We all know we should say 'thank you' when someone refers business to us.
If someone in our network refers a seller our way, we might reward them with a gift basket.
If another real estate agent refers us a listing, we usually give them 10 - 20% of our commission in return.
But what about the leads that don't go anywhere?
I'm talking about the potential sellers (or buyers) who get referred to you, but end up listing with another agent. Or the ones who don't even return your call.
At this point, our usual response is to say:
"I've tried, I gave them a call, they didn't respond. My work here is done."
The key step here is to still reward the person who gave you the referral in the first place. Even though it didn't amount to anything.
Why? Because you want to reward the behaviour, not the outcome.
The person making the referral can't control what comes of the lead. They can only make the initial connection. So if you want to generate more referral business (and who doesn't), then it stands to reason that you want to reward all referrals, whether they result in business or not.
The gift doesn't have to be huge. A box of chocolates and a hand-written note is an ideal combo.
For bonus points, reward buyer referrals too. These may not mean as much to us, but the referring person doesn't know that. And remember - their next referral might be a potential seller, so we want to find a way to cement the referring relationship and stay top of mind when they think real estate.
Key steps to making this happen:
- Get a stack of 50 cards in your office ready to go.
- Get a stack of 50 boxes of chocolates in your office ready to go. Note: you might need to hide these from your colleagues.
- Ask your PA or sales manager or a colleague to hold you accountable.
- Take 1-2 referrers out for coffee each week.
You need to make it easy to follow through on this. If you have to go to the supermarket to buy a box of chocolates every time you want to send a small thank you then it just won't happen.
Plan ahead. Have small gifts in your office and send them out the moment the referral comes in. Also, ask someone to remind you each week to reward referrers. This could be your sales manager, PA, or a helpful colleague.
To further increase your chances of creating referrals, take one of your advocates (someone who will refer you to others) out to coffee each week. Spending time with someone is another great way of saying 'thank you' and further cementing the relationship.
Reward all referrals, whether they result in business or not.
Spread the love, build goodwill and cement your position as the go-to real estate expert in your local area.