While sitting on the couch after a long day, one of my roommates leans to the other and asks how the Uber app works and if she can get a discount for being a new rider. Luckily for Uber, they have a very developed and successful “give a ride, get a ride” program. Listening in on this conversation sparked a thought about just how important a referral program is and how influential it can be on the success of a business.
From childhood, we’re programmed to understand how referrals work because we are constantly influenced by our surroundings, we just never called it “referrals” growing up. When you ask a friend where to eat, if they like their doctor, or the best place to get a hair cut, these are examples of referrals which ultimately, result in shaping your decisions.
For business referrals, it works quite the same. When a friend asks a client of yours who helped them sell their house, where they found their agent or how they even began the process, these referrals can result in more people choosing you as their real estate agent. Even with all the constant feedback, why is it that of the 83% of people who have positive experiences and are willing to refer, only 29% do?
To get you started, here are a few of the do’s and don’ts of building your own real estate referral program.
Don’t ask for a referral right when you meet them. Where’s the fun in that?
It’s like in grade school when you said you liked someone you barely knew and then they ran away because they thought you had cooties. As an agent, you work for referrals, from the agent across town to the person whose house you sold last month to your friend in the next neighborhood over. Building a relationship with them and earning their trust first will go a long way. Don’t be the kid with the cooties.
Don’t expect all your referrals to come from other agents… most of them don’t.
Most of them will actually come from past clients. That relationship building thing we talked about comes into play here. If you’re well liked among your clients, who do you think they’re going to suggest when their best friend Rose is selling their condo? It’s you. Although most referrals don’t come from other agents, there are ways to explore that option like using Agentology, a company working to engage and qualify your real estate leads.
Don’t be the person at the kiosk in the middle of the mall who wants to sell you a remote-control plane or rub lotion on your hands.
You know who I’m talking about. They follow you halfway down the mall before you ditch them for the White House Black Market sale. What we’re saying is, the pushier you are, the more likely your client might ditch you for the agent the next block over or the less willing they will be to refer you to their friends.
Do make sure they’re getting something worthwhile and be transparent about it.
People don’t typically like to do things for free, and these days, we’re even skeptical when someone tries to give us free pizza. We always ask, “What’s the catch?” In your listing presentation, tell your clients exactly what they’re going to get. Explain everything from the marketing materials, the selling process and even the great home photography they’re getting to sell it even faster. When you’re telling the truth and building the relationship, there’s no reason they wouldn’t want to refer their friends to you.
Do be consistent across your platforms and make it easy to find.
Make sure your referral program is consistent with your brand and consistent across all platforms that you are marketing on. You should present it the same way on your social platforms, website, emails and even in the tone you use. That way, your clients will know it’s you, whenever and wherever they see it.
Do follow a good example to build your own referral program.
Look at the companies that you refer your friends to and ask them what makes them so successful. They might not give you all their secrets, but by helping you build your network, they will be building their network as well.
Did you think we weren’t going to talk about our own referral program? If you’ve made it this far, you must like us. Which is great because we like you too. We even like you so much that we want to get to know your friends. Check out our referral program here to help you get started.