September 13, 2022

3 Reasons why you don’t get referrals and what to do about it.

Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

If you’re like most real estate agents, you know that your real estate referral network represents the lifeblood of your business. And like most agents, you probably face a few dry spells, where the real estate referrals just aren’t coming in like they used to.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to build real estate referral networks from the ground up. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most common reasons why you’re not getting real estate referrals and more importantly, what you can do about it.

Some Important Real Estate Referrals Stats

Before we dive deep into this topic, it’s important to mention some stats that are directly related to real estate referrals.

Have a look:

  • Nearly 70% of people who sold or are selling their homes found their current real estate agent through a referral from a family member or friend
  • Almost 35% of commissions earned by real estate agents come from referrals and from repeat clients
  • Fewer than 1% of people who are looking for a new home find it because of print advertising

In the real estate referral network building-game, referrals are key, so make sure that you’re actively looking for referrals each day.

Why What You’re Doing Isn’t Enough to Get Real Estate Referrals

There are many reasons why you can’t seem to build real estate referral networks no matter how hard you try. However, we’ve found there are about three very common ones.

1. It’s All About Timing

Asking for a referral is a bit like asking for a date. If you meet someone you like and ask them for a date within the first five minutes or so of knowing them, chances are very good that you’ll scare them away.

Asking for real estate referrals is a bit the same way. While you may not need to wait until you close on your client’s house before asking for a referral, it is wise to wait until you establish some trust with them first.

Most new clients will feel a bit awkward about offering up the name of a friend or a relative to someone they barely know. They also worry about making their friends and relatives feel pressured. These feelings are the strongest at the outset of your relationship with your client. The best tactic here is to wait until you get to know them a bit before attempting to build up your real estate referral network via their family and friends.

2. You’re Not Giving Referrals

You’ve probably heard that you have to give a little, to take a little. This is definitely true in the real estate referral game. Your real estate clients aren’t just a house waiting to be bought or sold.

They’re real people with real professions. They’re coffee shop owners, attorneys, financial planners, doctors, and more. When you’re dealing with them, ask about their business. Take their business card, and then, if the opportunity arises, pass it on to someone you know.

Once you do this, the Law of Reciprocity kicks in. According to Entrepreneur.com, sales guru Brian Tracy says that the Law of Reciprocity is human nature’s most powerful law. Doing something nice for your clients makes them want to do something nice for you. It’s really that simple.

3. You Haven’t Asked

This counts as the biggest reasons why many real estate agents can’t build real estate referral networks. They simply haven’t asked people to give them real estate referrals.

People are busy these days. They fill their brains with tasks that have to do with getting through their days. They might be more than happy to give you a referral, particularly if they’re happy about the way their home deal went.

However, the only thing standing between you and the real estate referrals they might give you is your request, or lack of it in this case. If you’ve had a good experience with a client, be sure to ask for a referral at some point in your relationship.

How to Build Your Real Estate Referral Network From Scratch

Now that we know some of the most common reasons why you might be having trouble building a real estate referral network, we can offer you some pointers on how to correct your referral deficit.

Here’s a few simple ways to get more real estate referrals for your business.

1. Agent-to-Agent Real Estate Referrals

Who ever heard of one real estate agent sending another agent — potentially a competitor — a client referral? As it turns out, this practice is more common than you might think for a couple of reasons.

First, sometimes an agent has an interested client, but that client lives outside of the agent’s city. An agent who works in this fashion will sell the home in one city, and then refer their client to another agent in the city where the client is relocating. It’s a relationship that works out great for both the agents, and due to the geographic distance, competition isn’t an issue.

Second, many real estate agents are feeling the real estate boom right now and literally can’t keep up with the demand. Rather than disappoint a potential client, savvy real estate professionals have begun to send their “overages” to other real estate agents.

Third, after a long career in real estate, even the most passionate real estate agents will retire. They need to send their referrals somewhere. It might as well be to you.

If you’re interested in getting clients this way, start building up a referral network with other agents. These can come from other agents in your office, from agents in nearby cities, or from listing agents to name but a few.

2. Automate Your Outreach Efforts

Your past clients will hit milestones: new home anniversary date, birthdays, graduations, retirements, etc. You can use software that keeps track of your clients’ important dates. Once an anniversary or birthday pops up on the calendar, send out a card or a quick email, congratulating the client on the milestone.

And then, as unobtrusively as possible, ask for a referral in a way that seems natural, like at the end of the email in the P.S. Use humor and appreciation to build rapport.

The key to success here is to be disciplined and consistent with this approach. Make automated drip campaigns a regular part of your client prospecting and do it faithfully.

3. Set Up a Real Estate Referral Network Program and Ask for Referrals!

Are you noticing a pattern here? That is, be sure to ask for referrals. If the biggest reason that you don’t get real estate referrals as an agent is because you’re not asking for them, then set up a system that allows you to ask for referrals.

You can set up your own referral program. Or you can use one like Shaker’s that’s ready to use. No setup required.

It’s best to go with an easy-to-use form that you can send to your client at the appropriate time. The most effective referral programs also offer some sort of finder’s fee, so be sure to include some sort of reward to make the referral worth your client’s while.

How to Build Real Estate Referral Networks — Final Thoughts

According to recent statistics, most real estate transactions come from referrals. As such, real estate agents must take the time to build up their real estate referral network so that they always have a list of viable leads.

In this post, we looked at some of the most important reasons why you may be having trouble getting real estate referrals, as well as some ways you can build real estate referral networks from the ground up. Working consistently and patiently on your real estate referral network requires discipline and hard work but pays plenty of dividends in the end.

To learn more about how Shaker.io can improve your real estate business, reach out for a demo today!

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