Statistics vary based on who you ask, but we all know that the majority of our business as Realtors is going to come from past clients (PC) and our sphere of influence (SOI). Most reliable studies I have seen show the number to be 70% or higher of your business coming from those two sources. So, these two questions must be asked:
How do we work our client base and sphere for referrals?
How do we grow our spheres of influence to ensure new growth?
To answer the first, let’s focus on the basics. Whether or not you use a CRM system like Top Producer or not, you should have a systematic approach to staying in touch with your past clients and sphere of influence. I believe that each person in your past client database and your sphere of influence should produce 1.5 to 2 referrals a year. Think about that. If you have 100 people in those two groups, you should be doing close to 200 transactions this year! The even better part is that, much like compound interest, that number will grow as you add more people to your two databases.
So, how do you get those referrals? I will focus on two simple and easy to implement systems that produce results regardless of whether or not you use a CRM software. Step 1, pick up your phone. Set up a time block for making SOI and PC calls. Your goals is to touch base with each person in your database every 90 days. When setting up your call system, simply take the number of people in those databases and divide by 90. For example, if you have 180 people in your PC and SOI databases, you need to make 2 calls each day. That’s so easy!
When you make your call, be genuine, be a friend, and close the call with a line that prompts them to give you a referral. Mine is “You know, client name, my goal this year is to help 100 families buy, sell or invest in real estate. Who do you know that might need my services in the next 30-45 days?” It’s easy, simple, and not pushy. After the call, follow it with a handwritten note saying it was great talking to them, mentioning something from your call, and include a couple of business cards as a reminder for them to pass them out for you.
The second system is similar to the first, but it uses social media. Again, the plan is to touch base with each person every 90 days. The easiest way I have found to do that is alphabetically. As an example, you can do your Facebook friends that start with the letter A on day one and your LinkedIn contacts that start with A on day two. The approach is simple. “How have you been?” or “Hey, how’s it going?” is all you need to write (preferably in a private message). They will feel compelled to reply. Take the conversation where it goes naturally, but use the same line from the phone call as your closing line.
Doing these two things will instantly provide results. One of our agents at Realty ONE Group Lone Star started doing these two things and got three listings and two buyer referrals in three weeks! This was a new agent and this early success helped her establish what is now a thriving business.
For tips on growing your spheres, click here.