"The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral." This is the sentence you find included in the email signature of almost all sales professionals—including real estate agents. Why? Because referrals are gold! According to sparefoot, referrals are to thank for 50 percent of a real estate professional's business. Again...why? Because we trust our friends and families. Although apparently, Google is becoming a fast friend, because 40 percent of consumers will search for a real estate professional online! I'm not sure many real estate professionals are as aware of this number, it's dangerously close to the referral rate. Even more shocking? Some 45 percent will look for a real estate professional by visiting a local website.
A Numbers Game
However, these numbers can be misleading. the majority of newly referred customers will likely analyze your online presence. The internet has made it easy for consumers to run a "professional background check" on any service they decide to use. You can bet the younger generations will review all online sources before making a final decision.
What does this mean for real estate professionals? You need to up your digital marketing game. Your online presence MUST compliment your in-person skillset. You may have sold Susie's parents a home but Susie probably knows a few other successful and capable real estate professionals that were referred to her as well. It is important that you don't rely on relationships alone.
Don't forget about testimonials! Reach out to past customers and place your positive reviews in as many places as you can. Add a testimonial to the bottom of your email signature—add a sentence that sets you apart. Create a business Facebook page—business pages allow for reviews, personal pages do not. Is your website or agent page a dinosaur? It may be time for an upgrade. If your page doesn't have a spot to leave comments, testimonials or capture information, it's time.
Don't Change What Works
Technology should never replace your desire to create lasting relationships with your customers. If you have a great relationship with the people referring you, plus you have a stellar reputation online, the weight of your referral only becomes more solid.