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The Secret Formula to Getting Real Estate Referrals from Business Professionals

April 13 2012

Guest Contributor Matthew Collis of IXACT Contact says:

referralstickerAs a real estate sales person who excels in generating clients through referrals and repeat business, you know that your real estate CRM database of past clients is a vital source of new business. However, another great source of leads is your list of fellow professionals in the "home industry" — plumbers, florists, tutoring services, personal trainers, landscapers, and deck builders, to name a few.

You want to cultivate a positive relationship with these professionals so that they'll recommend you when any of their clients need real estate help.

Sounds great. But how do you make these relationships happen?

You have to make the first move.

A big mistake REALTORS® often make during their first contact with a referral source is to say something like, "Here's a stack of business cards. If any of your customers need a REALTOR®, I'd appreciate it if you would refer me."

Who could resist an invitation like that? Most referral sources will be turned off by such a blatantly self-serving approach. Wouldn't you?

Like you, a referral source — whether he's a painting contractor or the owner of a pet care service — values his customer base and is careful about who he recommends. In addition, he has the same marketing goal you do. He wants referrals, too! So, when making your initial contact with a real estate referral source, consider his needs.

Here's an example: "Hi, my name is John Smith from XYZ Realty. I'm calling because I suspect we serve a similar client base — homeowners in the Johnsonville south area. What I'd like to do is learn a bit more about your business, and find out if it makes sense to recommend you to my clients. Of course, I'm hoping you'd be interested in learning more about my services, as well. When would be a good time to stop by for a few minutes so we can discuss this further?"

This type of approach is far more likely to initiate the kind of relationship that leads to referrals.

Make sure that you record in your IXACT Contact real estate CRM who each referral comes from. This way, you can easily run a report to see your best sources of referrals and know 1) which referral sources to reward and 2) which referral sources you have to work with more to ensure a more profitable relationship for both parties moving forward.

Also, make sure you add all of your referral sources to the built-in Business Directory in your IXACT Contact real estate CRM. This way, you can effortlessly pull up all the Interior Designers, for example, in your contact database and recommend the right professional to a client in a snap. The more you refer others, the more they'll refer you back.

Takeaway point: Always remember that referral sources want referrals, too.

What approach do you normally take with potentially referrers?

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