Referrals are crucial for sellers' agents

March 21, 2017

For real estate professionals at this time of year, it's all about who you know. There is now heavy competition among buyers to purchase a relatively small number of homes for sale, and the same is true of agents who need to represent those sellers. With this in mind, it's vital for agents to ask around and try to ferret out any referrals they can find to represent someone navigating the real estate sales process.

There are many times when agents can ask their clients for referrals, whether those people are buying or selling, according to a report from Inman. While some agents may not necessarily feel as though they should ask for referrals, say, during the initial listing presentation, the fact is that there's not necessarily a "bad" time to bring it up, as long as it's done properly and buyers or sellers know agents can be trusted to take care of anyone they may recommend as a potential future client.

How to approach it
As the sales process proceeds, the process of building trust grows as well, and that gives agents an ever-increasing opportunity to ask about possible referrals. In general, the more agents can do to demonstrate their honesty, efficiency and willingness to really dig in and help clients with whatever needs arise, the greater the chance that a request for a referral - especially from those looking to sell - will yield results.

But even if an opportunity doesn't necessarily present itself during the sales process, checking in some time after for a quick follow-up may likewise be successful. Of course, these efforts should be undertaken in addition to other types of referral-generating efforts such as social media postings. It might also be helpful at this time to offer awards for successful referrals so that people feel as though they're appreciated.

Figure out what works best
When agents have lots of experience in the game, they also get another opportunity for referrals: their own history, according to Fit Small Business. If they've kept track of how they got past referrals, it can be easy to go back through that history and determine which methods have statistically reaped them the most rewards when it comes to these efforts. There may even be ways agents can examine the return on investment they got from these efforts, to determine the method that's most effective, but also the most cost-effective.

The likelihood of agents getting referrals only increases as they put more time into the job; over a period of years it will probably come to take up an ever-larger percentage of their business. With that having been said, examining the best ways to boost those referrals will probably result in positive momentum.

In general, the more agents can do to just put in the work associated with helping people sell their homes as quickly and easily as possible, the better off they will be when it comes to building strong relationships that could lead to referrals years down the line.