The key to incorporating a robust referral program into your real estate business comes down to several factors, including exceeding expectations, working your CRM, networking and leveraging social media.

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As a real estate agent, generating referrals is essential. Winning repeat clients, building your business, and growing your network through your personal connections are some of the most rewarding aspects of being an agent in this industry — and a surefire way to ensure the longevity and success of your career.

Here, I’ve outlined several ways to incorporate a solid referral program into your real estate business.

1. Exceed expectations

As a real estate agent, your primary goal should be to provide excellent customer service and an invaluable experience for clients. After all, buying or selling a property is one of the biggest investments and decisions a person will make in their lifetime.

Striving to always exceed expectations, anticipate your client’s needs and seek out new and innovative ways to add value and be helpful is crucial.

Whether that’s providing an in-depth analysis of the neighborhoods and enclaves of interest to your client or creating special touchpoints throughout the year with a small gift at the holidays or a congratulatory card for the birth of their first grandchild, thinking three steps ahead will ensure referrals are in your future. 

2. Work your CRM

The new year is a perfect time to stay visible to your sphere of influence and organize your CRM. Develop a plan to target your contacts strategically throughout the year.

This can be through direct mailers, email messages, phone calls, targeted advertisements in key publications both online and in print, as well as social media targeting and video messaging that goes beyond word of mouth endorsements to create a predictable and steady stream of high-quality leads and referrals from friends and colleagues. 

3. Ask for referrals

The old adage rings true that if you don’t ask for what you want, you’ll never get it. After a successful transaction process with a client, ask for a referral should they have any friends or family members seeking to buy or sell their home or property.

If you do receive a referral from an existing client, send a thank-you note or small gift to show how much you appreciate them thinking of you and referring you the business. 

4. Leverage social media

Make sure to leverage your social media presence and potential reach by ensuring any and all positive experiences with clients are shareable.

For instance, if you close in record time or are by your client’s side when they close on their first home, make sure to snap a picture and share it on your social media channels. The more positive experiences you can document, the more potential referrals will be on the horizon. 

5. Network

The only way to grow your business is to network wherever and whenever possible. Health risks permitting, grow and expand your sphere in the new year by attending networking events, following online leads, and working open houses. This is especially effective for newer agents who are getting started in the industry and seeking to build their business. 

All in all, the key to incorporating a robust referral program into your real estate business comes down to several factors, including exceeding expectations, working your CRM, networking, and leveraging social media.

Remaining consistent, staying visible and providing value whenever possible are great ways to gain new business in the new year.

Rainy Hake Austin is the president of The Agency in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on Instagram

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