Transform Chance Meetings Into Referrals
1:34 Minute Read
When it comes to getting referrals, have you noticed that there are three kinds of real estate agents? The first two struggle to get referrals. But the third! Ahhh! They are masters at getting friendly leads and referrals. Spend a day following them. They can turn an hour of grocery shopping at Meijer into referral heaven.
“The best way to get a referral,
is to give one first”
So, which agent below are you most like?
The Secret Agent – There are plenty of agents who never reveal they’re in the real estate business. Maybe they’re shy. Maybe they don’t know what to say. Either way, opportunities are lost because it’s easier to stay in the shadows. Most secret agents are surprised and disappointed when friends, and even family members end up working with another agent. Here’s the hard truth: While many people are willing to work with you, most have forgotten you’re even in the business. Don’t believe me? Quick, name the job titles of all your cousins and neighbors. That’s what I thought. If you don’t remember their jobs, they probably can’t remember yours either. If you are a secret agent, keep reading. There is an easy plan to become a better agent ahead.
The Hot Air Balloon – I can’t think of a better description of the agent who has an unlimited supply of hot air. They're know-it-alls who brag about their business and act like the real estate industry is their invention. They fill the air talking about themselves as they rise higher and higher...in their own minds. These are the people who will never ask you a single question about your life, and it's difficult to get away from them. Think this person gets a lot of referral business? Don’t. When people see this guy at the grocery store, they’ll quickly head around the corner to the next aisle. Better to go on a milk run later than to talk to this guy. What goes up must come down... Check yourself. If this is you, don't worry there's hope!
Here's a better example:
The Transformer - These people know how to turn chance encounters into clients. When you run into them, you can feel their genuine interest in you. They have a way of letting you know they think you're important. Talking to them is a pleasure and you'll never feel like you're held captive in a conversation. Ever see an old friend at the grocery store? Take a minute to chat and enjoy talking with them. They may be old neighbors, parents from your kid’s soccer teams or faces you recognize from church. It's in these friendly, chance encounters that you have the opportunity to find new business.
What’s the path to referrals? Follow these simple steps:
1. Keep the conversation warm and friendly.
2. Focus on the subject that binds you together. If you’re neighbors or your kids are on the same sports team, start your conversation there.
3. Ask questions. Show more concern for their story than yours.
4. Remember the rule of the mirror: Whatever you ask them, chances are they will ask the same thing in return.
5. Ask about their work or business. When they ask about your work in return, give them a positive outlook about the business in general and the market specifically. I received sage advice years ago that said whether business is good or slow, the appropriate response that always fits is, “Business is unbelievable!”
6. Find ways to serve their needs. If they are in sales, ask about what their ideal prospect might look like. Your willingness to help them will be appreciated and the favor returned.
7. If they asked questions about helping you, guide them through their mental list of acquaintances. Try “I bet you already know 3 or 4 people who are talking about moving. Whether it be in your neighborhood, your work, your church or friend group – someone needs a good agent who will look after them. If you find one, I’d appreciate you passing my name to them.” Ask them if you can give them a couple cards.