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3 Tips for Top-Notch Referrals

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Getting Clients: 3 Tips for Top-Notch Referrals

By Katherine Mechling


According to NAR, 39 percent of sellers who used a real estate agent in 2018 found that agent through a referral by family or friends. But for you to be among those agents earning significant chunks of business from referrals, you can’t just proceed as normal and hope the referrals start pouring in — you have to put in the time. Read on for three tips from California REALTORS® on securing the best possible referrals.


Streamline Your Post-Transaction Communications

This one may seem obvious, but keeping in touch with past clients is a fundamental part of staying top of mind and proving your worth. Unfortunately, maintaining these connections can be time-consuming and, if you’re struggling with a thin pipeline, easy to pass over. Take time upon completing each transaction to set up a plan for staying in touch going forward. Your plan could be as simple as scheduling reminders to send follow-up emails in your calendar every year moving forward.

For a more high-tech option, consider transaction management software that folds in post-transaction communication. San Francisco-based REALTOR® Chris Lim uses HighNote throughout the transaction in part because of how it connects him to his clients long after the transaction is over: “I’m able to deliver my clients a digital platform to keep all important transaction information, including closing statements, loan information, past pest and property inspections, etc. This level of ongoing service allows me to be their REALTOR® for life.”


Broaden Your Horizons

Past clients aren’t your only source of referrals; you should also focus on building a strong network among fellow agents. Bay Area REALTOR® Jing Fang recommends going to national conferences to nurture your network. “By meeting with other [agents] in person and building connections, you can establish a win-win referral network” that you can benefit from and draw on when a client is moving out of state.


Don’t Forget to Ask

Many agents position themselves for great referrals … but never actually ask for them. It can be intimidating to come out and ask a client if they know anyone else who may be buying or selling, but as Los Angeles REALTOR® Mary Burbank says: “People want to refer others to great REALTORS®. A good REALTOR® will just get the transaction done; a great REALTOR® will go beyond the call of duty. It’s easy to ask for the business when you know you’ve done an incredible job.” Focus on exceeding expectations so that when the transaction is over, you feel confident enough to directly ask your client to refer you to their friends and family. 


Katherine Mechling is senior editor of California Real Estate magazine.


More from the February 2020 Issue:

Pro Tip: Tami Bonnell on Working with the Hyper-Informed Consumer

Success Story: How I Brought in $10M in my First Year as a REALTOR®

Marketing You: For Better Branding, Find Your Purpose

Money Corner: Ask These 4 Questions Before Hiring a CPA


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