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Did you know: the way you focus on the experience of your clients – past AND present – will be either the key to your success as a top real estate adviser or the precursor to your failure?
Research shows that 92% of all consumers now read online reviews.
- Furthermore, of these online readers, 94% would do work with a business with a 4-star rating.
- Customers research an average of 10 different sources before making a purchasing decision.
And while your online presence should always be treated with the utmost strategic focus, every agent worth her salt can attest to the power of word of mouth (still the most popular and powerful method for referrals) and organic leads. For better or worse, you are always being watched. You are being measured with how well you run your business and how well you treat people you do business with. Generating valuable and credible customer reviews and word of mouth referrals that have the potential to translate into your past clients becoming your brand ambassadors can be overwhelming at times.
Here are tips to help you grow your referral influence and see the referral turn into cash
1. Maintain relationships
Every interaction you have with potential clients can have an impact on your reputation and how you are perceived in your business dealings.
A positive relationship always starts with a great first impression. We are programmed as human beings to put an emphasis on a first impression. It helps us navigate complex and novel situations where we need to rely on the little information that may be present. Luckily, there are services at your disposal that can alleviate the many stresses of making those first impressions. The relationship building continues throughout the entire buying experience and even after the purchase is done.
When the deal is over with, don’t lose touch with the individual. People don’t like to feel used during a transaction–people like to feel helped and not sold. The make of a great agent is someone who ensures their clients walk away feeling like more than just another commission check. You want people who did business with you in the past to have nothing but positive things to say about you.
Furthermore, are you making yourself accessible on the web? Are your showcasing your online reviews of past clients in order to influence potential clients who may be on the cusp of doing business with someone they trust?
2. Generate Great Reviews
When you perform great business, you should be rewarded for it. Generating great reviews can seem hard to acquire at times. The most effective way to convert a positive experience into a review is simply by asking face-to-face. Research indicates that by simply asking for a review face-to-face you are 8X more likely to convert the experience into a review.
You also can use your CRM to send out automated emails simply asking for a review of your customer’s experience. Make it simple for the customer on the other side. In the email, take them directly to the site or page you wish to have them create the review. Let them know how much in the email this is going to mean to you and your business.
The email or in-person request should lead the client to one or preferably a few of the review sites you wish to target. Google is still “king.” Most people start with Google when performing their initial search inquiries. You should also utilize Zillow, Yelp, Realtor.com and Facebook.
3. The “Tao” of Client Experience
“Offering continuous value without any expectations” – David Tal Verse CEO
People are attracted to others who do great work strictly out of the need to do great work. When you go above and beyond for the benefit of someone else, it will be rewarded. People notice this compassion. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, built his entire multi-million dollar business on this philosophy at the foundation, “We’re wired for it. And people do business with other people. So when you learn to generally give to those people without expecting them to do something in return, you win.”
We’ve been told his as a fundamental law since we were kids: If you give, you shall receive.
4. The Bespoke Agent
Knowing who your client is and what his or her likes and dislikes are key in generating a repertoire of positive reviews and achieving an excellent overall client experience.
It’s important to note that when interacting with your clients, one size doesn’t fit all. Human beings have their varying uniqueness and recognizing this is important for the potential of this person becoming a brand ambassador. Mirroring is a great sales technique one can use in order to capture the essence of making this person feel as if they are your friend and confidant during the experience.
How does this person like to interact?
- Do they prefer texting over a phone call?
- Are they showing up to the meetings in a casual, friendly manner or are they extremely professional?
- Are they a younger demographic who needs a lot of guidance or is this someone well versed in the real estate buying experience?
Your client should always feel taken care of and know that you have their best interest at heart.
When a client feels like they are the only person you care about, how are they not going to refer you?
Building positive relationships is a cornerstone facet to any successful business–especially as a real estate adviser. You are building trust with people who are engaging in the most important financial decisions of their life.
Make sure you are well equipped with the skills, tactics, and strategies necessary for building and nurturing relationships that will help you and your business prosper.