• The best referrals are in your network already. You just need to reach out and find them.
  • Don’t forget to say "thank you" to your best clients and referral sources.
  • Set a “giver’s goal” and watch your pipeline of referrals grow.

We all love referrals. They are the lifeline of almost any successful real estate business.

With ever-changing technology and leads available for purchase, some agents lose sight of one of the best ways to increase sales: generating more referrals from your past clients and your network.

I think most people would choose a referral over a lead any day of the week. Here are four simple ways to maximize your referrals in 2017.

Reach out to your past clients

It’s so simple, but so few people do it. Set a goal each week or month for how many past clients you will contact and have conversations with.

It could be as few as 20 calls per week. Something is better than nothing.

Make sure you have an effective script for these calls. Here is a new one, tailored to generate referrals, that you may find useful:

“Hi (client), I was just thinking of you and the family, wanted to reach out. How are things? The reason for my call is I’ve just been reaching out to our best clients and have a few quick questions for you. Do you have a minute?

“First, just curious how you’ve felt about the service we have provided to you? What have you liked best about working with us? Who else should we providing that same level of service to?

It’s a great time to buy or sell real estate. Do you have any people you know that might be going through a life transition?”

Examples might be: new baby, marriage, divorce, retirement, empty nesting, job change, etc. You could also throw out a few thought joggers for them.

Remember, it make take 20 or 30 contacts before you receive a lead, but as long as you continue to plant the seeds, you will reap the harvest. Sometimes that client you talk to today might reach out two months later with a referral.

If you didn’t make that call, they probably wouldn’t have thought of you.

Express gratitude to your past referral sources

The No. 1 mistake referral-based businesses make is not following up with the referral source! Sales people usually follow up with the referral but leave the source of that lead in the dark.

No matter what happens with the referral, write a handwritten note, make a phone call, and/or send a gift to people who go out of their way for you. Do something or many things to express your true gratitude for them, and thank them for thinking of you when referring their family and friends with real estate needs.

Keep them in the loop throughout the entire process. When you can fill them in and show your appreciation, they will send you more referrals and keep thinking about other people who might need your professional assistance.

Step back and look at where the business came from

Let’s face it. We work hard and usually get consumed by working “in” the business with clients, negotiating contracts, dealing with transactions, and everything else that a Realtor does.

One of the best practices you can implement is to look at every transaction you’ve had for the past quarter or year and figure out exactly where they came from. Was it an online lead, past client referral, open house referral, etc.?

Those original referral sources are the people you want to spend time, energy, and resources on. Take them to lunch once a quarter. Put them on your call list each month.

Let them know they are one of your best raving fans. People love to help. Let them know how valuable they really are to your business and watch the referrals keep coming.

Set a ‘giver’s goal’

Set a goal for how many referrals you would like to receive each year and then break it down to how many you would like to receive each week.

Say the number is two referrals per week. I’ve found that to receive two referrals a week, you need to be giving four referrals per week.

Those four referrals don’t necessarily need to be sent to the two people who will be sending you the referrals. They just need to be sent out into the business universe and your network. Call it karma, but it’s been proven to work.

You must have a giving mindset in working a referral-based business. A great read on this philosophy is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. Focus on helping people and watch your referrals pour in from your network.

All of these strategies are fairly simple but incredibly important. Many times we get consumed in our business and lose focus on simple strategies like these. Set aside time into your schedule each week and implement one or all of these tips.

Nick Najjar is the founder My Company Gifts. Follow Nick on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn

Email Nick Najjar

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