There are a lot of tips available to help real estate agents grow their businesses—marketing tips, sales tactics, networking strategies, and more. But when it comes to building trust among clients and achieving the most loyalty humanly possible, one of the greatest gifts we can all give ourselves is the ability to stare our fears right in the face during those times when we must deliver the not-so-great news that occasionally interrupts our victories.
There are thousands of articles on the web offering scripts for asking for referrals, ideas for “referral rewards programs,” and marketing ideas that involve including “I <3 referrals” in your email signature.
These are all full of great tactical advice. I'm even going to link to some of these articles in a few minutes, so you'll be able to check them out—but don't jump ahead just yet.
“There is no magic shortcut. Contrary to what the gurus tell you, referrals need to be earned; they are not given simply for the asking.”
- Kendyl Young, DIGGS
That's the most important thing to understand about referrals. You have to earn them. You have to build trust. Without laying a foundation of trust, even the cleverest referral script or rewards program in the world will have you coming up empty.
In addition to building trust, you need to examine your process and make sure you're providing a memorable, remarkable experience—something people will be moved to talk about. What do you do that is unexpected? How do you delight your clients?
"Ask yourself, am I providing a referable experience?"
- Dave Silva, Dave Silva Realty Team (Re/Max)
So, that's what it comes down to: trusting relationships and a remarkable client experience. I'd love to tell you that I've found 6 quick, easy tips for accomplishing these two objectives and earning tons of referrals. But it's just not that simple.
Instead, I have 6 not-so-quick or easy steps to earning referrals.
“My parents are 88. OK? I have a good relationship with my parents. They live in Florida. Let’s say my parents live to be 92. I hope they live longer, but let’s say they live five years. I don’t have 5 years with my parents. I see my parents twice per year. That means I have TEN VISITS with my parents. So when I started to look at [things] like that, I made significant changes, like ‘OK I’m going to get on a plane and see my parents.’ And when I’m in those moments, my feet are on the ground. That’s where I am, because I only have a limited amount of time with them.”
-Jesse Itzler, on his relationship with time.
This is an extract from a podcast that I listened to a few weeks ago. I’ve thought about this statement every day since. Maybe the timing of it resonated with me because not long ago, I started to think about my commute to work.
Pilot or Passenger II - How Real Estate Agents Can Differentiate: The Sequel
A couple of weeks ago, in the first post of my Pilot or Passenger blog series, I wrote about how real estate agents can differentiate themselves (differently). I suggested that everyone has their own unique gift—something that no other competitor could ever truly copy.
In our productivity-obsessed culture, we're biologically wired to have anxiety over the future. We’re constantly thinking about (and often worrying about) the next task at hand. And we set these astronomical goals for our businesses that force us to focus on more rather than better.
Many real estate agents focus on generating more leads. Allow me to humbly suggest a sustainable alternative:
If you’ve known Realvolve for even a short amount of time—in particular, if you know Dave—you’ve come to realize that mindfulness is a core value of the company. You’ve also heard someone (probably Dave) tout the virtues of meditation as a means of achieving that mindfulness.
It sounds a bit hippie-dippy, especially to those of you who aren’t the hippie-dippy type. But meditation isn’t some strange, alternative path to business success. It has become a mainstream habit practiced by all types of people—from CEOs to day traders to neurosurgeons. And it can benefit real estate agents, too.
It can be difficult to unwind after long, action-packed day of work. Leaving your paperwork and laptop at the office when you come home is easy enough, but leaving behind the worry, the excitement, the mental To Do list...that’s not so simple. It’s certainly something I struggle with.