As many real estate professionals have learned over the past 5 years… traditional media advertising has lost much, if not nearly all, of its effectiveness. Recent consumer surveys show when it comes to choosing a real estate professional, most consumers want to be referred by a trusted friend…. The personal referral still carries the greatest weight. The great thing about personal referrals is the level of trust which comes along with them. The old adage of “My friend trusts you… so I do to” helps to build new relationships much faster.The way you treat your clients from start to finish, (and beyond the closing)… will govern their willingness to consistently refer your services.
10 suggestions to help you transform normal happy clients into "Referral Crazed Fans":
1. Start by looking in the mirror…. Are you happy with yourself? Do you feel energized and excited with every client? Are you fit and well-groomed? Do you always act professionally? Is your automobile in good repair and clean? Is your goal to be 5 minutes early to every appointment? These and others factors are the foundation of quality client care.
Todays consumer enjoys working with positive, energetic and knowledgeable professionals. If you are always frazzled, grouchy and constantly complaining, your clients will most likely have a less than stellar experience and will not consider referring you to others.
2. Build “trust based” relationships… When you first start working with someone, they should immediately feel as though they are your most important clients ever and also be confident you are devoted to assisting them achieve their real estate goals. To do this, ask plenty of questions to discover what they value, important facts about their lifestyle, and what their goals are. Furthermore, stay laser focused on the client, not on your text messages, Facebook notifications or other distractions.
3. Have a business plan prepared for every client indicating their goals and desires in purchasing a new home or selling their current property. Refer back to this plan if they get off course. Having a clear course of action… (in tandem with the clients’ goals), will make the transaction less frightening for all parties involved.
4. Become the “Go To” person for real estate: It is no longer enough to just know the inventory and the prices. Today’s consumer wants much more. They want a consultant who is highly educated in all aspects of local and national real estate trends… mortgage markets, governmental regulations, school information, the best service vendors and repair people….among other things. Create a relationship where they seek you out to get solutions to all their real estate related enquiries.
5. Become a great negotiator for them… when it comes contract time this is where you earn your “super-hero” status. Clients will forget a lot of things but if they perceive you got them the best deal…you become a friend… and REALTOR… for life!
6. Use technology to save you and your clients’ time…in todays world, time has great value. When you value your clients’ time, they will value yours… Use electronic signature software, video tours, and other technologies to digitize the transaction and control time delays caused by old conventional transaction methods.
7. Ask “why”….. a lot! Ever known a young child who asks “why” all the time? By asking why the child is seeking truth and knowledge. INTEL is King! The more you know the better you will serve.
8. Give exemplary service to every client…It doesn’t matter if the client is an $80,000 first time buyer or an executive buying their 6th multi-million dollar home…treat every client like a celebrity… because they are. Everyone has special qualities… so treat them as such!
9. Let your clients make their own decisions… rather than telling your sellers the price where they should list their property, give them quality information about current local market conditions, how long it takes to sell the property at different price points, and then let them decide. The same is true when negotiating offers. Outline options and let the clients decide their course of action. Remember, it’s their house… and their decision.
10. Focus on making your client happy, not the amount of your commission. If a transaction falls apart for the right reasons… remember you were there to help them make the best possible decision for their situation. When your clients recognize how you only want the very best for them, you have created the type of experience which transforms them into raving fans who will refer you business for years to come.
Eddie Brown ©2013