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How to Get Referrals

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

“A Good Lead is Hard to Find”

In school, you may have read Flannery O’Conner’s short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find. In the story, the definition of “Good” has lost all meaning and the grandmother doesn’t know a “Good Man” from a bad one.

Do you know a Good Lead from a Bad one?

Ask Yourself:

How do I define a Good Lead?

What do I say when I ask for referrals?

What questions do I ask a person to qualify them as a good lead?

Find Good Leads

Get Involved

The best thing you can do is get involved in your community. When I was apart of my community’s minor soccer association, people started calling me to ask me questions about the community beyond soccer because I proved myself as a community resource.

Whether it’s within your church, your rec centres, or the schools, help committees, associations, and groups make things happen.

Good clients are referred by good clients. Offer the best service you can, ask for feedback to improve, and ask them to refer you to friends.

How to ask for Referrals:

  • Identify a group of people

  • Add a reason they need your service

  • Tell them what you want them to do

“If you know anyone who has kids in elementary school and might be thinking of getting a bigger place, please pass on my name.” Or “If you know anyone who has kids in University and might be thinking of downsizing, please pass on my name.”

Ask for Referrals in Multiple Ways.

Add a line of copy on marketing materials and your email signature to let people know you appreciate their referrals. It can be as simple as, “Referrals welcome” to subtle, “Your friends will love my service,” to an incentive, “Ask about my referral rewards program.”

Send a follow up letter of gratitude and ask them to tell their friends and family about their experience. Explain why you enjoyed working with them, what you liked or thought of them, and if they know other people like them to refer. Give them a positive emotional experience before asking for what you want.

Ask in person. This is the most important way you can ask because it is a personal and you can tell from their behaviour how open they are to referring people. Personal service comes when we change our scripts to meet the client where they are and provide them what they need.

Invite them and a friend to an open house, a coffee meet up, an event you are sponsoring or organizing. Most people like to attend events and parties with people they know instead of showing up alone.

How and When you Ask for Referrals

You can ask for a referral at any time during the process. The best time to ask is when your client is feeling positive and happy about your service. Make it apart of the conversation without pressuring them to think of someone on the spot. Say something like, “If you know anyone who needs help with <<the action you completed>>, I will ensure they are well taken care of too.”

When you ask for a referral, keep it about them and their friends, not about your business. Stay away from statements where referrals only benefit you like, “I make my living by helping people buy homes…” If your referral asking script starts with the letter “I,” consider changing it.

Make notes about the times when things went right and your client was happy, then when you follow up after they move in and are settled, you can remind them of those moments and ask if they know anyone who needs help with those specific things.

The more specific you are, the more likely the lightbulb will come on when a friend of theirs mentions they need help. Being vague and general will not help them know whom to refer to you. You want to make it as easy for them as possible to know you are the person for that friend.

Qualify A Lead

Before you take them shopping for a home find out:

  • Have they talked to the bank or mortgage broker

  • How much do they have for a downpayment

  • When do they want to sell their home

  • Do they want to list at way over market price

  • Was their home listed before - why didn’t it sell

  • Are they willing to listen to your advice

  • Do they tell you how to do your job

  • Do they want to look at homes beyond their income

  • What does your gut say about them

Stay in Touch with Leads:

Don’t ghost your clients.

  • Comment on their social media posts (liking is not enough)

  • Send them a congrats email if they posted something exciting

  • Create a community resource platform

  • Send information on community events you think they’ll be interested in

  • Invite them to visit you at open houses in their neighbourhood

  • Partner with other businesses to sponsor a day in the park event

  • Call them to ask how the home is coming together and catch up

  • Have a coffee ‘n’ chat drop-in at the local coffee shop (BYOC)

  • Create a MarketAPeel digital directory of approved businesses

Learn from Past Interactions with Leads:

Make a list of all the times a lead wasted your time, was difficult, or caused a deal to fall through.

  • Where did you get the lead from

  • Write down what happened

  • Why was it a bad experience for you

  • Where there signs they were not serious or there was an issue

  • When you met them what did you assume about them

  • What mistakes did you make

  • What questions could you have asked to identify the risk

  • Was there a communication issue

  • What did you learn from the experience

Know your Lead like a Novelist Knows a hero

Let’s start with the easy stuff, the obvious part of target marketing – demographic stats.

These include, age, gender, race, profession, married, single, kids, homeowner, address, and income.

Write down the general demographics of your ideal client, then take it one step further by asking why you want to target that age, gender, etc and how will your product or service help each group?

  • What hobbies does your client have?

  • Where do they shop?

  • Where do they like to eat, go for drinks, exercise, and vacation?

Ask all the questions which will tell you what kind of buying habits they have, their recreational choices, and how they value their status or image.

Which values does your ideal lead have?

Values encompass things like, honesty, courage, leadership, and vision. The Internet has lots of lists to help you define a person’s values.

What does your lead want most of all?

The common wants are, security, fame, adventure, happiness and love. Once again you can do a Google search to come up with a list to help you.

What about your lead's morality or belief system?

Things people passionately stand for are charities, causes, political views, religion, and world order. This is a starting target for your core ideal client, so though you may think this isn’t important, it is, because it will help you identify where to find your clients.

What is the main problem your lead has?

This is where your ability to solve their problem comes in. Look deeper into the problem by asking probing open ended questions.

  • Why does he have it?

  • How does he communicate that he has it?

  • Does he even know that he has it?

When does your client’s problem become so critical they need your solution, yesterday?

Is it when they are standing knee deep in water?

Understand how this problem fits in your ideal lead’s life and what it looks like when he needs your solution. Don’t get so detailed that you will only target five-foot-nine, blue eyed, blonde haired, bombshells with great bodies. You want to keep your characterization general enough to describe a decent sized group of people. If you find your ideal market is too tight, loosen up your criteria, if it’s too large, tighten up your criteria. This is your ideal market, however, the size of your budget will help determine how large of a market you can afford to broadcast to.

Key to Social Media Success

Whether you are spending hours a day trying to engage on social media with your audience or spending hundreds of dollars on Facebook ads – Social Media can be frustrating

Ask Yourself:

Are you struggling to get your message in front of your ideal audience?

Do you feel you spend too much money on social media advertising?

Do you feel you spend too much money on Google Ads?

Are you spend. too much time on social media getting little return?

You are Not ALONE

I get it. I've been there. I have taken breaks from social media, abandoned platforms, and spent hours on social media with nothing to show for it.

The Key to Social Media Success is ...

Engage with people you want to know. Comment on their posts by asking questions to get a conversation started. Don't know what to ask? Keep it simple. You only need to ask one question that relates to what they posted about to dive deeper into the conversation. Keep asking questions and see what happens.

At MarketAPeel we tested this idea after I stopped engaging with posts on LinkedIn due to a large project with a short timeline and the impressions on my scheduled posts fell significantly. What we discovered was engagement matters for increased impressions along with creating connections with real people.

Everyday real estate professionals post content to their social media platforms trying to appeal to their market. The frustration level is increasing as platforms make it harder and harder to organically connect with their audience.

How can you appeal to your market on social media?

  • Follow your top clients on social media to see what they are sharing and then search for others sharing similar stories and connect with them.

  • Be you. We like to connect with people who have shared experiences and are similar to us.

  • Even with the right help — You still need to show up. Don’t hire someone and then become a ghost on social media​.

  • Test. Test. Test. Keep Testing. When you create an ad, show the emotional result, tell the problem, and offer a solution with a call to action.

  • Think like an informative, educating, entertainer…. Basically, be the Bill Nye the Science Guy of real estate.

Social Media Post Ideas for Realtors® Brand Storytelling

As a content creator and brand storyteller, I know how hard it can be to consistently come up with content for social media. To help you adjust your creative thinking cap, here is a storytelling idea for real estate professionals.

It's the Little Things!

Think about one of your listings. Does it have a small unique feature that makes life for a homeowner a little easier. You know something like extra deep pot drawers in the kitchen or a built in vacuum slot to suck up the sweep pile.

Get a photo of it and write about how this one little feature makes life easier, more organized, and more efficient for those who live there.

You have a post, you get eyeballs on your brand, and your client will see you are doing something to help garner interest in their property.

Want more ideas?

Check out the latest issue of CurbAPeel for Real Estate Professionals.

I added a free social media content package for you to download and use on your social media.

Click here to check out the latest CurbAPeel issue

Are you getting frustrated by the social media impressions game? I know I do at times.

How I killed my LinkedIn Impressions

My LinkedIn posts were consistently getting over 1000 impressions, I even had a few make it up over 10 000 eyeballs without being in a POD.

I’d spend two hours every day commenting on posts I found interesting that were created by people I wanted to connect with. Then… I got busy

As a result, the amount of time I spent engaging with other people's posts decreased dramatically.

Soon, my impressions started falling below 500 and suddenly, I couldn’t get above 200 eyeballs on my posts. I kept spending less and less time engaging with posts until I was no longer logging onto LinkedIn.

I was posting content using an automated scheduling system, but I didn’t spend any time participating on LinkedIn. The less time I spent engaging with other’s posts, the less people saw my posts, until I was well below 100 impressions.

The lesson: I needed to engage with posts in my feed and search for other posts to make comments on for two hours a day to gain impressions on my posts.

Click here to learn how to make the most out of your engagement efforts

Where the Leads Are

Real Estate Leads are everywhere but you can’t be. So where should you be spending your lead generating resources?

Ask Yourself:

· Where did you find your top clients?

· Where do you spend your time?

· If you had time, what would you do with it?

· How do you build connection with others?

Be Where You Need to Be:

  • · Choose 1 social media platform you enjoy spending time on and engage with people by commenting on their posts for at least an hour a day.

  • · Choose 1 non-social media platform to create content on once a week, be it a podcast, a blog, or a YouTube channel.

  • · Choose 1 real world organization to join, like toastmasters, a business community club, a church or charity committee.

  • · Choose 1 real world social group to join, like a sports team, a book club, a walking group, or a musical or creative group.

  • DO NOT put all your effort into one platform and expect to get results. You must have an online and offline strategy to build strong connections with future leads.

We can’t do it all on our own. Try to bring together a group of professionals who will agree to work together to generate leads, increase brand reach, make connections, and provide referrals. MarketAPeel creates an interactive multimedia installable directory for everyone to share with the people they meet to make lead sharing fair for everyone. –Click here to view for yourself

Keep your Sales Funnel Full

As a solopreneur or small business owner, it can be tough to keep your funnel filling up when you are busy providing the service to your clients, resulting in a feast or famine cycle.

If you ignore your leads you will spend more time in famine than you do feasting. Nurture your funnel by understanding behaviours in your marketing funnel.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I currently get my leads from?

  • When I get a lead what do I do with it?

  • Do I stay in front of leads over time?

  • How do leads know what I do?

  • How do leads know how I can help them?

  • Do I have a strategy to progress leads through a funnel?

  • Is there any part of the funnel where I lose audience members?

  • Do you communicate with past clients or ghost them?

A funnel strategy ensures your brand story stays in front of your audience and you don’t lose your potential ideal clients or are forgotten by your best clients.

Awareness - When they first see your brand

Interest - When they start engaging with your brand story

Decision - When they start considering your brand service / product

Close - When they become a customer

Retention - When they go from customer to advocate

First step: Identify the process you use to communicate with your leads and what to do next when they engage with you.

  • Did they like a social media post?

  • Did they open up an email?

  • Did they visit your website?

  • Did they put an item in their cart?

  • Did they send you an email?

  • Did they schedule a meeting?

What do each of these behaviours signal to you and what do you need to do next to move them through to a customer?

Second step: Set up the mechanics of the process.

  • Write scripts

  • Create email templates

  • Design systems, crms, posting automation

  • Hire an assistant

Step three: Do the work to engage your leads and communicate to them throughout the process.

By ensuring you connect with your leads and show them why you are the best choice for their unique needs, you will spend more time feasting and less time hunting down your next meal.

MarketAPeel publications engage people in every stage of the funnel to ensure your brand story clearly answers the question, why you?

Ensure your marketing funnel is being by having a combination of real and virtual world sources. Your offline activities will drive your online results and your online activities will drive your offline results. Do you have a strategy to keep your brand in front of your clients long after they have finished their property transaction? MarketAPeel’s multimedia, interactive digital publications can help you tell your brand story to your clients.


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