1:30 Minute Read.
I asked an elderly broker what he would do differently if he were starting over again as a young agent. Without hesitation, he said he failed to maintain good contact information and never sent regular notes to his friends, family and former clients. Because of it, he said he spent too much on developing new business, missing what was easily available to him.
Developing a smart and easy referral system is the best way to build long term success as a Realtor. At it’s core, real estate is a “Know You, Like You & Trust You” kind of business. Your achievement in gaining referrals will be directly proportional to the quality of service you provide to clients.
Asking for referrals is easy – but there is a right way to do it. It won’t require much extra time - just a few minutes each week and a few dedicated days each year. Also, it’s not expensive. While others are spending a small fortune on broad based advertising, a referral campaign targets your most likely new clients inexpensively.
“More then just getting new clients, the goal of sending notecards is finding MAVENS.”
Here are a few good rules to remember when asking for referrals.
Keep in contact with family, friends and former clients a couple times each year. In our busy world, it’s easy for people to forget you’re in the business. A friendly notecard is an easy way to remind them.
Use invitation-size envelopes. Hand stamp and address it. Make it look personal. Never use a business size envelope.
Insert a small notecard with your name and photo, a company logo, or simply a generic card.
Keep it personal – always use first names and never use a form letter.
Make it relevant – clearly identify the purpose for sending the note. “With Spring just around the corner, you might know someone considering selling or buying a home.” Or, try “In today’s tough market, you might know someone needing professional real estate guidance.”
Ask for the referral – Never ask for your friend’s business. Its OK to assume you already have it. Instead, ask them to pass your card along to someone who might need it.
Include two business cards with every note.
Statistically, here’s what will happen. Everyone has that drawer in their kitchen that accumulates “stuff”. 95% of business cards you send will end up there. That’s OK. Every time that drawer is opened, they will remember you are a Realtor looking for business. The other 5% is where the magic happens. These are folks who enjoy referring you to their friends. Malcolm Gladwell (Tipping Point) describes these as mavens. In addition to finding new business, make it your goal to find friendly mavens and continue building relationships with them.