10 Ways to Organically Grow Your Referral Network

Commentary by Yazir Phelps

In our inaugural Voice of the Real Estate Agent report, we asked real estate agents from all over the country a variety of questions to better understand how they drive success. One of the questions we asked was how they grow their referral network organically, since this is such an integral aspect of an agent's career. We compiled the top 10 answers together to help other agents grow their business.
1. Set expectations for the process.
One of the ways you can set yourself apart from other agents is by communicating clearly and effectively, especially with inexperienced or first-time homebuyers or sellers. Describing what to expect throughout the process can demystify the process and help clients feel more secure in the decisions they make.
2. Practice total honesty.
Misrepresenting the facts will always come back to bite you and damage your reputation. By telling the truth—even when it's uncomfortable or unprofitable—you'll develop a reputation as the most trustworthy professional in your local market.
3. Prioritize clients, not commission.
Treat the client who's looking for a small starter home the same way you'd treat a luxury homebuyer. Help clients make decisions based on what's best for them, not on how big your commission will be. As a real estate agent, you have a fiduciary duty to put your client's interest before your own.
4. Remember special occasions.
When you're working with clients, learn their birthdates and anniversaries, as well as where their children are in school. Enter this information into your CRM (customer relationship management system) and drop them a card for their birthday or anniversary. By becoming part of these special days, you can become their real estate agent for life—and the one they recommend to their friends and neighbors.
5. Engage on social media.
By connecting as a friend or follower on social media, you can stay abreast of what's going on in your clients' lives. Take an interest in the things they share, and you can become an important part of their lives—and know when they're looking to buy or sell.
6. Host client appreciation events.
Happy hour at a local neighborhood pub, a springtime brunch or a summer barbecue are simple and affordable opportunities to invite valued clients to connect more deeply.
7. Show you care.
Sincerity is the most important part of creating meaningful client relationships. Look for opportunities to offer true service or kindness; surprise and delight your clients.
8. Contribute to your community.
Find ways to serve your community and the people you share it with. Volunteer at the local school. Host a community cleanup day. When you show passion for your market and its people, that energy draws in clients who see you as an integral member of the neighborhood.
9. Maintain your online presence.
Don't forget to take photos and videos while you're out and about in the community. Consistently update your online and social media platforms so you stay top of mind with those who are already fans.
10. Take pride in your work.
Never think of your outreach as "bothering" people or trying to sell them something. You're a service provider—be confident in that role. The more you believe in the value you bring, the more others will believe, as well.
When you treat people right, you become a referral magnet. Instead of trying to convince cold leads to give you a chance, create a compelling presence in your community and with past clients that will make you the most sought-after agent in your market.
Yazir Phelps is the chief marketing officer at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Phelps has over 18 years of experience in marketing, fueling growth at Fortune 500 organizations, and over five years of experience working directly with real estate professionals. Her extensive background in generating demand for products and services encompasses crucial strategies for a successful career in the field. To learn more, please visit www.RealEstateExpress.com.

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