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The 5 Fundamentals of Working by Referral

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One thing I’ve learned in my more than 20 years in the real estate industry is the basics never go out of style. While there may be more gadgets and apps available now than ever before—ones that tend to overpromise and under-deliver—at the end of the day, it’s the daily connections and interactions you have with your clients that drive your business.

Although technology can certainly help you run your business, it’s often a distraction. How many times do you find yourself posting a listing on social media one minute and then scrolling through and getting sucked into the political volleyball in your newsfeed? It’s tempting to give in to distractions when you’re busy, but the most successful people ignore the noise and get to work. Doing the work doesn’t have to be painful; if you stick to the basics of working by referral, you can have fun while you build relationships with your clients.

The 5 Fundamentals of Working by Referral

  1. Give it out in slices and it comes back in loaves. This applies to business and personal relationships. Working by referral is about give, ask and receive. Notice ‘give’ is first, before asking for the referral or receiving it. When you give, you build trust, which is the foundation of a lasting relationship. The more you give, the happier your clients will be. And when they’re happy with your service, they’ll be happy to refer you to their family and friends.

Get back to basics: When you speak to your clients, listen for a need to fill and think of ways to connect them to other people or businesses in your database. Show your appreciation by delivering Pop-Bys to your top clients.

  1. Commit to a system. A system allows you to prioritize your day and focus on the activities that drive your business. The fundamentals of building relationships are calls, notes, Pop-Bys. The more you consistently stay in touch, the more your clients rely on you for information and build trust.

Get back to basics: Find a system that works and stick to it. The work by referral system has worked for me for nearly three decades. The secret is to be consistent. Use Referral Maker CRM to help you stay on track and the app allows you to stay in touch with your business from anywhere.

  1. Have goals. Goals help you achieve your dreams. However, it’s not enough to say, “I want to close more transactions this year.” It’s important to be specific and say “I want to close 10 more transactions this year.” What do you want to achieve? How does your life look in six months, one year or five years down the road? Goals give you a something to work toward.

Get back to basics: Think of what you want your life to look like and be specific. Write it all down. Once you do this, form goals around it. If it helps, create milestones to keep you on track. Don’t forget to track your progress it’ll keep you motivated and tell you how close you are to achieving your goal.

  1. Stay in touch. Technology makes it easier for us to connect with one another, but it also makes it easier to not be face to face with them. While there is a place for social media in your marketing, nothing replaces personal contact. Think of it this way: while all of your competitors are buying digital leads and trying to drum up business on Facebook, you’re connecting with your clients in person and building the relationships that generate a stream of referrals, not just one or two cold leads.

Get back to basics: Pick up the phone, unless your client tells you specifically not to call. Make a plan to meet them for coffee or lunch, or Pop-By their home or office with a treat.

  1. Express gratitude. Gratitude not only shows you appreciate your clients, it also improves your overall health and disposition. Having an attitude of gratitude is powerful. When we’re optimistic, we’re more resilient to challenges and set-backs. Plus, it improves our relationships with our clients and loved ones alike.

Get back to basics: Say “thanks,” send a personal note or deliver a Pop-By. These activities only take a minute to do, but their impact is immeasurable. If you want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, start your day with a notebook and pen and write down what you’re thankful for.

Trends may come and go, but the fundamentals will always be effective. When you provide great service and stay in touch with your clients consistently, you build the lasting relationships that drive referrals.

If you haven’t subscribed to my podcast yet, what are you waiting for? It’s full of great information that will help you live the good life.


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