Referrals are a great way to increase your income in the real estate industry. A good referral is like having a hot lead handed to you on a platter. However, some of the referrals you receive may cost a considerable chunk of your commission. How can you cut your referral fee costs? Here are things you can do to increase your referrals without paying the high price of professional referral fees.
Why Bother with Referrals from Non-professionals?
You may not be too happy to pay referral fees. However, 75% of a commission is much better than earning nothing, so what can you do? You might try looking at your past sellers and buyers. How much appreciation did you show them? Maybe you thanked them or sent them inexpensive housewarming gifts. These gestures are practically nothing compared to what you gave another agent or broker for a referral.
84% of your sellers and 88% of your past buyers are willing to refer you to others when they need a real estate agent. This information is from the National Association of Realtors. Don't you think these sources should receive more of your attention?
There is another source of inexpensive referrals many agents routinely overlook. All you have to do is look in your own family or check out your sphere of influence. These people may not have done business with you, but they know you and probably refer you. You may need to remind them from time to time. How can you make the most of these inexpensive referrals? These five tips can help you take advantage of the low cost of referral fees from those not in the real estate industry.
One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000.00 worth of advertising.
Jim Rohn, Motivational Speaker
- Dig a Little Deeper into Their Lives
When you talk to a client, find out about family and lifestyles. Don't conduct an interview, but do it in a friendly way. When you have detailed information about clients, it can help you choose the perfect thank you gifts for referrals. For instance, if a client does not drink, that fine bottle of whiskey you purchased may not be consumed. Personalize your gift to your client.
- Create a Special Account
You never know when someone may refer you, so you should have the funds available when you need them for thank you gifts. 10% is a good amount to put aside. It will not break you and can pay significant dividends in the future. Don't buy gifts ahead of time to save money because it is best to tailor the gift to the recipient.
- Don't Stop Thanking
You should thank everyone for every kind of referral, no matter how large or small it is. You may not have to send everyone a special gift, but a thank you card is always appreciated. When you send cards, make sure to handwrite the message for a personal touch. People appreciate small gestures like handwritten cards or notes.
- Expand Your "Thank You" List
Is there a big sporting event or a holiday on the horizon? Now might be an excellent time to throw a special party and invite friends, relatives, and business associates. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Perhaps you would like to have a dinner party or a gathering for previous clients. These thank you gestures can create a great deal of goodwill and business for you.
- Go All Out for Some Thank You Gifts
If you give a couple a weekend at a five-star hotel, they are not likely to forget you any time soon. Maybe they would appreciate dinner at a fine restaurant. It may cost more than a standard housewarming present, but the memories you create may be priceless and everlasting. Unique gifts keep you in their minds, and when someone they know needs a real estate agent, guess who they are going to mention?
You can pay for referrals, but some of the best ones may not cost you much. Get to know your clients better and make a separate account just for thanking others. Everyone who helps your business (even slightly) deserves your gratitude. Make some gifts special to create special memories that can last a lifetime and bring you referrals for many years.