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Facebook referrals require deft touch

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Most highly successful agents have a strong referral database. Good old-fashioned referral strategies still work today, but the strategies that utilize traditional marketing can bomb when applied on social media sites. The question is, what does work?

For years, trainers such as Brian Buffini and Joe Stumpf have emphasized the importance of asking for referrals from past customers and from your sphere of influence. Agents using this approach normally ask for referrals as a P.S. at the end of each of their marketing pieces and their email:

"If you know someone who may be thinking about buying or selling a home, I'm never too busy for your referrals."

This approach is based upon the traditional advertising model, which is sometimes called "outbound" marketing. Outbound marketing strategies attempt to create awareness about the services you offer.

The challenge is that outbound marketing strategies fail mis...