• The NAR found that 88 percent of homebuyers would use their agent or recommend him or her to others.
  • However, about 75 percent of an agent's business comes from 20 percent of their clients.
  • But there's a way to keep top-of-mind; you simply keep goodies in your trunk and do quick pop-bys when you are near past clients.

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I’m about to blow your mind with some outrageous statistics and tips about how to get referrals. Ready?

Stats first: the National Association of Realtors cited that 88 percent of homebuyers would use their agent again or recommend him or her to others. That’s awesome.

But then I read a survey conducted by Outbound Engine that said agents reported 75 percent of their business comes from only 20 percent of their clients. What? That’s crazy!

Confused? That’s OK. Basically those stats mean that you have a lot of clients who really like you but aren’t referring you.

So the question becomes: how do you get more of your clients to send you leads?

I firmly believe that clients appreciate the hard work and time you put into being their agent, but I think it’s the mint on the pillow that keeps you relevant and memorable.

The mint on the pillow is all those little extra things you do to make your clients feel special. It doesn’t have to be a grand or expensive gesture. No one books a 5-star hotel because they leave a mint on your pillow.

In the same vein, no one uses an agent simply because they stop by and leave a gift on your doorstep. But it is such an easy way to stay on the forefront of your client’s mind.

I hear a lot of excuses about being too busy or just simply unprepared. It takes time (and dare I say a little creativity) to put together these seemingly pointless tokens. And that’s the other thing, it might seem silly to you but a gift is never unappreciated, and it’s never meaningless.

Your clients will absolutely appreciate that you took the time out of your day to stop by. Don’t believe me? I was just talking about this on my Facebook page, and you should see the comments.

So here’s a little trick to help you be better prepared and stay fresh in your client’s mind.

Put junk in your trunk

That’s right. I said it. Junk in your trunk.

I just did an inventory of my trunk. Here’s what I found: a water bottle, a blanket, a folding chair, binders of paperwork, an extra pair of shoes, a Ouija board (don’t ask) and a box full of goodies.

To those of you who have an empty trunk, oh how I envy your sparse and minimalist ways. But I’m gonna be honest, I think you are doing it wrong. If you only had a goodie box with dog treats, a few bottles of hand soap, several ice cream scoops and a bunch of small bags of popcorn, you could be seriously increasing your lead generation potential.

I keep little things in my trunk all the time, and each one has a note attached to it. Whenever I’m in a client’s neighborhood, I pull over, hop out of the car, grab a goodie out of my trunk and ring the doorbell.

I don’t even turn the car off so when my client invites me inside (they will, trust me) I can easily duck out. To make this even more efficient, I try to stop by a client’s house on the way to another appointment or showing.

Once a quarter, I spend part of a day prepping all the gifts and tags (or I enlist my assistant), and then I’m set for the next several months. It doesn’t have to be something I spend my whole day doing. Here’s a few of my favorites:

  • Hand soap and a note that says, “Let me know if I can give you a hand.”
  • Ice cream scoops and a note that says, “I’ve got the scoop on real estate.”
  • Bags of popcorn with a note that says, “Just popping by.”
  • For your clients who have dogs, a dog bone with a note that says, “Buying or selling doesn’t have to be ruff.”

When I read those statistics that I mentioned at the beginning, I almost lost my mind. It seems so obvious! As real estate agents, we have to capitalize on all those happy clients that we work so hard for. Put junk in your trunk, and be more prosperous in 2016!

Tyler Smith is founder and CEO of SkySlope. You can follow him on Twitter or on his blog.

Email Tyler Smith.