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Obtain quality real estate referrals
Even the very best salespeople can come across as pushy when they ask for business referrals. Plus, it’s all too easy to make people think you are only contacting them because you want something. That’s why it’s important that you do the following:
- Contact referrers regularly. If someone contacts you out of the blue asking you for a favor, it’s annoying. Find ways to stay in contact with those referrers, whether it’s by checking in periodically via phone call or by sending them a link to an article you just wrote.
- Allow time for the conversation. Don’t ask people for the referral in the first few seconds of a conversation. Chat for five or 10 minutes, and leave plenty of time to make the request and talk about it.
- Reach out to them personally and directly. Especially for those Level 1 referrers who consistently bring in business, meet face-to-face as much as possible. Treat them to dinner or lunch, for example, to show that you value the relationship.
- Ask for referrals directly. Don’t beat around the bush with phrases such as, “It would be great if people could recommend me to their friends and family.” Instead, say “I would really appreciate your help in growing my business. Who should I contact …” Or “Please refer me to ….”
Make the home buying and selling process easy for people
People are busy, so if you want them to willingly offer up leads, make the process as easy as possible. First, educate them on the life events and situations that signal the need to buy, sell, or invest in real estate, including:
- A growing family, as a result of pregnancy or adoption
- Children leaving home for college or other pursuits
- Marriage or divorce
- Job change or retirement
- Ill or aging family members who bring about the need for different accommodations
Additionally, describe your ideal candidate, specifically if you are wanting to serve a particular niche market. If you are feeling bold and you have rapport with the person, request time to go over their contact list with them, for example, over lunch.
Finally, if referrers just aren’t ready to offer leads, ask them to keep you mind—and follow up with them later.
Determine leads’ readiness, willingness, and ability to move forward
Referrers, with the best of intentions, sometimes send people your way who have no interest in or ability to make a real estate decision. To rank referrals—which you need to do to determine how much time to allocate to each—ask referrers, “On a scale of one to four, how would you rank this person’s readiness, willingness, and ability to act in the immediate future?”
Prioritize real estate leads who seem particularly motivated.
Gain some insight on promising leads
Ask a few additional questions to learn how best to approach the person, for example:
- Will you describe a few of this person’s favorite interests and activities?
- What is this individual’s personality so I know best how to approach him or her?
- May I use your name when I make contact?
That last one is critical, because you want to confirm that you have referrers’ permission to contact the person. more
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