Referrals can be the lifeblood of a real estate professional's business, especially at this busy time of year. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to maximize them and agents who are proactive in maintaining strong relationships are less likely to need to court clients through traditional marketing efforts.
There are a few characteristics that all agents have when they're able to boost the number of referrals they receive, according to Inman. For instance, perhaps the most important thing an agent can do when trying to keep his or her relationships front of mind is to be prompt about returning any and all communications. Phone calls, emails and texts should all be returned within just a few minutes - 10 or 15 at most - this will not only help agents impress clients with quick turnarounds, but also ensure nothing slips through the cracks on even the busiest of days.
Other simple steps
It's also important for agents to make sure they are doing a little more to connect with their clients on a more personal level, especially when clients know they're likely juggling a number of other clients as well. This can help buyers or sellers feel as though agents are really in their corner and value them as more than just another future commission check. As such, it's wise to develop fuller relationships and relate with them on a personal level, in addition to helping them find the home of their dreams. Along similar lines, it's smart to maintain those relationships even after the real estate sales process has come to an end.
Likewise, when agents have a large network of people connected to the housing industry - such as plumbers, electricians, roofers, etc. - who can provide clients with quick and easy access to services as-needed (perhaps even with a bit of a "friends and family" discount) they can really wow their clients.
All this makes it much more likely that past clients will refer others to work with the agent.
A strong showing online
However, even when agents come strongly recommended by past clients, it's still likely that potential future clients will do some research into an agent before choosing to work with him or her, according to Hamlet Title. Consequently, it's important for agents to make sure their online presence is up to date and attractive, and available on a number of platforms.
That includes ensuring an agent's website is fully functional, regardless of what device it's viewed on, and provides any visitors with a highly visible outlet through which they can contact the agent directly. Furthermore, when those websites are updated frequently with new content, agents are more likely to appear engaged and ready to help prospective clients.
In short, being able to welcome new clients with open arms starts with prep work to meet current and even past clients' needs on an ongoing basis. Agents are typically most successful when their efforts to build strong relationships repeatedly provide a return on that time investment, because one good experience can lead to many more.
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