Getting repeat and referral business makes your job as a real estate agent infinitely easier. Having sellers and buyers come to you, either because they’ve worked with you before or because a friend recommended you, makes you less reliant on cold calling and paying for advertising.
The most successful realtors aren’t paying for leads or setting up fishbowls in local restaurants. They have a steady stream of repeat customers and referral business that comes to them on the strength of their reputation. The following methods can increase your repeat and referral business, and keep your phone ringing with clients wanting to work with you.
Stress Customer Service
As a general rule, customers are more likely to tell their friends or post reviews online when they’ve had a bad experience rather than a good one. Unfortunately, it is human nature for negative events to stand out most. That being said, if you create such a positive buying or selling experience for your customer that you stand out from the competition, they’ll likely be eager to share it with others.
The perfect relationship between real estate agent and buyer or seller extends beyond drawing up paperwork and negotiating contracts. If your clients are sellers, help them with the home staging process and even offer to move furniture to create the ideal model home environment. When working with buyers, offer to drive them around to view as many homes as they need to make a decision.
Keep in Contact
There may be a lag of several weeks or months between closing a deal with a satisfied customer and him or her having a friend or acquaintance who needs a real estate agent. If you’re no longer fresh in your customer’s mind when that day comes, he or she may not think to recommend you, even if the experience working with you was positive.
Do the obvious things such as sending a thank-you note within a week or two of a closing, but work to foster relationships that extend beyond traditional formalities. Invite your buyers or sellers out to lunch or coffee from time to time just to see how they’re doing and how they like their new home. Keep a Rolodex of your customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, kids’ birthdays, and other important dates, and send them a personalized text or email.
Ask for Referrals
Sometimes you can do everything right to impress the customer, but if you don’t ask for the business, you don’t get it. The same goes for referrals. There are customers who may be beyond satisfied with the work you did for them, but they just don’t think to tell their friends about you.
Something as simple as, “I’m so happy you love your new home and the process went so smoothly. I rely mostly on word of mouth, so it would help me a ton if you’d mention my name to any friends looking to buy or sell a home,” is often all it takes to compel a customer to spread the word on your behalf.