Are you wishing for more real estate referrals coming your way? We all know that they’re the most productive and highest percentage of leads that get to the closing table. If you wish you had more, are you doing all of the right things to fuel your real estate referral engine?
Sure, you’re asking for them in your email signature. You may be asking for them in other ways from your past clients. You’re shaking a lot of hands and making a lot of introductions at local business functions too. Local networking is fine, but are you also working hard for long distance referrals from business networking?
Rule #1: Think Bigger
Sure, local referrals are great. However, if you’ve been the recipient of a long distance referral, I bet it got through to the closing table without a problem. That’s because a referral of an out of area prospect isn’t someone who knows a half dozen other real estate professionals in the local market area. The referred prospect’s exposure to your competition is often only searching on the Internet.
A referral from someone in their area for a home or property in your area puts you out in front of all of the competition. You have the value of the referral plus the advantage of being the only local agent they’ve contacted in person. So, think bigger and wider than local.
Action Step 1: Tune Up LinkedIn for Professional Real Estate Referrals
You’re probably already using LinkedIn, but if you’re not, get signed up and set up your profile. LinkedIn is a part of the Ultimate Realtor Lead Machine. Put in your experience and start adding content, linking to your website, and definitely joining every group related to real estate that you can find.
Be active in groups, especially answering real estate related questions from other professionals. If an attorney has a question about real estate that you can answer, do it. Interact with home inspectors, investors, title company professionals, pest control people, home stagers and others.
Example: A home stager is in a group with you and you answer a question or correspond with them in some way. One day they take on a home staging job in their area and the property ends up selling. Guess what! Their client is moving to your area. This is a referral you should get if you’re working your LinkedIn connections.
Joining a number of LinkedIn Groups related to your business is how you will make connections. It isn’t a time-consuming process to monitor them, as there is the Today’s Highlights page to monitor new posts in your groups:
This is a numbers game. Spending an hour or so a week in building your LinkedIn network through groups and adding connections will bear fruit over time.
Rule #2: Leverage Your Connections
Once you make a connection on LinkedIn and you have a satisfactory relationship, don’t just sit back and hope that they remember you when they have the opportunity to send you business. Stay in contact, be active in groups and make LinkedIn your business equivalent of Facebook.
Action Step 2: Reach Out to Their Connections
Send a short message to a connection and ask them if you can reach out to any common connections you have and mention their name. You can find their connections at the top right of their profile page.
You’re probably in one or more groups to which they belong, especially since this is how you probably made contact. If they say “yes,” go through their connections to see who you can contact to introduce yourself. Then send them an invitation to connect with a message that shares your common connection:
None of this activity requires upgrading and spending money for the Premium level. When it’s free and you’re able to network with literally hundreds of thousands of real estate related professionals, take advantage of it.
Rule #3: Publish to Build Credibility and Valuable Relationships
Many LinkedIn users do not even know about the Article Publishing function. If you believe in the value of credibility as an expert in your real estate market and business, then this is definitely something you want to do. You can publish articles, much like blogging. Write about what you know and what you do, and you’ll build an audience and your connections.
Action Step 3: Write for Connections
This is a screen shot of the start of an article, the lead image and title. You can also insert other images into your article, links to your website or other social profiles. This title and article is written specifically to get the attention of home inspectors and their good will. You could do the same type of thing by writing about how your real estate practice values the interaction with title companies, home stagers, surveyors and others.
There are stats you can check and even see who has read your article and work them as connections. Write about what you know, but targeting topics that will attract the interest of future real estate referral sources is an amazing real estate referral engine strategy.