BUILDING A CULTURE OF REFERRALS – PART 2: Earning the Referral
Written by Suze, March 16th, 2017
To be referred, you must be referable.
Your clients will not pour their energy into recommending your service, insist that their sphere must contact you, or get a glitter in their eye as they talk about their real estate experience if that experience was okay. It must be extraordinary.
Naturally, a huge part of this will be your skills as an agent- having great negotiation skills, market knowledge, strong networks, excellent legal and financial knowledge and a strong commitment to ethical business practices. Being talented in these respects will get your clients great results. We know what it means to build the hard skills in real estate, and it’s always good to remind ourselves how important it is.
Today, however, I would like to focus on the other side of being excellent enough to earn referrals, the softer skills. In addition to getting our clients great results, it’s phenomenally important to give them an exceptional experience, which usually means a unique one. To give people the best experience they can have, the way we go about real estate must be catered to them, not us. Here are some ideas about how to get there:
Ask them what Exceptional Service Looks Like
By simply asking your clients what their ideal Real Estate experience will look like, you accomplish a couple things. You learn how much attentiveness they’re looking for and what’s important to them, you can see their expectations and adjust any misconceptions they have about Real Estate transactions, and you indicate that you care – introducing them to the idea that all the work you do, and how you do it, is deliberate to give them the best experience possible. This certainly means you will be able to serve them better, but also plants the seed that the work you’re doing really is above and beyond (so long as you do the work to follow through on their answer).
Your Value is your Versatility
It’s easy to get stuck in a place of believing that your value comes from one niche of knowledge you have, one thing you always do that clients love, or one method that nobody else uses. While it’s always great to diversify your skills, reach, and ways of doing business, remember that where you will truly create incredible experiences for your clients will be paying attention to what they need, and finding creative and impactful ways to meet those needs to the highest degree. This will carry through to create strong referrals because your clients will see that you were not only a fantastic agent for them, but that you are capable of being a fantastic agent for their sphere, even if those referrals have different priorities than they did.
Commit to Communication
It all comes back to communication. By asking the right questions, making sure to name assumptions, and creating a space where clients trust you enough to tell you anything, you open up a whole new realm of possible service. Strong communication can be used to help your clients make the best decisions, can give you a strong understanding of where they are at so you can anticipate their needs, and help to alleviate the stress your clients feel around Real Estate. It all loops back to benefit your business as well. If you have strong communication with your clients, it becomes a lot easier to talk about referrals.
Ultimately, exceptional service is a subtle art. It takes practice, open mindedness, and awareness. When you combine strong communication with acute empathy – the two compliment each other to open many doors of fantastic service, and natural referrals. Communication allows you to develop an intuition of how to best serve your clients, empathy gives you access to a deeper level of excellent service, and communication brings all your energy back around to show your clients that you really are staying ahead of the curve to give them the best experience possible.
What do you do to stay exceptional?
Read last week’s blog post on how to talk about referrals HERE.