Cultivate Relationships as a Referral Agent | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

IMG_0953Most successful brokers will tell you that the key to success is a referral-based clientele. At YPN’s May breakfast, Amir Syed, PERL Mortgage, and Rebecca Thomson, @properties, spoke about how to cultivate relationships to keep clients for a lifetime. Here are key takeaways from their talks.

Cultivate Relationships

It’s not about trying to get a transaction out of someone. It’s about the relationship. Growing your business means growing relationships. Establish yourself as a trusted adviser in every capacity. It’s not about the sale.

Long term happiness is measured by the quality of our relationships. It takes consistent effort – get face-to-face, call people and give gifts. After all, “if you make a sale, you earn a commission. If you make a friend, you earn a fortune.”

Give to Others

We’re all good about going out on the showing, and as soon as we get them through the contract, the inspection and the attorney, a calm comes over us and we move on to other clients. You cannot forget the client once the deal is almost done – this is the most likely time that they will refer you.

When you get referrals, it’s about the immediate thank you. You want to show appreciation and acknowledge the thought. You want to make sure that when people think of you, you show your appreciation. It’s not just about a showy gift, either.

People find happiness in growth and giving. Give back, by introducing quality people to each other, and by sending personal, handwritten notes or the occasional gift to let them to know you are thinking of them.

Get In Touch

Get on the phone and call people in your network. Time block times every day to call specific people, including your business partner, past clients and friends. Use the FORD model to help guide you through these calls and really connect with and care about what people are saying.

Make five phone calls every morning. It doesn’t need to be about real estate, or a 20 minute conversation. It’s better if it’s not – that’s not why you call.

Don’t be Afraid to Stand Out

After the transaction, 80 percent of agents never follow up with their clients. NAR surveys buyers and sellers, and overwhelmingly, most say they would use their broker again. But you have to stay top of mind. You can’t be invisible.

Stand out by giving gifts at unexpected times; surprise people randomly throughout the year, rather than when the masses are also sending things, such as birthdays and Christmas. Likewise, call the day before people’s birthdays to catch them before the masses are calling them on the day.

Spend time in the morning between 9 and 10 AM writing notes – saying thinking of you, happy birthday, congratulations. Don’t just write on Facebook – send an actual card.

At the end of the day, remember: it’s about the person – the biggest key to building successful client relationships and getting referral business.