The 7 Deadly Sins that Kill Referrals

I get it. You have a busy schedule. Most of us do. The real estate industry is probably one of the most hectic of all professions. We get pulled in many directions- client meetings, open houses, presenting offers, making phone calls, and wading through the mountain of paperwork. It's not hard to miss something and unknowingly create obstacles to your success.

Referrals are the most valuable leads for your business. They are high-quality and quite often lead to sales. Many Agents are missing out, though. These seven sins show the most common mistakes that agents make when it comes to referral marketing. Most Agents make at least one of these sins, and they lose sales as a result, most times without even knowing it.

Sin #1. Not letting your clients know that your business is built on referrals.

Your clients can't read your mind- if you want referrals- let them know! People believe that if your business is built on referrals, you must be good, hard-working, and make that extra effort to satisfy your customers.

Once your client knows this, you've set the stage. On average, every one of your clients knows three to five people who will be moving each year. When they're speaking to these people, there is now a higher chance that they will refer you.

Most successful agents report that over 50% of their income comes from referrals and repeat business.

Sin #2. You're not adding any value.

By simply calling your past clients to say "hello," or asking them if they're ready to move to another home does not add any value. It tends to do the opposite. With approaches like this, clients will quickly get tired of hearing from you. You can't build loyalty when you come across just looking to make a commission. The solution is simple, add value every time that you interact with your clients. There are so many ways to add value. You could offer expert advice, a home appraisal for tax purposes, refer to other professional services, and more. Every time you reach out to your clients, stop and think, "What's in it for them?" If you can't come up with an answer, then you probably not offering anything of value. By adding value to your communications, your clients will look forward to hearing from you.

Sin #3. Not being consistent.

Some agents do an excellent job communicating with past clients, but they don't do it as frequently as they should. Most agents feel it difficult to find the time to stay on top of regular communications. To build strong relationships, you must communicate regularly.

Your client may remember you a few months after they move, but if you don't stay in regular contact, you'll be forgotten. Maybe you'll get the repeat sale when they're thinking of moving again, but you're not getting any referral business from them since you're not at the top of their mind. Communicate regularly to ensure your name is the first one that comes to mind when your clients think of an agent.

Make use of your CRM to be sure that you're keeping in touch regularly.

Sin #4. Expecting referrals but doing nothing in return.

Many agents expect to get referrals from past clients, but they don't think they need to give anything for the referral. If you can believe this, some agents don't even send a Thank You note!

Think about this. Every one of your clients knows somewhere around fifty people who will be moving in the next decade. You don't want just a couple of these referrals. You want as many as you can get! But you won't get referred more than once if you don't acknowledge and reward your clients for their efforts and consideration. A referral source could be worth tens of thousands of dollars throughout your career. Be considerate and put some thought into meaningful ways to thank those who refer you. A thank you card, a small gift, give them something as an acknowledgment of your appreciation for the referral!

Sin #5. Contacting people who can't or won't offer you referrals.

You must realize that not everyone you meet is capable or willing to help you build your business with referrals. There are some instances where you will never get any referrals, no matter how hard you try. These people could be loyal to another Agent, who is a friend or family member, or they might be moving outside of your area.

Before you invest a lot of time, energy, and money trying to nurture a referral source, attempt to determine if this person is able or willing to send you referrals. Don't waste your time on these people. You should be concentrating your time on relationships with those clients who can give you repeat business and referrals.

Sin #6. Not providing your client with a superior experience.

We all realize that we should be doing everything possible to satisfy our clients. You must give proper advice, find their dream home, negotiate the right price, recommend the home inspector and other professionals, and more! Ensure that each interaction you have with your client is a positive one. See how your clients are responding to you and your advice. Are they receiving a superior experience? Or has there been a time where your service has been less than it should be? Identify and focus on the areas where you can improve and focus on bringing your "A" game. A great attitude and always striving for excellence will provide your clients with a superior experience.

Sin #7. Thinking that referrals will just happen.

Wouldn't it be terrific if all of your clients would run out and tell all their friends what an excellent Agent you are! That doesn't happen. Just because a client was satisfied with your services doesn't automatically mean you'll get repeat business or referrals from them. Referrals are precious, and they don't just happen. You have to work to make them happen!

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