Keller Williams Co-founder and Chairman of the Board Gary Keller and KW MAPS Coach Tony DiCello held a panel on managing your database in a fashion that generates referrals and repeat business.
First up was panelist Mike Hicks, who says that 90 percent of his business is made up of referrals.
He shared his three keys to building a referral business:
- Define your service.
- Deliver your service with systems.
- Ask for the referral and for them to come back.
He defines service as staying focused on clients, staying out of judgment, leaping into curiosity and asking for help so you can align your expectations with customers. Scripting is also an important part of establishing a referral relationship with people in your database.
Hicks shared his script with the audience called “The Promise," where he begins by setting the stage with his client by ensuring them everything he does is designed to exceed his customer’s expectations.
Hicks uses this platform as a transition to align his customer’s goals with his own, by asking for referrals. He makes sure he does this early and often, from their first meeting with the client, to the closing table. The reason for this is because referrals are the life of his business.
“It has to be topical,” he said about referrals. “Don’t give an important conversation five or ten seconds—an ‘oh, by the way…’”
Leveraging Out Referral and Repeat Lead Generation
The second part of the discussion was focused on leveraging your referral and repeat lead generation. Panelists Diane Griffin and Josh Anderson have experienced an incredible amount of success by hiring an Outbound Sales Associate (OSA), whose job it is to continually follow up with the leads that exist in their database.
The OSA stays in contact with past clients and other people the agents have met so when they are ready to buy and sell again, or a friend of theirs is ready to buy or sell, they are their top real estate agent of choice.
In Griffin’s experience, repeat clients and referrals make up 93 percent of her business. For her, hiring an OSA who could give her database the attention it deserved was a no-brainer.
Griffin reasoned: “Why not keep talking to the people you know and who already like you?”
Another added benefit expressed by both Griffin and Anderson: Your OSA is a great starter position that gets future agents involved in lead generation before taking the reins and working with their own clients.
A Culture of Giving
The third source of referrals came from panelist Mandi Monaghan, who found that her company’s culture of giving naturally produced referral leads for her business. Her company founded a non-profit 501(c)3 called Kids 4 Kids, which provides opportunities for kids to get involved in their community and give back in a way that impacts that is contagious.
When building your own charity, one of the most important thing to do is to tie your public works together with your business. The purpose here is not to boast about yourself on a public stage, but to simply connect yourself with consumers who are like minded and share in your business’ culture and vision.
Monaghan ties everything she does, from listing appointments to emails, to her database with the slogan “Give Where You Live”.
“The point is, as top real estate agents, joining other people’s charities is one thing, but picking your passion and drawing a line back to your business, is really a more strategic thing to do,” Gary said.
The charity represents the culture of her business, and is something that many people are attracted to. Over time as her charity gained exposure, she became connected with like-minded individuals in the community, who gladly started sending her listing and talent referrals.
Monaghan chalks this success up to the idea that everyone is looking for something bigger—they want to be a part of something that makes a difference. And, through hard work, her charity is meeting those desires.