Many times, agents don’t know how to stay in touch with their clients without talking about real estate. Good news is you don’t have to. Actually you shouldn’t really ever talk about real estate with your past clients and database because it could get annoying.
If you want to get consistent referrals in your real estate business, you must stay in touch with past clients and everyone else you know! I’m not talking about boring them with market updates either.
The question is how do you stay in touch and what do you say?
What do you talk about with your friends?
Past clients don’t want you real estate related content when they are not in the market, but they do want your relationship.
Keep in touch with your database the same way you keep in touch with your friends and you will start generating referrals.
There is one thing you need to understand about referral marketing before you can implement any kind of system. Referral marketing is all about keeping your name in front of your database in a sell without selling type of way. It’s about being remembered so that when real estate comes to mind, that you are the only agent they think of.
Because it’s impossible to be referred if people forget about you. Here’s the formula to why people refer Realtors.
- They have to notice a conversation about real estate.
- They have to think of you.
- They have to introduce your name into the conversation.
If these three things are in place, then you should get plenty of referrals…
But they must remember who you are and what you do.
In depth referral marketing tips:
Read this Article, “How To Avoid Being Forgotten About In Real Estate”
Referral marketing is not rocket science, but it requires consistency and a system to do it the right way. Many times agents overthink referral marketing, but it’s really simple.
So what do you talk about?
The best part of referral marketing is that you don’t ever have to talk about real estate if you don’t want to. All you want to do is send your database relevant content they might be interested in and this will service your relationship. We’ll get into more details as we talk about the three channels you should be using.
You need multiple ways to communicate to your database to get the most out of your referral marketing efforts. The right way to market for referrals is to use social media, email, and direct mail consistently.
3 MUST HAVE “LISTS” TO MARKET YOUR REFERRAL DATABASE
In real estate referral marketing we have to establish “lists”. Your “lists” are comprised of your database and hosted within channels that you can communicate to your audience with. You want to view direct mail, email, and social media platforms all as separate “lists” or channels that can be used to reach your intended audience.
Let’s start with social media:
Social Media Referral Marketing Tip
The best thing to ever happen for real estate referral marketing is Social Media.
Every social media platform serves as an additional channel to market your brand. Your “friends” on Facebook are your database because don’t you think they live somewhere? Of course they do which means they all have the potential to refer or do business with you. Think about how many old friends you don’t have time to keep in contact with anymore, but know what they are up to because you see them on Facebook. If you want referrals you have to be remembered!
Would you expect your Facebook friends to use you for their upcoming move? Then you need to keep reminding them that you are in real estate.
There is a right way to use social media and a wrong way. It’s not meant to be a classified ad section! It’s great to keep your business on top of mind with anyone you are connected to on social media, but don’t be cheesy. If you do it right, your “friends” will REMEMBER and REFER you. The proper way to do this is by sharing pictures or videos while telling a story about your business. The use of visual images in social media is KEY to making this work for you.
Social media is one huge relationship center! There is no better way to remind others on what you do for a living than to make real estate related social media posts during your typical workweek! I recommend no less than 6-8 real estate related posts a month although that’s not a ton.
Remember that all of your connections on social media are all nothing more than a bunch of online relationships you have developed. Facebook is by far the most dominate social media platform used by real estate agents for referral marketing, but you have to use it the right way to make it work for you. As long as you have an active Facebook account, you already know how to build a database. It’s just a matter of knowing how to stay on top of mind of your referral network.
If that did not make a light bulb go off in your head about the power and reach of social media it should have. The key is coming up with the right strategy to consistently let others know what you do for a living without sounding like a sleazy salesman. You want to build your reach, friends, connections, and followers are much as possible with any social media platform you use.
Anything you share on social media is referred to as content. Share content like cool pictures of houses, cool views, client closings, final walk throughs, or anything else you can snap a picture with while you are working. The picture will reinforce what you do for a living to your friends. That’s how simple this is.
Oh yea, engaging on social media for referrals is FREE. You can spend money on ads ,but that’s a whole other strategy and story. Paid ads in social media is a great way to create “Cold” leads, but that’s not what we are talking about here. We are talking about maintaining a presence amongst your referral network in your social media platforms.
E-Mail Marketing-Referral Marketing Tips
Email marketing is also necessary to keeping a consistent presence amongst your audience. You should have an email list comprised of all the relationships you currently have. As long as you have a relationship with someone who you have implied consent to broadcast content to, they should go on your list.
The key to email marketing is not having the largest list, but one made up of quality relationships. To have an effective email referral marketing strategy, the content of your emails SHOULD NOT be generic.
There are many platforms that “Automate” email campaigns for real estate agents to their “database”. The problem I have with that type of marketing is that it’s not very engaging. Most people can tell they are pre-written emails and they are not very personable. The key to having referral success from your email marketing is to nurture your audience with very personal messages so that your content is more engaging.
Pre-written templated emails appear like spam. Spam like emails don’t get opened as much and your people are more likely to unsubscribe or even be annoyed.
How good is your marketing if it never gets read or opened and feels like more of a nuisance receiving?
The national average open rate for emails is only 13%. If you want to have a better strategy, you need to independently write your emails and make them personal. Don’t forget the main point of sending an email to your in the first place.
It should be to stand out and nurture your relationship.
We’ve seen open rates average over 50% using video based emails and creativity, which turns into a whole lot more referrals. Email is great because it has a 100% deliverability rate. This means that as long as you have the right email address that your intended recipient will receive it.
BUT THEY MORE THAN LIKELY WILL NOT OPEN IT IF IT LOOKS LIKE JUNK…
You need to create engaging content with your emails. Check out some of these stats from a video email campaign and compare them with the national average. These stats are only doable because I am using video email vs. text based emails. I am also consistently creating engaging fun videos to watch that rarely talk about real estate.
If you would like to know more about video email marketing check out some of these articles below:
6 Ways To Use Video Email Marketing To Sell More Houses
The Secret To Creating Emails Your Database Wants To Read
How Do You Create An Email List?
If you don’t already have an email list, you can easily get started by logging into your Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL account you are already using. Export all of your email contacts and then go through them and determine who should be on your list. If you feel like you would say hi to this individual walking down the street then they should be in there. You will not have a relationship with every contact you export, but at least you have a large list to start with. Go through your contacts and delete everyone you don’t feel you have a relationship with. Once you are done, then BAM, you are in business.
Once you have your email list ready to go all you have to do is create a schedule that has consistency and follow it. The content of your emails can be whatever you want, but please make sure that you are providing some kind of value to your recipients. Don’t forget the point of email marketing is to stay on top of mind of your audience so that you are remembered when they or someone they know may you need your services. Have fun with this and be creative!
Direct Mail-Referral Marketing Tips
This is going to be the hardest list to build, but only because it’s time consuming. Your direct mail list will be comprised of your closest relationships. You need people you personally know and like and they must feel the same way about you. We are not farming a strange community, but we are farming your relationships.
Who Should Get Your Direct Mail?
Your list should consist of anyone you would invite to your wedding or funeral. Your direct mail list is all about quality and not quantity. It’s not about buying a list of names and numbers to market to. If you do that, I am telling you right now, this is not going to work for you. We are marketing to our relationships, not farming strangers. Remember what needs to take place.
Anyone who says direct mail is dead has no idea what they are talking about. Direct mail is the most powerful list of the three. One of the reasons your direct mail list is so important is because everybody will receive it and physically touch your marketing message. You cannot say the same thing about social media(only roughly 17% of Facebook friends see your posts) or email (national open rate is 13%, but if you create consistent valuable content you can average 40-50%). of course your mail will eventually get thrown away, but not before they acknowledge receipt of it. No other channel can provide a physical marketing piece other than direct mail!
To be honest with you it doesn’t really matter what the content on the mailing piece is, just as long as it’s entertaining, informative without coming off like you are trying to close someone, and reminds the recipient that you are in real estate.
Once you have compiled a direct mail list of qualified relationships you can set up your direct mail referral marketing system. Your campaign can be a monthly newsletter, postcard, or even holiday card. Don’t forget that the point is not to push your service as much as it is to remind them of your existence. When you are remembered you are more likely to be thought of when they or someone you know needs your services. Make sure you use technology to automate all of your fulfillment so that you are not stuffing envelopes or stamping postcards. That is a waste of time. Today with technology you can streamline this very easily or you can sign up with my CRM and have it 100% done for you (shameless plug).
I set up an automated system that sends out 21 postcard a year all without me ever lifting a finger.
Conclusion In Referral Marketing Tips
I hope this helped you see how keeping a consistent presence amongst your database encourages referrals. Don’t over think the strategy here. Using a 3 prong attack for your referral marketing works. Since your audience should like and trust you already, you don’t need to sell them on anything. Just be you. Of course they will also do business with you when the time is needed, but don’t forget, what they do not see is also what they do not know… or remember.
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Would you be interested in learning more about adapting a several marketing systems that work simultaneously in your business to create multiple lead sources?
Do you want to run a business instead of being run by one?
Do you hate cold calling or cold prospecting?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might want to check this out…