Yes, many of us have attended seminars and had coaches that tell us to always ask for a referral when talking to past, current and future clients/customers.
As Realtors, we recognize the need to touch clients via phone, yet making daily calls often provides little immediate gratification. So, we find reason after reason not to make regular calling a bigger focus. But, many of us have also come to know that when we make those consistent calls, we create customer loyalty and a steady stream of business for years to come.
I have written posts in the past where I have indicated the need to make phone calls and get out business cards in the hands of the consumer. I cannot emphasize enough the power of the phone call when building a strong repeat clientele.
I have also gone against every real estate trainer by "Never asking for referrals". You might say "Are you crazy"? My response is that you will never hear a voice change any quicker than by calling someone and asking about their family, health, etc. and then ask them for a referral. I NEVER ASK FOR REFERRALS and yet my cup over floweth with referral business. Think about if a good friend called you and just touched your heart with his/her heartfelt concern for you and at the end of the conversation asked to borrow something or for some other favor. Any of us would have our spirits lifted with the concern of our friend only to be deflated when we discover our friend had a motive. Our clients are no different. They have feelings like anyone else and the same things that motivate or turn us off are the same things that motivate or turn off our clients.
Here are some steps to consider in creating your own calling systems:
1. When to call? Opinions differ on this one. Some say it is better to call early or late when there is a better chance of reaching people at home. Others tell you that any time is good as long as it fits your schedule. I prefer the mornings because I can use my afternoon to take care of business as the day develops. There is nothing people hate more than to be bothered at dinner time and time with the family.
2. Is it OK to leave a message? When starting out, it may be preferable to leave messages, as they offer the opportunity to practice scripts. However, it is better to speak with people directly so that you can foster the relationship, learn more about them and perhaps offer them some helpful information or service.
3. Who do I call? Start with past customers and your sphere of influence. Friends and family make great practice calls. Many Realtors will add FSBOs, Expireds and even orphan buyers but I have never done that. If you are having a bad day and simply cannot make calls, go to the mall and meet people or write some personalized cards, enclosing your business card and/or other added value. I have what I call my "Cheer Leaders" that are people that want to refer me business and always ask me for more business. I call these past clients on a very regular schedule and constantly send them packets of my business cards about every 6 months.
4. What do I talk about? For starters, use the F.O.R.D system (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams). Offer tips on rates or refinancing. Talk about benefits you may be able to provide, such as a handyman or home cleaning service with which you have negotiated a favorable rate. I have handymen and other service people I have used for years and I refer these to clients on a regular basis. I have past clients that call me years after I have sold them their home to ask me for a name of a handyman. Become the expert people turn to and watch your business explode.
Building relationships is where it has always been and always will be.
Posted By: George Tallabas - Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent - Associate Broker
with RE/MAX Advantage, Canyon Counties #1 Brokerage in sales and listings
specializing in Boise Idaho Real Estate and Southwest Idaho Real Estate.
Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes