The National Association of REALTORS?, Google, and our surveys show the fastest way to grow your business is through referrals. Not only are self-generated referrals more likely to close, but they are also much easier to deal with. Although most real estate professionals understand the importance of referrals, many do not do enough to generate them. The latest research shows that somewhere near 90% of consumers would do business with their real estate professional again, yet only somewhere near 25% do.??
Referrals don’t just fall in your lap. You need to have a game plan to create them consistently. Fortunately, there are many referral opportunities ready to be activated. By executing a few simple steps consistently, you can capture these valuable assets before they go to the competition.??
Here are four tips you can use to help improve your referral network.
#1 – Exceed Expectations?
Are you a door opener or an expert real estate consultant with command of the local community benefits and services? We recently surveyed consumers and compared results to agent production. There was a clear correlation to agents who were viewed as door openers by the consumer vs. agents who truly had distinguished themselves as experts in the community and in all things homeownership.?
#2 – Give Back?
Was it Zig Ziglar that said, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want!” So true, and if all you do is take, take, take, and ask, ask, ask, without giving back, your referral pool will be empty. What is your game plan to give back and add value to your referral sources? A promotional video on your social media? Introductions to others that you know. To create a thriving referral network, you must have a plan to give back,?
#3 – Ask more consistently.?
One of the distinctions between average sales professionals and master professionals is consistently asking for referrals. This seems obvious yet is often overlooked. If you have held up your side of a deal to get it to closing, you need to ask. Then go on to ask for the lifetime relationship of the client.?
There is a way to ask for referrals without being pushy. The worst that someone can say is no. You never know who may be ready to work with you unless you ask and ask consistently.?
#4 – Handwritten Notes?
This sounds so old school, yet so very effective. Consumers today appreciate the small gestures you do for them. Everyone likes to be thanked for a job well done. Even though we live in a digital day and age, we shouldn’t overlook simple items. One of those items is a nice, thought out handwritten thank you card. You will get more mileage from a thank you card than a text or email. Texts or emails are often looked at and quickly discarded. A thank you card is personal and remembered longer. For the five minutes it takes to write and the cost of a stamp, you can separate yourself from your competition.
Instead of focusing on deals, focus on the relationship—the lifetime value of the relationship.
The money you invest in this area will give you a much higher long-term payoff.?Not only will you end up getting more deals, but you will have a much higher chance of closing them.?The best part about referrals is that the little things often have the most significant impact.?There are a handful of things you can do every day to get noticed.? Start by concentrating on people you are currently working with or have worked within the past.? Use the four easy tips to build a much more reliable and consistent referral network.?
In one of our major markets, recently our company learned it was performing nearly four times better than the market average. That’s a big win amid a global pandemic.
That got me to thinking how did our real estate sales associates do it? What is in our culture that makes this type of result possible? Well, five things came to mind:
- Done is better than perfect
- Redirecting after accepting mistakes
- Growth mindset
Done is better than perfect
Psychologists Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill studied more than 40,0000 people from 1989 to 2016 and found that perfectionism has increased by 33% since 1989. We seem to be internalizing a myth that life should be perfect, when, in fact, that is an impossible outcome.
The research shows those who become preoccupied with perfection set themselves up against challenges.
The key to moving ahead is to follow through, and our associates performed exceptionally well during this crisis.
Redirecting after accepting mistakes
So, you made a mistake, now what?
- Recognize that sinking feeling
- Assess: what happened and why
- Make it right
- Adjust the system or process
- Be kind to yourself.
“If you don’t make mistakes,?you’re not working on?hard enough problems.?And that’s a big mistake.”?~ F. Wikzek
Curiosity is the art of questioning everything without judgment or assumptions. With this approach comes continuous improvement and learning. As I look at our associates, they have a mindset of constant improvement. They participate in an ecosystem that encourages life-long learning, sharing, and best practices.
The human brain is programmed to narrow its concentration in the face of a threat. We are designed for self-protection.
The trap is that your field of vision becomes restricted. Leaders need to intentionally pull back, opening our mental aperture to take in the mid-ground and background.
As a veteran, it’s what we call – situational awareness — taking a broader view of both challenges and opportunities.
During this crisis, we’ve provided our associates with clear communication on:
- What was
- What is
- And what will be
There was a past of relative stability and predictability. There now is disruption and uncertainty. There will be a different future state. As this future unfolds, our associates are preparing to be resilient. To be gritty. That’s a competitive advantage.
According to a 2015 study, laughing makes us more open to new people and helps us build relationships. And real estate sales are a relationship business.
We booked a virtual comedy night in the quarantine, and a virtual American Idol knock off event. Laughter can improve our health and make us better learners. And what’s more: laughter is contagious.
The truth is we all have our fixed-mindset triggers. When we face challenges, receive criticism, or compare ourselves with others, we can easily fall into insecurity and defensiveness, a response that inhibits growth.
To spend more time in a growth zone, our team and associates have worked hard in small groups to identify the triggers that do not serve us. It’s hard work, but during the quarantine, our associates gained a lot by deepening their understanding of growth-mindset concepts and putting them into practice.
It seems our most effective associates during this crisis followed a pattern:
- They controlled the controllable
- They prepared, planned and trained
- They had situational awareness
- They kept the human factor in mind
- They guarded their mind & heart
At the end of the day, they ensured their choices reflected their hopes and not their fears. You can do the same. Join us.
The paradox is this: we need both uncertainty and certainty in our business and our lives. I’m sure you would agree – without a doubt – we are in uncertain times.
It seems at this moment in time; we have more uncertainty than certainty.
So how can we create a little more certainty?
Get Clear On What You Really Want?
- Create a picture of what it is that you truly want
- Does this excite you?
- Does it move you emotionally?
- Envision it, see how it makes you feel
- These steps help you regain balance and drive
Connect Emotionally With Your Why.
- Getting clear on the purpose of what you want
- You know you found it when your purpose resonates and moves you emotionally
- When you feel stuck or lost, two questions:
- “If I don’t do this, this is what it will cost me,” or
- “If I do this, then this is what I can gain.”
Make It Part Of Everyday!
- Create your daily action checklist and follow it
- What’s the ONE routine you must do every day to win the day?
- Like your P.E.D.S.
- What’s are the critical activities that move the needle?
- Marketing that creates NEW appointments
- Building and maintaining relationships
- Servicing existing clients and prospects
- Anticipating and solving problems BEFORE they arise
- Completing that project
- Place it all in your calendar and protect your time blocks
Have you ever worked backward from Friday? At the end of the week, you are sitting down and looking back… what would make this week great? Vision that and block your calendar accordingly. I like to say work backward from yes!
If you show up for the day with no structure in your calendar and decide to do “urgent” tasks like returning calls and texts and checking Facebook, those activities will expand and eat up all the time you hoped to devote to more “important” activities. You will end the day unfulfilled and have more uncertainty.
We know that work will expand to the time you give it! So assign time blocks to every task. And remember DONE is better than PERFECT every time!
The best way I’ve found to make the “important” significant – and create more certainty in all that you do – is to prioritize them and build them into your calendar first.
Are you tired of not getting what you want? If so, you might want to read this?article about?Mario Lemieux.
What is your next step?
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey
Whether you have been in the business 70 days or 7 years, I often hear the same questions:
- What do I do now?
- My lead generation is inconsistent!
- How do I get better organized?
- What’s my purpose?
So, here are a few suggestions to consider as you start this week:
First, who do you want to be 90 days from now?
It all starts with deciding what you want to achieve in the next three months. Have you created very clear, specific, measurable, and trackable goals? Are they up and visual as a constant reminder?
My research shows there are three types of goals:
- Outcome goals – I want to be #1
- Performance goals – I’ll run the race in 8 minutes or less
- Process goals – I’ll connect with 10 people a day
Process goals win the day. Over 650 studies in goal achievement show that people who break their goals down to a daily process achieve the goal faster and more consistently.
Action #1:?Break your goals down to daily actions
Second, understand where the business comes from.
The National Association of REALTORS? conducted a survey that shows nearly 70% of consumers FIND you from a friend, family, referral or past business relationship. And nearly 70% CHOOSE you based on your perceived reputation, trustworthiness and results. These facts have significant implications for your personal branding and direct response marketing activities.
It’s shocking how many clients I have acquired through the years — just because I made a call or sent a message.
According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent, but the likelihood of selling to an existing client is 60 to 70 percent. It’s much cheaper and easier to retain a client than to go prospecting for a new one. Studies show 90% of consumers would do business again with their?REALTOR? yet only 25% do. Why? Because you suck – no systems in place – at staying in touch and building long term relationships with past clients.
Action #2: Stay in touch at least 4X per year, build relationships and the sales & referrals will follow.
Third, track everything in a database to stay organized
Make it a habit to get contact information from every person you meet. Your goal is to move folks you meet from your outer circle to your inner circle. Create a system – like this.
If you are buying a new car, get the salesperson’s card. Ask your bartender or server for their information when you go out. Every person who gives you their contact information should be placed into your database and contacted – a note; text; card; social media engagement – least 8 times in the first 8 weeks of meeting. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. It should include the following
- Full name
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
- Preferred social media handles
- Your Notes
In your notes section, you will want to write in things like what the potential client is interested in, first and last time you corresponded with them and how you met them. Relationships matter and relationships create referrals in a personal service business like real estate sales.
Action #3: Take one step to get better organized
Fourth, be like Fred.
Fred Shea was a postal carrier from my home state of Colorado. Apart from the fact that he personally welcomed every new resident, he appeared unremarkable. Yet, a book has been written about him and thousands have been taught his “system” to drive purpose in their life and their business.
Fred had a purpose.
Fred demonstrated you don’t need a promotion; you don’t need anything but creativity to reinvent yourself and add value to yourself and others.
Fred the Postman was quite remarkable in attitude with a warmth and sincerity that was apparent immediately. And his dedication to serving his customers made him extraordinary.
Daily Fred put into practice the principles that became the foundation for the best-selling book,?The Fred Factor, namely that:
- Everyone makes a difference,
- Success is built on relationships,
- You must create value for others, and;
- Reinvent yourself on a regular basis.
Fred the Postman taught me that by bringing passion into our work and life we can all turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Action #4: Be like Fred!
As we wrap up, I have no control over what you do with this information – nor do I want that control. Yet the gift of what I shared today, has helped me in so many ways, and I trust this gift will help you too. So, until we meet again may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Bonus Action #5: Accountability… who is your?accountability partner??
As we celebrate Memorial Day, as we honor those who have fallen, we are reminded that freedom isn’t free. One of my traditions about this time each year is watching “Taking Chance.” A touching story about one marine escorting a fellow marine on his final trip home.
Another movie came to mind: “Rudy.” Rudy is a true story about persistence, tenacity, grit, and football. A football game isn’t won on the field. The game is won in the days, weeks, and even months leading up to the actual game. The game is won in preparation. Watching films of previous games, memorizing plays, hitting the gym, eating correctly, and even getting enough sleep.
Professional real estate sales is no different.
I’ve been spending some time with our top 1% documenting what they do. Curious?
Here are the top six things our top 1% do consistently:
- They do their research & marketing.
- They’re genuinely interested in and understand others’ personality style.
- They’re prepared for anything, especially the objections and most frequently asked questions.
- They leave their ego in the car.
- They are a master of managing expectations.
- They debrief and learn from every situation.
Research and Marketing
We know from the National Association of REALTORS? that 63% of consumers find us through a referral from a friend or a past business relationship. And 68% of consumers choose us based on our perceived trustworthiness, experience, and reputation.
Top producers know these numbers and invest their time, energy, and effort into where the business is most likely to be generated.
What we have observed from top producers to those struggling is glaring. Top producers genuinely care about the relationship while those struggling care about making a buck.
We use a unique system called B.A.N.K. to pinpoint anyone’s personality in nanoseconds. It’s fun, engaging, and creates instant rapport. Crack your code now, it’s easy: www.jparcode.com
This high emotional intelligence approach leverages the best assessment tools, high-energy training, and cutting-edge technology to maximize results.
Leave Nothing To Chance
Our top performers rehearse or role-play frequently; many do this every day! Here are some tips I picked up:
- Make a list of every question, concern, or objection that your prospect might bring up. Create a list of everything that could go wrong.
- Develop a clear, logical, and persuasive response to every possible question, concern, and objection.
- Think of how you can get ahead of these circumstances by using stories and anecdotes, case studies and testimonials, statistics, and facts.
- Have your information, ideas, and documentation well organized so you can reference the appropriate notes and materials at any time.
Gary Vaynerchuk put it well: “When you care more about the other person than you care about hitting your quota – when you make that shift – you go into the Jedi-ness of becoming a great salesperson.”
The professional real estate salesperson with a massive ego can easily mistake refusal with rejection. When you make this mistake, it’s all too easy to take it personally. The truth? Far more people will say no than say yes.
So, how do you deal with this?
Our top 1% have learned not to internalize rejection. Top performers exert power over their emotions and know this is a critical skill to master.
As the Chief Executive of a large organization, I get the problems that others have not solved. And literally, I’ve been tracking these and guess what – they all have a common root. Uneven expectations!
Many things have to happen, often in a specific sequence, before a transaction closes. Do you know what these things are? Do you know where you’re at in the process with each client, prospect, and partner?
- Seek to understand what has come before each step
- Don’t assume everyone knows what will happen next
- Anticipate needs before others
- Communicate constantly and clearly
- Under-promise and over-deliver
Debriefing is a structured learning process designed to evolve plans while they’re being executed continuously. It originated in the military as a way to learn quickly in rapidly changing situations and to address mistakes or changes in the field. Infact I shared this document with my team – glad to be here – after the Blue Angels flew over Dallas.
In business, debriefing has been widely documented as critical to accelerating projects, innovating novel approaches, and hitting challenging objectives. It also brings a team together, strengthens relationships, and fosters team learning.
Our top producers have this concept mastered and execute this discipline more often than others. As such, these high performing teams are more tight-knit than those who don’t.
The game is won or lost way before you step on the playing field. So, before you play in sales again, do your research, be genuinely interested in others, be prepared for anything, leave your ego in the car and become a master of managing expectations. Finally – just like the Blue Angels – debrief and learn from every situation.
The real estate industry is always transforming. With the development of new technologies, real estate professionals are adopting tools that provide competitive advantages in serving today’s consumers at the highest level.
In Texas, as physical open houses are now lifted from quarantine, I’m being asked: “should I continue my HOSTED virtual open houses?” Answer:
A recent study from the National Association of Realtors showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest, driving home the vital need for real estate professionals to have an active online presence. If you’re not active, engaging, and?networking online, then you’re missing out for you and your clients.
A new standard has been set. Today’s sophisticated seller will select those agents offering both. HOSTED virtual open houses leveraging Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube will extend your reach and pull in more potential buyers. It also saves the modern-day consumer time. Schedule your hosted virtual open house just like a physical one:
- Select the date and time (with virtual, you can A/B test some non-traditional times.)
- Create the event – dark post, for instance – on Facebook.
- Invite the neighbors and your prospects
- Host the event LIVE or as a GUIDED virtual tour – with you as the guide, of course!
JPAR agents are equipped and have the skills to deliver innovative marketing and expanded reach in today’s market.
“We must embrace all means to help buyers and sellers feel confident and secure.”
What other innovative marketing does the JPAR real estate professional have at their fingertips? Consider – among many others – just these three:
→ KvCore Property Boost- cost-effective and produces rapid results
→ Dark Post Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn, or Twitter ads: using squeeze page from kvCore.
→ Leveraging a listing farm with REMINE and Buyside? is more cost-effective than direct mail and produces faster results.
The famous?Peter Drucker?said it well: “because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions; marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
As a real estate professional, your marketing defines and communicates you and your brand. So my challenge today is, how’s your marketing? A few things to consider:
- Is it easy to contact you and your real estate practice?
- Is it easy to schedule an appointment?
- Are you set for social? How many platforms and why or why not… consumer-based!
- Pinterest Boards
- Google – My Business Page
- A hyper-local content strategy
- YouTube Channel featuring local businesses, amenities, and events
- Seminars: first time buyers; investors, 1031 exchange
- Go to team
- Professional photography and tours
- Clean up and fix up team
- Tracking and measuring all of your efforts for effectiveness
- HomeActions Newsletter powered with predictive AI
- Nurture campaigns
- Handwritten notes
- Gift baskets
- The post-closing relationship for life?
- Do they know you care?
If you’re looking to up your innovation and marketing game – join us – it’s easy. www.jparrready.com