Referral Marketing for Real Estate Agents
All businesses need the right advertising finesse to truly grow and maximize their potential. Even if your business is doing well at the moment, you could always do better and achieve more with some strategized marketing.
Nowadays, it’s important to get your business on as many people’s radar as possible. That means putting it on digital platforms to make sure it reaches more potential clients. And while it might seem easier than ever to advertise online, the power of referral marketing still shouldn’t be overlooked.
A real estate referral is arguably the most powerful type of lead for an agent. Here are three reasons why we say so.
Why Referrals Are So Powerful for Realtors
So, why are real estate referrals so powerful for realtors? Three words. Word of mouth.
You should never underestimate the importance of having clients refer your services to their network. Because they trust the person giving the referral, they also start to build their trust in you from the get-go. And when they trust you, they’re more likely to avail of your services.
The clients you get from referrals are also more likely to generate more profit for your business. They tend to be more receptive to your rates and charges without negotiating for a discount or a lower amount.
Word of mouth also builds your reliability as a realtor without much effort on your part. Compared to other forms of marketing, referrals are what could get you more leads for your business.
And the best part? You barely have to spend anything. You just have to make sure to look after your clients throughout the whole real estate transaction. Because chances are, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to others when they’re happy with your services.
But you shouldn’t rely solely on this. It’s still important to follow up with them or subtly prompt them to refer you to their network. Here are 4 ways to get more real estate referrals.
4 Ways to Get More Real Estate Referrals
Ask Your Clients
We hate to break it to you, but the easiest way to get more referrals is to ask your clients directly. Sometimes, it could be as simple as messaging them to ask if they know of others who might be interested in your services.
Asking for a referral could be awkward at times. Or you might feel shy because you don’t want to seem pushy. But it’s a part of growing your business to learn how to ask for referrals nicely and when to ask for them.
Generally, it’s best to ask for a referral when clients are happy. For example, if you found a buyer for their property and are just waiting for the closing day. It also works if you’ve found them the perfect property to buy and are just waiting for the turnover or possession day.
It’s in moments like these that your clients are most likely to agree to your request for a referral. Watch out for all the times that they sincerely thank you for assisting them. And don’t let the chance go.
Know the right way to ask, though. It could sound tactless when you message your clients (especially after quite some time) and ask them if they could refer you to their network. You might lose possible leads and the rapport you’ve built with the client.
Instead, rephrase your request and make it seem less imposing. It’s better to ask them if they know of someone who also needs assistance in real estate transactions. Tell them you’d be happy to help that friend as you did with them.
Ask them nicely if they can introduce you to that friend by giving them your contact details. Let them know that they can get in touch with you anytime they wish.
(Note how we said “introduce” instead of “refer.” That’s because it sounds much less intimidating and pushy for your clients if that’s what you’re worried about.)
Also, when you’re asking your clients through email or chat, give them an “easy out.” Never forget to add a clause at the end of your request that basically says there’s no pressure if they don’t have anyone to refer you to.
You can even tell them there’s no need to reply and that it’s more than enough to keep you in mind should someone from their network need your services. And the funny thing is that this sometimes makes your clients more likely to respond to you.
Your clients might also appreciate it better if you offer incentives. Tell them they can get a discount for their next transaction with you if they could refer you to someone. And don’t forget to also give their referred client a discount so that everyone gets a good thing from it.
It’s important to build a stable network with your clients because it could help you establish a good reputation and bring you more leads.
Stay in Touch
Don’t forget to stay in touch with your clients. Show them that you care, even after the transaction has finished. Check up on them from time to time and ask them how they’re doing in their new home.
You can even ask them to tag you if ever they’d post about their new home on social media. Tell them you’d always love to see how it’s going for them.
This further strengthens your relationship with your clients. And this makes it easier for you to ask them for a referral in the future.
Post on Social Media
As we said, it’s important to establish a strong digital presence for your business. The best and easiest way to do this? Post on social media.
Write a post about your client (ask for their consent first!) detailing what you loved about working with them. And then, subtly put a concise referral request at the end for your own network to see.
Always make your post about the story and never about the request. This appeal to emotion is more likely to get you leads for your business compared to when you’re just straight up asking for a referral.
Real Estate Referral Fees
There could be times when you’re not the best agent to handle a client’s requests or needs. For example, if you mainly work on residential properties. When a client comes to you asking for advice on selling a commercial property, you might not be able to give them the proper assistance.
Or they might want to buy a property somewhere you’re not licensed to practice real estate. In cases like these, you could refer them to other agents that could better assist them. And this is where referral fees come from.
The standard rate for residential properties is 25% of the agent’s commission. It’s not an official or fixed rate, though, so you can always negotiate with the other agent as needed.
The logic behind this is that when you refer a client to another agent and the transaction becomes successful, you’re entitled to ask for a part of their commission since you’re the one who referred the client to them.
There’s a mutual understanding between real estate agents when it comes to this. But there could be times when the 25% seems too big or too small of a commission for the help that another agent gave you. Just make sure that you and the other agent come to an agreement regarding the fee they’re going to receive from you.
Real Estate Marketing
Real estate referrals are one of the best ways to generate leads for your business and bring you a higher profit. It’s also one of the cheapest and least risky ways to market your business.
To recap, here are some ways you can get more real estate referrals:
- Ask your clients directly.
- Offer incentives to your clients and to the ones they’ll refer to you.
- Stay in touch with your clients even after the transaction has finished.
- Post on social media to get even more possible referrals from your own network.
Coupled with other real estate marketing tools that help with lead generation and advertising, you could push your business toward maximum growth.
While all digital marketing experts know the ins and outs of the industry, a real estate marketing company could better assist you in this area.