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When you work by referral, your referrals are the lifeblood of your business. While transaction-oriented agents purchase leads online or advertise extensively in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, a potential client will call or email them, relational agents stay in touch with their clients and provide great service. Their lead generation mainly consists of serving clients so well they can’t help but refer their family and friends. Why waste time with cold leads when you can enjoy reliable referrals?

Referrals are the most reliable leads

Why? It’s simple: Trust. We trust the recommendations of our family and friends. If a friend recommends a restaurant, we look forward to trying it ourselves. If they rave about their new car, we may test drive that brand or model when we’re in the market for a new vehicle. It only makes sense that when someone we know and trust raves about their real estate agent, we want to work with them as well.

When a client sends a referral to their agent, it’s a warm lead. The referral wants to speak to the agent. They want the agent to guide them through the process of buying or selling a home. While you still have to offer great service, you don’t have to convince them you’re great—their friends have already done that. You just have to meet their expectations.

It’s all about service

Agents who work by referral understand it’s great service that makes their clients happy and encourages them to refer. Service doesn’t end after the sale. In fact, that’s when the real service begins. One of the biggest complaints buyers and sellers have is their agent disappeared after the transaction was complete. Referral-based agents cultivate their relationships with their clients before, during and after the sale, and look for ways to help. When they receive a referral from a client, they understand the weight of this gesture and look forward to offering them the same great service they offer their other clients.

Service is more than marketing a home and helping with paperwork. Great service involves answering their questions and allaying their fears and concerns. It includes connecting them to service professionals and tradespeople in your network. It’s listening for a need and finding a way to fill it. In short, it’s going above and beyond to meet your clients’ needs and exceed their expectations.

Give. Ask. Receive.

If you give great service, the referrals will flow, right? Not quite. While some clients may automatically refer you, others need prompting and reminding. When you connect with your clients, whether it’s on the phone or in person, ask for a referral. Asking will put referring on their radar so when they hear a family member or friend is in the market to buy or sell a home, they’ll remember to refer you. Reminding your clients you’re never too busy for their referrals is a “soft” way to ask.

Leveraging your relationships is a smart way to generate warm leads. The more you connect with your clients and look for ways to help them, the more likely they are to spread the love and refer you to their family and friends. Lean into your relationships and enjoy a stream of referrals.

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