Top-producing agent Suzy Arriola, of the center in Orange County, Calif., is so serious about growing her referral business that she made her last commute to Business Objective: a Life by Design by airplane.
Last year, when Arriola’s Mastery Coach challenged her to go out of her region to take her 12th BOLD class, Suzy reminded her coach that she’d already gone an hour and a half out of her way to attend the last one. Knowing that the trip would be fruitful, Arriola’s coach pushed her to get out of her own marketplace, so Suzy booked a flight 400 miles north to San Francisco. In that class, Arriola connected with 90 agent partners and had four viable referrals before the class concluded seven weeks later.
Recently, Arriola has committed to being more accountable to her Mastery Coach about her numbers. “I have always disliked the numbers, but my coach encouraged me to embrace them – to really understand where the numbers are coming from and where every dollar invested in my business is going. By understanding the numbers and how they relate to the goals I set each year, I can see how to work so that I can always stay in front of the numbers.”
And it’s working: her year-over-year growth is at 114 percent.
It turns out a big piece of that growth has been through agent-to-agent referrals. In 2017, Arriola had two inbound and two outbound referrals for a total closed volume of $3.3 million. In the first quarter of 2018, she is already working on six more.
To rev up your business with agent-to-agent referrals, Arriola offers some points of encouragement:
- Be a social farmer. “I call it party with a purpose,” she chuckles. “It’s a given that I’ll be out networking, but my family comes first. So, I consider if my ‘yes’ outweighs what I’m saying no to.” She attends philanthropy events and galas, hangs out at country clubs, joins luxury membership groups, and is on the board of a favorite charity. “Ritz-Carlton has a ‘yappy hour’ where people will just relax for a couple of hours with their pets. If you have a pet in common, it can open the conversation to other things.”
- Join Keller Williams’ membership groups – there are several. Suzy is a part of KW Luxury International and is in the top 1 percent of luxury worldwide. In addition to Keller Williams, she has designations in the Asian Real Estate Association of America and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.
- Network out of your network! Suzy has attended BOLD a dozen times and registers for a variety of training classes across the country. “Expand your network with like-minded agents by registering for the excellent training opportunities in a market center in another city,” she urges.
- Take advantage of every retreat and training opportunity you possibly can to meet agents from all over the United States. “I’m always at Family Reunion, Mega Camp, and this year, Mega Relief. I attend the luxury retreat. Find people you don’t know and stretch yourself. Hanging out with people from your market center will not get you any referral business or help you find referral partners.”
- If a Keller Williams event is in your city, choose to stay at the hotel where the event is being held. The networking opportunities that come from the breakout meetings and after-hours brainstorming won’t happen if you drive home each afternoon.
- Host a couple of parties each year for your past clients and a client appreciation brunch. “I tell clients that I want to help an additional 20 families this year and ask if they know anyone that wants to buy, sell, invest, or get into real estate.” Within three weeks of last year’s brunch, Arriola received a $900,000 referral.
- Use KWConnect. The CGI Calculator and Pipeline tool are really helpful to track lead generation activities. And now, there’s a My Referrals tab to track incoming, outgoing, and pending referrals – all with a single login.
- Use the resources available to you, especially Agent-to-Agent Referrals. Arriola is excited about this brand-new platform set up through KW Labs. “We’re just adding to our platform and our immediate pipeline. Agents are already getting referrals through this innovative (and) new technology.”
Arriola sums it up succinctly. “Don’t look at other agents as competition. There’s enough business to go around for everyone. Stop thinking of it as competition and start thinking of it as a strategic alliance. We all need each other. There’s no reason why we can’t succeed together,” she affirms.