- Referrals are the result of five-star service.
- When you find yourself unable to respond quickly to client inquiries due to a hectic schedule, it is time to hire support.
How is it that some agents manage to generate a seemingly endless supply of real estate referrals while others never hear from past clients again?
According to Brenda Fontaine, an agent who gets 90 percent of her business from repeat clients and referrals, the answer is simple: customer service.
In this post, we discuss some of the customer service secrets responsible for Brenda’s incredible referral rate. For more information on what Brenda does to keep clients for life, listen to her podcast interview with Pat Hiban.
Real estate referrals require world-class service
The first customer service secret for more real estate referrals is pretty self-explanatory: Referrals require world-class service. If you’re not willing to provide this, you can’t expect them to refer you to their friends and family members.
When it comes to the ways of providing world-class service as a real estate agent, there are countless things you can do.
Get creative. Think about the things clients in your market would really appreciate. If you live in an area where movers are expensive and hard to schedule, for instance, consider taking a few members of your team with you to help clients on moving day.
Client interests need to come first
Real estate agents should always put the interests of their clients first. Not only does this help agents generate more referrals, it’s the ethical way to work in this industry.
It sounds simple, but many agents try to talk their clients into contracts that really aren’t in their best interest, especially when a large commission is at stake.
Always strive to understand clients’ needs and desires; this will help you look out for their interests. If you feel like a client is making a bad decision, don’t be afraid to speak up. More likely than not, they will appreciate your honesty.
Ask for clients’ opinions, not real estate referrals
Explicitly asking for real estate referrals is not the best way to get them, especially when you fail to deliver an exceptional customer service experience.
Despite what some agents claim, it’s impossible to please every client. However, there are always ways to improve your customer service skills.
In order to do this as effectively as possible, you need to know where to focus. By asking clients to complete surveys concerning your performance (or the performance of your staff), you can determine exactly where to focus your efforts when working to improve the customer service experience.
Responsiveness attracts real estate referrals
One of the absolute best ways to ensure you get real estate referrals is to offer great response time.
Think about it from the clients’ perspective: How would you feel if your agent didn’t get back to you for days when you’re in a crunch to sell your home? You’d probably be less than satisfied, to say the least.
If your business is getting hectic and you simply can’t respond to each and every person in a timely fashion, consider bringing on additional support staff or leveraging non-traditional support services.
If you want to learn more from an agent who receives over 90 percent of her business from repeat clients and real estate referrals, including how to reduce wasted time as a listing agent, be sure to listen to the complete podcast interview with Brenda Fontaine.
Pat Hiban is the author of NYT best selling book “6 steps to 7 figures – A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Building Wealth and Creating Your Destiny”, the founder of online real estate sales training site Rebus University and the host of Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars an Agent to Agent Real Estate Radio Podcast with Hiban Digital in Baltimore, Maryland. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter.