The Real Estate Referral Machine for Lifelong Business

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22 Mar 2018

Ask a dozen real estate professionals which leads that enter their funnel are the most likely to get to the closing table, and most will agree that it’s real estate referrals.  They come with a built-in positive attitude about you and all you have to do is reinforce it.

How do you grow real estate referral business?  There are a lot of those cards and emails out there saying things like:

  • “Hi, remember me, that great Realtor who helped you buy your home?”
  • “Happy birthday from your favorite real estate agent.”
  • “Just checking in to see how you’re enjoying that home I helped you to buy.”
  • “I really appreciate your referrals, so let others know about my services.”

There are plenty more like this; the idea is to keep your name in front of past clients so they may think of you when a friend or relative is buying or selling real estate.  These type of ongoing followup emails and cards may get you a few referrals, but they are just as likely to be annoying and end up in the trash or email unsubscribes.  If you want to up your game with post-transaction referral marketing, here are some proven strategies that work.

Strategy #1: Keep Delivering Value

Assuming you did a great job for your client(s), providing excellent service and skills in helping them to buy or sell a home, then what you did is what they appreciate.  Why wouldn’t you want to subtly remind them of those valuable services in your followup marketing?

Action #1: A Plan for Skill Reminders

Instead of those “feel good” emails, try setting up a planned followup campaign that delivers reminders of the great work you did for them.  Write down the various things you do that your clients appreciate in the home buying or selling process, and do this for each group separately, past buyers and past sellers.  Separate buyer specific and seller specific services on your list so you can tailor followup emails to the audience and segment the past clients into two groups.

Strategy #2: Sold Prices Reports

Staying in your plan, you want to send periodic sold home prices reports to both lists, buyers, and sellers.  You’ll be getting your reports out of the MLS and converting them to PDF files for delivery via email to your lists.

Action #2: Customize for Each List

For buyers, your email should introduce the report as an update of home prices in their neighborhood.  Don’t talk about rising value unless it’s really rising, but make it more of a report of the current state of the market.

For sellers, this report isn’t as interesting unless they stayed in the same general area.  If they’re still in your major market area, you want to widen the area covered by this report to the entire market area.  This way they are keeping current on real estate values, but they aren’t concentrating on whether they sold at the right time.  For sellers who have moved out of your market area, you don’t need to make as many contacts later, so you could have them on a separate list and not send market reports.

Strategy #3: Local Real Estate Relevant News

For all lists, this should be a periodic email with news in your market area that is in some way related to real estate and home prices.  One example is zoning changes in or next to residential areas.  New major construction of shopping centers or infrastructure such as parks or recreation areas are examples of news that is of interest to homeowners.

Action #3: Develop Your Sources

If you don’t understand RSS, Really Simple Syndication, you may want to take a few minutes to learn about it and get a free RSS news reader.  Almost all blogs and many websites use RSS for automated releases of new posts or articles.  When they publish something new, the RSS feed sends it out to all subscribers.  You need a reader for this, and there are many free ones like Feedly.com.  Then as you wander around the Web and find news of interest related to real estate in your market area, subscribe to their feed if they have one.  You’ll see an icon like this somewhere in your browser top bar or on the site.  When you click it, you’ll subscribe to their news feed and receive automatic updates of new content posted on the site.

Other that RSS, many sites have email subscriptions or newsletters, and you can subscribe to those of interest to you.  When you find news that you find interesting from a real estate perspective, it’s likely that your past clients will be interested as well.

You gained the goodwill of your buyer or seller clients through your services and attention to their needs, so that’s what you need to remind them of in the future for referrals.  Send emails and cards that provide interesting news and information, not just “remember me” stuff.