past clients who can speak to your services are your best advocates for new leads. The time to strike is when they are the happiest—after the closing. Send a thank you card congratulating them on their new home purchase and be sure to ask for a referral. Especially happy clients are more than willing to step up to the plate for you when you’ve made their dreams come true.
On the other hand, it’s appropriate to ask family or people you do business with every day for a referral at any time. Think of your business associates like your doctor or possibly an accountant, a child’s teacher, or the cashier who always rings up your groceries. All of these people are viable candidates to send you referrals or even become a client themselves. All you have to do is hand them a business card and ask.
Use a Referral Script
When real estate agents think of scripts, it’s usually in the context of creating conversations that turn cold leads into warm leads. But what if you had a script that you used when asking for a referral? The key to any script is to be comfortable with it, but also genuine.
The last thing you want is to be recognized as a pushy salesman who uses small talk to ask for something. The key to asking for a referral in a more genuine way is to find an open door in a natural conversation. The more you look for these types of opportunities in everyday conversations the better you will get at it.
Sometimes, a referral script will include a specific request instead of a general question. Many agents may simply ask, “Do you know of anyone looking to buy or sell a home?” More often than not, this generic question doesn’t spur much thought. However, if you asked a more specific, direct question to your potential referral source it will cause the person to think about your question more closely. Think about this question: “Do you know anyone who would want to know what homes are selling for in their neighborhood?” Putting some thought into more specific questions and testing these out on your referral sources will give you better questions to add to your repertoire. You just might be surprised by the responses you get.
There you have it. Five great ideas for generating real estate referrals in your local market. While it can be a great deal of work to hone your skills, once you’ve implemented these ideas into your regular schedule, you’ll be in great shape to build the number of leads in your pipeline.