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by Heather Ozur, PMN

Resize OzurLooking for a business building opportunity at low to no cost? We all are. Referrals are an effective method of driving quality traffic to your business. They increase your sales revenue, can bring in additional referrals (because you’re going to give great service), and increase your closing ratio. Referrals do not just happen. You must grow and cultivate your relationships. The ideal approach is setting up a systematic plan. The great thing about referrals is that they can be inbound (coming to you) and outbound (you give them out). Talk about win-win. As Women’s Council of REALTORS® members, it is an added benefit to be committed to supporting each other’s businesses.

Did you know that the closing ratio is approximately six times greater with referrals than using other methods to generate leads? So, what prevents a REALTOR® from actively creating a referral network and system? Simply put, fear of rejection. It’s a fear that can be overcome, and you can do that with some practice.

One of the ways to work on that fear is to practice with a colleague or business coach. Use role playing to face your personal fears. As we all know, “practice makes perfect”. Another tip is to remember that you are in the sales and service business with the intent on helping a buyer or seller with their real estate needs. That mindset is coming from a positive place, and will come through when you reach out for that client-to-client referral. They will recognize you as the professional you are and your desire to provide great service in your real estate business. We have to remember that most people never assume that you are looking for referrals.

In our business there are many types of referral sources that come from the various activities that you participate in to create your personal Sphere of Influence (SOI). Some of the great sources of referrals are:
• Past Clients
• Friends and Family
• Professional Contacts
• Former Colleagues
• Social Media
• REALTOR® to REALTOR®

We all have had wonderful situations where a past client, family, friend, professional contact or former colleague refers you to a new client. Wow, that was easy. How many referrals could you get if you taught this powerful group in your SOI how to refer you to potential clients? You need to systematically reach out to this group via newsletters, social media, postcards and/or client parties to remind them that you are looking for referrals. At the same time you need to teach your SOI how to obtain the contact information of the potential client and to pass that onto you for follow up.

Approach networking with other REALTORS® as an opportunity to build relationships. REALTOR® to REALTOR® networking happens online via social media groups and your involvement volunteering within the real estate community. When at company conventions, state or national conferences, you have the opportunity to learn from other REALTORS® business and marketing ideas, as well as, build life long friendships and relationships. They naturally become an excellent referral source for potential clients.

Personally, I am passionate about working REALTOR® to REALTOR® referrals. This group clearly understands how to articulate your services, obtain the potential client's information and provide you with a strong potential referral lead. Make sure you maximize the networks you already belong and participate in, like Women’s Council of REALTORS®. Take the opportunity to plug into Women’s Council’s nationwide referral network. This group of dynamic members and leaders are an excellent source of potential REALTOR® to REALTOR® referrals. When you make referrals an intentional part of your business plan you build a referral business that becomes a dependable source of revenue in your business.

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