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Real estate has a rhythm, and when the market is up—as it is in the spring—agents shift into hyperdrive. But while many people are “busy,” the most successful real estate pros still make time to be productive; that is, they continue to focus on lead generation so they have a pipeline full of quality buyers and sellers year-round.

When you work by referral, lead generation consists of connecting with your clients by phone, email, personal note or meeting for coffee or lunch. The best time to ask for referrals is when you’re currently working with clients; not only are you communicating with them more often, they’re also discussing the transaction with their family, friends and co-workers. The second-best time to ask for referrals from clients is now. Here’s how:

Connect With Clients
Russian author Leo Tolstoy once wrote, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Many homeowners feel renewed by the longer, warmer days and begin thinking about updating their homes, whether it’s renovating the kitchen or expanding the garden. This is an ideal time to serve your clients by connecting them with reputable businesses in your network that can bring their project to life.

But, you won’t know how to serve your clients until you pick up the phone and listen for a need. Follow up with contact information for a professional in your database who can help and remember to remind your clients that you’re never too busy for their referrals.

Get Face-to-Face
As temperatures rise, people head outside for barbecues, games in the park, days at the shore, and more. Take advantage of this social time of year by planning a summer party for your clients to thank them for their business and referrals. Since summer is right around the corner, now’s the time to plan an event that’ll bring your database together. Ideas include a dinner cruise, a beach or garden party or another fun outdoor event.

Surprise your top clients with small gifts of appreciation and thank them for their business. Some ideas include sunscreen, gardening tools or seeds, barbecue sauces or tools or another item you think they’d like. The idea is to get face-to-face with your clients, express appreciation for their business and ask for referrals. What better way to generate leads between listing appointments? It’s certainly more fun than calling strangers.

Take Advantage of the Real Estate Cycle
As the old saying goes, “Make hay while the sun shines.” That is, generate leads while you have the opportunity to connect with your clients. Although you may currently be busy closing transactions, dedicating time each day to lead generation will ensure you stay busy in the coming months when the market naturally slows. Even if you live in an in-demand market, generating leads now will ensure your business remains strong all year long.

To leverage the seasonality of the market and take advantage of the social summer months, get your plan in place now. Then, rest assured that by committing to these success habits, you’re building a business that’s not just busy, but productive and reliably profitable long into the future.

Nowak_J'aime_60x60J’aime Nowak is the director of Corporate Development at Buffini & Company. She began her real estate career as an agent, in 1995, and went on to manage her office, where she used Buffini & Company’s systems to turn around a six-figure deficit and build a thriving culture in less than 16 months. Now, she’s a master trainer and speaker, clearing a path for industry leaders. For more information, please visit

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