Brokerage best practices

How to generate more client referrals and exceed your revenue goals

April 11, 2022

Highly successful brokers know one of the most powerful, easiest, and least expensive tactics for growing your business is client referrals. In fact, more than 41% of brokers say referrals from past clients is the leading prospecting method. It’s also highly lucrative — with referrals netting an average 25% increase in profit margins.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to drive referrals (and, in turn, rapidly expand your network and significantly boost your commission). Today, we’re breaking down the three things you and your team can start doing right now to generate tons of referrals and exceed your revenue goals.

1. Provide a world-class client experience

Today, the world is full of subpar experiences. We’ve grown accustomed to letdowns, inconveniences, and poor service due to understaffing, supply chain issues, and the pandemic. But these less-than-stellar interactions make great experiences even more memorable and worthy of sharing with our peers.

As it turns out, it doesn’t take a lot to make people happy — but it does take consistency. Here are three non-negotiables to ensure you always provide your clients with an exceptional experience.

  • Under-promise and over-deliver. Disappointment usually occurs when reality fails to meet our unrealistically high expectations. As a broker, you know it’s crucial to be pragmatic with your clients and keep their expectations practical. But sometimes, it’s a good idea to be especially conservative with your estimates even when you know you can do better. This way, when you deliver better results than promised, your clients will be delighted.
  • Offer the expertise your clients need. There’s a reason clients chose you over other brokers: they trust your knowledge and have faith in your skills. The best way to retain their confidence is by offering your expertise at every turn. From your insight into the market to your contacts and network, always strive to provide more value than the relationship demands.
  • Develop a reliable pipeline management process. The quickest way to lose a client’s trust (and the potential for a referral) is by dropping the ball at any point during the process. It’s crucial you develop and follow a thorough pipeline management process that ensures tasks and follow-ups don’t fall through the cracks. And this is where the right CRE technology can help.

    For example, Susan Rich, executive administrator and marketing/graphics manager at NAI Glickman Kovago & Jacobs, uses Rethink CRM to manage the pipeline for the company’s multi-faceted services. (Which include real estate brokerage, construction, and property management services.)

    “Rethink allows our brokers to better serve their clients,” she said in her customer success story. “It allows them to keep all their notes and property/client information together in one place.”

2. Request referrals from your happiest clients

When you satisfy a client, ask them not to keep it to themselves. Clients will often be more than happy to connect you with peers who could benefit from your expertise. But, just like dealmaking, requesting referrals is a fine art.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when asking for referrals:

  • Build value first. Don’t ask for a referral too early in the relationship. Wait until you’ve provided real, measurable value.
  • Be specific. Getting a referral for a prospect who isn’t in your target market isn’t very helpful. When asking for referrals, be clear about who you’re seeking. For example, “Do you have any colleagues looking for manufacturing space near the city?” or “Do you have any friends in healthcare looking for a new spot for their private practice?”
  • Stay connected. A referral request should never come out of the blue. Continue checking in with clients post-deal, build and maintain genuine rapport, and then make the ask.

3. Create a referral program

Great customer experiences often naturally drive referrals, but sometimes you have to help things along. That’s where a referral program comes into play.

Here’s how to create one:

  • Start by setting a goal. Get clear on what you want to happen and how you’ll measure performance. For example, perhaps you want 15% of your annual business from referrals.
  • Define your need. Determine what you want clients to do. For example, you might need them to set up an introductory call or email with the contact they’re referring.
  • Choose an incentive. While you don’t have to offer something in exchange for referrals, doing so can motivate clients to follow through. Just remember, in some states, paying unlicensed people a referral fee is illegal. Get clear on the law before offering cash or gifts in exchange for a referral.
  • Promote the program. Mention your referral program in face-to-face conversations, emails, and relevant client-facing marketing materials.

Some of the top-grossing brokerages in the country subsist at least partially off referrals. That’s because, unlike other prospecting efforts that require you to build a connection from scratch, referrals offer familiarity and help foster a sense of trust. And, in an industry built entirely around relationships, leveraging referrals just makes sense.

Request a demo to learn how Rethink CRM can help you deliver a top-notch client experience and become a referral-driving machine.

Learn how Rethink CRM can help you deliver a top-notch client experience and become a referral-driving machine.

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