Are you sick of having to chase prospects around, day in and day out? Are you tired of knocking almost every door in the neighborhood only to end up with rejection and wasted resources?
What if I told you there was a way to dramatically increase your client list without necessarily becoming the annoying town Realtor?
Most real estate agents think that the journey is over as soon as they get the deal done. However, if you truly want to succeed in the industry, then it might be a good move to take note of Billy’s Birthday, Dad’s Fishing Tournament and Mom’s Social Event of the Season.
My experience, which includes being a Real Estate Marketing Coach for over 13 years, running the largest and most successful team in my market, as well as being a successful solo agent, has taught me the secrets to building an empire through strategic referral management. All of my experiences taught me this golden rule: “Your business should always be 80% relationship and 20% marketing.” That’s Friend FIRST, Realtor SECOND. Successful Referral Marketing Businesses are built on harmonious relationship with clients or customers.
Many of the Realtors I now work with built their businesses 98% by referral [only]. These referrals were already interested in what they offered so there’s no more need to convince them. Imagine how much time and resources are saved through this approach. Now you won’t need to run after potential clients. Instead, prospects are now coming to you.
CardsForRealEstate is an Internet-Based Greeting Card/Gifting Relationship Marketing System with a CRM built in. Used consistently, it creates a revolution of kindness and more importantly a REFERRAL BUSINESS. Throughout this article, I’ll be talking about how to use this tool to maximize our relationship management business.
5 Keys to Creating a Successful Referral Marketing Business
1. Ability to create relationships with a large network of people that know what you do through Friendship-Celebration-Service.
Relationships just don’t come out of thin air. As a Realtor, you must actually break that barrier that’s preventing you from becoming a friend. This involves Recognizing, Listening and Acting on your Promptings – Be “that” person who celebrates others. One good way to do this is through Listening to Life with Relationship Marketing Ears.
With CardsForRealEstate and Sendcere (social media platform where you can share cards) you’ll never need to buy another greeting card anywhere else! While sending a random card can be thoughtful, it wouldn’t help too much in relationship building goals. This is where social media comes in. Try to keep yourself updated on client’s life events. You could also check out your local newspaper, or even stories you’ve heard through word of mouth. Listen for things like that with “Relationship Marketing Ears;” those are all great opportunities to send out a card. This helps us develop tight friendships with our possible referrers, going back to the principle of 80% relationship, 20% marketing.
Be creative with your card, and refrain from being as boring as possible. We wouldn’t want our prospects to think that we just bought it from a local bookstore. Instead, we want them to feel special by putting much thought on the card. With CardsForRealEstate, you can create these cards with your own personal handwriting font and signatures. PLUS, you can add gifts and gift cards! So when you hear about that new grandbaby, why not add a baby blanket to go with your card?
What we recommend is that you create 4 campaigns each year. (Birthday, Thank You for Your Business, Thank You for Your Referral, Anniversary.) Sending is quick and easy with our campaign feature. In simplest terms, a campaign is basically something you send over and over and over again. One strategy would be to create a campaign for everyone who sends you a referral in 2015. Basically, they’ll receive the same card for every time they can refer [opt to throw in a StarBucks Gift Card if you like]. This system, using the campaigns, makes it fast, convenient and easy to do. These cards may be the only ones they’d get in a year, so add some personality to it. You can use the ‘First Name’ feature to personalize the card for each individual.
2. Ability to consistently follow up and stay top of mind with your clients and prospects.
There are a lot of Realtors out there who are also trying to make a name for themselves. So how do you get clients to remember you as their favourite Realtor? On the first point, I talked about getting recognized. Now, we’re going to focus our efforts on maintaining relationships with our clients through easy and affordable follow ups.
Make sure to consistently follow up with them through balanced efforts. Otherwise, instead of being the coolest friend ever, you’ll come off as both annoying and sales-like. Enjoying a 98% referral business takes a bit of effort but it’s totally worth it. With CardsForRealEstate, you can create groups and send a card you designed to multiple recipients with the click of a button. You could send different holiday cards to different groups; you could send 70 to one group, 100 to another and 300 to a different group, all in just a click of a button?
One thing I would encourage you to do is to identify your TOP referral partners. It’s the highest level of contact that you are going to have in your contact manager. Those are the people who you really want to show appreciation and gratitude. It’s really easy to do this with CardsForRealEstate; we have flowers for Valentines Day; we’ve got gifts candy, and gift cards. This is a system to automate the way you thank people who are always giving you referrals.
3. Ability to cost effectively run a long term follow up relationship marketing campaign.
Allow Campaigns to be the heartbeat of your referral business! It’s 100% automated, but are still personalized custom referral cards that YOU write. No matter what, make these heartfelt and fun. You shouldn’t have to always ask for referral because you should have earned the right to be referred.
What we recommend to most of our clients is to develop a 7 card campaign as seen below.
- Thank You. For the first time they sent a referral or for doing business with us.
- Birthdays. You may also want to take note of their spouse and children’s birthdates. Again, this is easy to use with CardsForRealEstate’s contact manager.
- 4 Off Holidays. Don’t just think Christmas! Try to play with other holidays such as Valentines, St. Patricks, Halloween and Thanksgiving. This will help you stand out from the competition. I mean, how many cards do you receive on Thanksgiving?
- Asking for Referrals. Again, keeping up with our principle: 80% relationship, 20% marketing.
Or you can do another campaign that’s set up for the following events:
- Thank You
- Follow Up
- Birthday with a gift
- 4th of July
- Spring Market
The total cost of the above campaign is as little as $19.26 which already includes cards, gifts and shipping.
4. Ability to automate your follow up and relationship building efforts.
We’ve already mentioned the advantages of putting our clients into groups, and this is so easy to do with CardsForRealEstate. But another thing we could make use of this automated process is when we’re farming out for potential clients. Now again, I want to remind you: it’s 80% relationship and just 20% marketing. When I talk about farming cards, I’m referring to cards that you would send to a particular neighbourhood where you might be farming as a real estate agent. This might be a great time for you to take photos of your area and just send it with market update stats. CardsForRealEstate also allows you to send postcards to your contacts. That’s a great way to use SOC to send more of a marketing message. What I suggest is that you make it a little more personal. Instead of just putting your picture in the front, why not put a photo of their neighbourhood sign on it. That would grab their attention a little bit more. Make it personal for their area.
Celebrate things like home anniversaries. CardsForRealEstate makes it so easy to do because there’s a field in the contact manager specifically for anniversary reminders. This is a great way to build relationships with first home buyers. It also has one for birthdays, so try sending Billy a box of brownies, caramels or other gift each year. The next time they’ll look for a listing agent, they’re not going to look for some stranger, but instead, they’ll remember someone who never forgets Billy’s birthday.
5. Ability to separate yourself from all other competitors and marketing messages.
With CardsForRealEstate your relationship with your clients is different and special!
- You create Custom Closing Cards that make a difference. You Include Gifts and Gift Cards on your thank you and referral cards.
- You Celebrating First Time Homebuyers in a special way. You can take personal photos of your new client in their new home and implement them into the cards.
- You celebrate Home Anniversaries.
- You celebrate Friendships.
- You celebrate the people you meet.
- You celebrate Life’s Special Occasions.
- Your cards are sent in a real envelope!
Build your business by becoming a Master in Relationship Marketing! Focus on Client Relationship first and Marketing second. Create strong relationships, celebrate life, and be grateful.
Stop wasting your time trying to walk around the streets in the hopes of finding your next lead. Do you want to be the Realtor who has an increase in Repeat Business and Referrals? Would you like to build a business that is up to 98% Referrals? Then implementing a quality Relationship Marketing Plan, one that is easy to setup and use, highly personal and high touch like the ones I have been talking about through CardsForRealEstate is the perfect program for you. Get in touch with us and we’ll gladly help you start using CardsForRealEstate in your Real Estate Business today.
Cheri Alguire has coached over a thousand Realtors and Small Business Professionals in the past 15 years on how to be more successful and make more money. She comes from a background in the Real Estate Industry running one of the largest and most successful Real Estate Teams in her area, as well as winning awards as a solo agent early in her career. For more information on how she can help you make more money in your buisness, visit CheriAlguire.com