While it may seem counterintuitive, even when you’ve done your best work for a client, you can’t always count on getting a referral. This is simply human nature. If you want something, you have to ask for it. But, even when you feel it is well deserved, asking for something can be difficult and awkward. When is the right time to ask? How should you ask?
Here are three critical points in the home buying or selling process where asking for referrals just makes sense.
At the start
While it might seem odd, asking for referrals at your very first meeting with a new client sets an expectation. Let the customer know upfront that in addition to finding them the home of their dreams and shepherding them through the process, one of your goals is to have them as a referral source provided they are pleased with the results of your work. Ask if they are aware of other friends or family members looking to buy or sell a home. Remember that home buying, like starting a family, is part of the customer lifecycle. Each generation often tends to do these things around the same time as their peers.
During the process
Asking for a referral during the process is a chance to capitalize on moments of success. Loan approval, signing a purchase and sales, setting a closing date, all offer an opportunity to remind the client that any referrals they may have would be greatly appreciated.
Just after closings
Asking for referrals while seated at the closing table might be going too far. But, following up just after you client has settled in their new home is an ideal time. A phone call a few days following the closing to see if they’re happy as they’re getting settled in their new home is a chance to celebrate the conclusion of what may have sometimes been a challenging process you’ve gone through together. Let them know they’ll be receiving a brief survey through the mail or online. Ask again if they would be willing to recommend you. This is your chance to express your gratitude and remind them the real estate business is all about building relationships. Conclude by assuring them that you will provide the same high level of service to their referrals
Post close is a good time to send a friend request on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. You should have a post close strategy in place that offers informative content on a regular basis and a plan to reconnect on the anniversary of their closing.
Referrals are truly the life blood of the real estate business. From word-of-mouth to well curated social media marketing campaigns, real estate agents look to clients they’ve pleased and colleagues they’ve collaborated with for future business. If your clients are happy with the home you’ve found them or the house you’ve sold, asking for referrals should be a natural step in the process.