Most great agents know that REFERRALS are the best source of new business in the real estate industry.
Referred clients usually begin the relationship with you already having gotten a “stamp of approval” by the referrer – which means you typically get to spend less time having to win the client over. Referred clients are also not usually shopping you around, which means you’re going to have much less commission friction.
In short, referrals are great! Not to mention, since you’re typically paying a referral fee on the backend, there is no upfront cost to referrals, which allows you to allocate your marketing budget to the other lead gen sources.
So… how does an agent go about getting MORE referrals? Here are three great tactics:
1) Produce Agent-Centric Content on Social Media
Almost everything that you read nowadays is teaching you how to produce MORE content, specifically in ways that provide value to your clients (or future clients). That is absolutely still the case, and should be at the forefront of every good marketing calendar.
But, what if you also began to release some content geared towards other real estate professionals? Maybe spend some time documenting the behind the scenes of what you’re doing in the office to prepare a listing for the market – or getting ready for that listing appointment.
Not only could you potentially be helping new real estate agents see how it’s done, but you’re also subconsciously showing other agents (and your clients) that you’re in the office working hard.
Here’s a fun video for the agent audience about my most embarrassing moment with a client.
To grow your agent-to-agent relationships on Instagram, try and search key hashtags like #realestate, #realtor, etc and start following and messaging agents nationwide – especially ones from heavy feeder markets to yours. Since agents tend to prefer to send referrals to other agents within their same brokerage, start with your brokerage-specific hashtag (at Compass, its #agentsofcompass).
2) Attend Real Estate Conferences
This seems almost too easy, but if you want to meet other real estate agents from around the country, go to places where other real estate agents actually ARE.
Real Estate industry conferences are centered around the content that gets shared up on the stage, but the MAGIC is happening behind the scenes, at the after parties, and at the hotel bar. Some of the best examples of these conferences are the Tom Ferry Success Summit (Aug 2022 – Dallas, TX), and the Inman Connect Conferences (Aug, 2022 – Las Vegas, Jan 2023 – New York City, NY).
Make it a point to meet people, make meaningful relationships, and then follow everyone that you meet on social media (see tip #1).
3) Join A Referral Network
Have you ever wanted to be a part of an exclusive club? To have a community of people who will refer clients to you with no competition? Joining a real estate referral network might be the move for you.
Real Estate referral networks typically open up one spot per city or market area. You pay to join (I’ve seen networks that range from $0 to $10,000+ per year), and then when referrals are needed within the network, they come exclusively to you. Some referral networks also take a percentage of each referral.
Some provide more value, aside from just the referrals themselves, like hosting in-person events, adding coaching programs, etc. The important thing is you’re the exclusive member for your market area/city.
Some brokerages offer intra-brokerage referral options, like a private group on Facebook or on the backend dashboard, but these become very crowded, very quickly.
Here at Compass, if I post a referral need for Chicago, there are going to be 100 names thrown at me before I even refresh the tab. That’s where exclusivity becomes such an advantage.
*That’s also why I started REFER, a nationwide (and Canada) real estate referral network. I had been a member of other networks throughout my career, and saw a unique opportunity to build something better. At REFER, we offer city exclusivity (one agent per city), but we also layered in a huge mastermind component on top of the referral network. We bring in A-list guest speakers to do exclusive Zoom sessions / Q&As with our members, and host multiple in-person meet ups at the big real estate conferences throughout the year (see tip #2).