As a real estate agent, your number one priority is getting qualified leads.
While there are endless strategies for bringing in leads, one of the most important and timeless methods of real estate lead generation is real estate referrals.
The tactics used by realtors to bring in real estate referrals vary, and depending on the agent, some will find that certain strategies work better for them than others. However, the one common theme regarding getting consistent referrals is the ability to effectively ask for them.
That’s why we’ve put together 8 tips you can use when asking for real estate referrals.
Why Building a Referral Network Is Worth the Time
You might be wondering if asking for real estate referrals is worth your time. It’s one of those chores that, even though you know you should be doing it, it’s sometimes hard to see the initial gratification from your efforts. This is especially true if you are a new real estate agent.
Related: How to Succeed as a Young Real Estate Agent
Often, a new agent will succumb to a costly real estate lead generation strategy such as a real estate referral program. While there is nothing wrong with getting leads through companies like Referral Exchange to get the ball rolling, eventually, you’ll want to replace this strategy with your own referral network.
Real estate referral programs typically charge between 25%- 35% of your commission as a real estate referral fee. Depending on the sale, this could mean losing hundreds to potentially thousands of dollars per client.
Fortunately, with a little persistence and time, you can easily replace expensive methods of getting real estate leads through consistently asking your clients for referrals. This will get your name circulating through the areas you service, build trust with former and new clients, and bring you consistent leads year after year.
How Do You Ask for Referrals in Real Estate?
Successful real estate agents make their referral request process simple, automatic, and friendly. They understand that to get real estate referrals, how you ask is more important than who you ask. Don’t worry about only asking clients who you think will refer you. Get in the habit of asking all of them, because you simply never know where a sale could come from.
Once you start asking each of your real estate clients for referrals, you’ll see that most people are more than willing to help you out- if you do it the right way.
Effectively asking clients for real estate referrals means understanding a little human psychology and leveraging best practices for finding the right time and space to pose your question.
Related: How to Be a Rich Real Estate Agent- 4 Tips
The Psychology Behind Asking for Real Estate Referrals
#1- Ask in Person
Basic psychology suggests that people have a hard time saying no to things when they are asked face to face. Over an email or phone call, your client could easily agree to refer you and later forget. But the power of in-person contact builds a sense of duty in people to keep their word. Plus, it’s simply a more polite and personal way to ask for real estate referrals.
#2- Time It Right
Timing is key when it comes to asking for real estate referrals. Don’t bust out the question at a tumultuous or stressful phase of the process, and certainly don’t ask for referrals when billing your client. Make sure they are relaxed, happy, and enjoying the journey.
Another piece of advice- don’t ask too soon. Mostly because you want to provide value first, but also because you want to leave your client with this request. If you ask too early, they might forget by the time they are through working with you.
#3- Ask for a Favor
Pose your question as a big favor that your client can help you with. Making them feel like a hero will appeal to their sense of self in a positive way. People love to feel as though they are helping people, and you can find a lot of success in simply asking for helpers.
#4- Don’t Be Salesy
Be a friend to your client. Making business about business is not a great way to establish a strong network. Checking in on them, sharing things you think they would like, and talking about your life as well as asking them about theirs is great for building emotional connections and trust. The fastest way to kill a potential client referral is to come off as an overly promotional and cold real estate agent.
#5- Make It About Them
When asking for real estate referrals, make the conversation about your client. Tell them that they are wonderful to work with, and you’d love to help their family and friends if your services are ever needed.
This way, you are genuinely flattering them and asking them to invite you into their circle. Clients will view this as warm and friendly, and they will be happy to connect you with others in need of an agent.
Asking for Real Estate Referrals: Additional Tips
#6- Use a Script
Using a script does not have to be as cold as it sounds. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Make it short, sweet, personable, and friendly. It should sound natural and fit into a conversation with ease.
Practicing a short little line to lead into your question will allow you to feel confident and send the right message to your client.
#7- Make It Convenient
No one likes to be inconvenienced, especially when someone is asking a favor of them. When you ask for real estate referrals in person, make sure that you have a business card (or a few) ready to hand your client with your contact information on it. This way, they don’t have to forward any information or do much work. They can simply pass along your card.
#8- Create a Time and Space
Sometimes, in the midst of hectic showings and closings, it is easy to lose track of time and miss some of the smaller tasks you had hoped to accomplish. One of these small but important tasks includes asking your client for real estate referrals.
Just because you don’t want to ask them over the phone or through email doesn’t mean you lost your opportunity to ask for real estate leads.
There are two great ways to make time and space to ask your clients for referrals after closing. The best part? Both methods include providing your real estate clients additional value, which should give them an even more compelling reason to refer you.
The first option is to throw a client appreciation party and use this as an excuse to follow up with clients with whom you missed the opportunity to ask for a referral.
You can also make a visit to their new home with a housewarming gift. This is a great opportunity to ask for real estate referrals.
The trick is to not let it seem like asking for real estate leads is your main point behind visiting. Be sure to ask them how they are settling in, and talk about their new experience extensively before turning the conversation to yourself. Also, make sure your visit is at an appropriate time. For instance, the week after they’ve moved in will be too stressful for them.
See Also: How to Get Real Estate Referrals in 2020- 13 Ways
Asking for real estate referrals is a walk in the park, especially after you’ve been practicing for a while. Keep it up, and in a few years, you’ll be getting business from real estate referrals all the time.
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