The polls are over and the real estate pros have spoken: Referrals are still the the preferred method of marketing in the industry. But the referral game has evolved just like the rest of real estate. Competition is fierce and potential clients do more research than ever before choosing an agent. What can you do to make sure your referral pipeline stays full? Here are a few tips and strategies to try.
Connect with clients online: Connecting with your clients during the home buying or selling process through social media can encourage communication after the sale, and help keep you on their mind. While it might not be appropriate to friend every client on Facebook, some will be happy to connect. Every client is different. If you’re working with someone that’s really into Pinterest or Instagram, connect with them there. Then, even after the transaction is completed, like or comment on things they share every once in a while. They’ll appreciate the engagement and it will put you top of mind, which will help you be the first name out of their mouth when they know someone looking for a real estate agent.
Snap a pic and share it: When your buyers close on their home, or sellers sign their final papers, that’s the perfect time to snap a picture to share on your social networks celebrating the event. Include a note about how wonderful it was to work with them and wish them luck with their move. If you’re posting on Facebook, be sure and tag them in the picture. Posts like this are not only valuable content for your own social page, but they’re also shareable for your clients and their family.
Make it easy for clients to share reviews: Sites like Yelp and Google+ have made writing reviews a very public experience. It’s common for someone to write a business review and then share that review to Facebook or another social network. If you’re set up on these review sites and provide links to your pages, clients will be able to easily write and share reviews for their friends and family to see. Google+ encourages you to remind your customers to leave feedback on Google+, while Yelp generally isn’t a fan of businesses requesting reviews. It’s best to simply ask clients to check out your page instead of directly soliciting reviews.
Making links to these review channels prominent will encourage past clients to write reviews (and future clients to read them.) Yelp has a badge that businesses can embed on their website, so you can link directly to your page. You could also include a link to your Yelp page alongside links to your social channels, or in your e-mail signature. For Google reviews, you can simply link to your Google+ page anywhere you link to other social networks.
Grow your network: There’s a reason why in-person networking was the second most popular marketing tactic in the competition. If you’re not out there connecting with others in your community, you’re missing out on referrals. Get involved in a local community networking group or charity. It doesn’t have to be a huge time committment, but spending a few hours a month getting face to face with other professionals can help increase your referrals. Not sure how to build your network in the community? Try finding a local cause through Volunteer Match, a national website that finds organizations seeking volunteers in your area. Or if you’re passionate about a hobby, whether it’s kayaking, running, or red wine, you can find other locals that share your interest through Meet Up, a site where anyone can organize a public meetup with others. People enjoy working with others that share their interests, so this is a great way to discover some potential future clients, and their referrals!
What’s your favorite strategy for getting referrals from past clients? Drop a comment below!
And of course, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the winner of our gold MacBook giveaway contest is Dave Moeller of Edmond, Oklahoma. Congratulations, Dave!