Tips on Asking for Referrals
Asking for referrals at any phase of your real estate career can be daunting. Although this is true, giving and getting referrals is arguably the best way to make more money and grow your book of business.
When preparing to ask for a referral it is important to clear any fears or pre-convinced notions you might have about the response. The saying, “The worst thing they can say is no," will only slightly apply here because most likely you will not hear “No." Next, you must know how you will approach the topic. Simply calling and asking, or using the canned term “Do you know anyone who could use my service?", may not be your best bet. Instead, be strategic of when and how you will ask.
In addition to the above, here are five things you should implement into your referral strategy to ease the process and earn more committed referral sources.
Ask for an Introduction. Instead of requesting contact information, consider asking your referral source for an in person introduction to one of their friends/colleges. This creates a setting in which conversations will flow much easier due to the fact that you and the referral both have relationships with the source. A good way to approach this would be to take your source to coffee and ask that they bring your desired referral type.
Don't treat referrals like cold calls. Asking for referrals should be strategic, not over the phone on an afternoon where you feel like you have exhausted all of your other lead sources. Ideally, you will want to ask your sources for referrals by mentioning it in a conversation that is not about referrals. It is fair to assume that you will get a much better response if you call with a purpose other than needing something.
Make it a habit. In addition to using the saying “A referral is the best compliment I can receive" in your email signature, make it a part of your daily conversations. A great way to develop this habit is to start evaluating your current conversations with clients and vendors. Note where you could have mentioned receiving a referral. The next time you have a similar conversation, slide the topic into the discussion.
Give and you shall receive. As an agent you have many opportunities to receive referrals, from carpet cleaners to past clients. If you would like to receive more referrals, start giving more. Ask the small businesses and vendors you work with if they would like you to refer them, as well as the best way for you to do that for them. This will let them know you take your referrals both received and provided seriously.
Change your vocabulary. Lastly consider replacing the word referral with the word recommend. For some people giving a "referral" can be scary and they may have a negative association with the very word itself.