Building Real Estate Leads Through Word-of-Mouth Referrals

By: Cole Stevens

The most powerful advertising and marketing tools you have at our disposal are word-of-mouth referrals. Unfortunately, they're the hardest to control. You can do a great job for hundreds of clients, but how do you make sure those clients tell their friends? Keep reading to learn how to increase your personal referrals and start building more leads for your real estate business.

Always Follow Up With a Thank You

Never leave a real estate deal right after the papers have been signed. Always follow up with a client a month or two after the deal is done and even a year after the sale. Let them know that you sincerely care about their purchase and thank them again for choosing you as an agent. It would also be of value to include a brief survey, seeking honest feedback about the overall client experience and your role in it.

This kind of gratitude and attention is not only good business, it also puts you back in the client's mind - making them more likely to mention you in conversation or remember your name when prompted by a friend.

If you do get a referral from a past client, always thank them formally with a nice note and even a small gift like a dinner certificate for two, a bottle of wine, or a small painting for their home.

Incentives and Rewards

Some real estate agents set up formalized referral reward programs. They actively encourage referrals and offer their clients set rewards and incentives in exchange for them.

For example, one real estate agent offers $500 in Home Depot gift cards for any successful referrals that result in a sale. Another offers past clients a weekend stay at a popular local hotel. This proves to be a win-win scenario.

Simply Ask for Referrals

One of the easiest ways to obtain referrals from clients is to simply ask for them. If you're a new agent, don't be afraid to ask a client with whom you have a good relationship if they wouldn't mind mentioning your business and services to a few friends.

When you and the client are on good standing and get along well, they'd probably be happy to help out a burgeoning business. It reinforces the need to provide clients first class service throughout the home buying process.

Collect Testimonials From Happy Clients

Create your own word-of-mouth referrals by asking past clients for testimonials about your ability, service, and follow through. Then, post these testimonials on your website or include quotes from them on your direct mail programs or newspaper display advertising.

Testimonials help build trust in your business and allow prospective clients to view you the way your other happy clients see you.

Finally, remember that word-of-mouth is a powerful force and can be even more effective when it becomes negative. Always make sure a client finishes a deal happy and try to work through any problems before the relationship is severed.

Some difficult business relationships simply cannot be appeased, but most can. Don't let an unhappy client walk away without giving them your best effort.

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