Have you mastered the art of giving real estate referrals?
No matter what your role is, there is a constant need to give referrals in the real estate industry. There are also many benefits, if it is done well. Executed on poorly, referrals can be counterproductive. There are endless referral needs and opportunities in the real estate world. Some are systematic. Then there are others like referring someone you can’t help to a credit repair company, real estate attorney, rental property agent, property manager, or another investor. Giving referrals can be as delicate as handling inbound real estate referrals. So is there an art to it? What’s important?
Sending the Right Referrals
If you want to make sure making referrals is a success, you’ve got to be sending relevant referrals to the right people. If you are a rental landlord with higher end properties and someone keeps sending you people that can’t afford your properties, your time is being wasted. To that end, it’s worth asking what type of referrals are a good fit, before sending them.
The Right Referral Methods
Sending referrals in the right medium is just as important as sending them altogether. If you hate taking phone calls, but are in your email all day, referrals that plague you by phone aren’t serving you well. Find out the best method of making the referral. Is it sending leads to fill out a form on a website, text, Facebook, phone, or email? Is there an affiliate program in place that can take people from your website to theirs, and perhaps even earn you some extra revenue in the process? Automating referrals may serve everyone best. In other cases you may be making introductions. Some of the leaders in this field recommend doing this instantly on the spot, and live. Conference them in and make the introduction.
Serving the Person Being Referred
Is making this referral actually serving the person being referred? Are they going to find a good match and be served well? This side of the equation is just as important to your reputation. The experience they get will be inseparable from your brand. Will it elevate your brand, or cause you more issues? If you send someone to a terrible restaurant, they are going to think less of your opinion on future transactions.
Setting expectations is very important. It applies to both the person you are referring, and the recipient of the lead. Tell the person being referred the pros and cons of what is about to transpire. For example; “I’m referring you to this contractor because they are good at what they do, and always finish on time, but they aren’t the cheapest. Put everything on the table.
Giving a Heads Up
Unless you give the recipient of your referral a heads up, it can be a disaster. They might not see the lead, be too busy to answer it, or dismiss them because they don’t know where it came from. Get ahead of the curve and tell them to look out for the lead, and how important it is that they are taken care of well.
Before considering sending more referrals, or just marching on thinking things are in progress, be sure to follow up. Did they connect? Was it a match? How is it working out? Should you send more leads like that? Should you send more real estate referrals to that service provider?
Get Out of the Way
There is also a time to get out of the way. If you are calling and bugging for updates every 15 minutes then you could be more of a drain than your referrals are worth, and you may be a hurdle to the process, and any of your own real estate deals depending on the outcome. Get out of the way and let them do their thing.
Say Thank You
With your own reputation and success in real estate so dependent on the performance of those you refer to, don’t forget to say thank you when someone really treats your referrals well. They show their appreciation in the way they value and serve those leads. The best way you can say thank you for coming through on that trust, and a job well done is to send more referrals. But a simple card, email, or call to say thank you shouldn’t be overlooked either.
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