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— by Mike cuevas

Your Relationships are Your Largest Source of Business

Keeping your brand in front of your database is the most important marketing activity you can do in your Real Estate business.  

WHY? 

Over 60 percent of business comes from the people you know. When you are forgotten, it’s kind of hard getting referrals or repeat business. What I’m talking about has nothing to do with lead generation. It has everything to do with coddling, nurturing and maintaining relationships by keeping your name in front of your database. This, in my opinion, is the most important marketing activity to do. 

According to MelissaData.com, roughly 14.19 percent of the population is moving this year. At the same time, 100 percent of the people you know, knows someone they can refer your services to. If I had 100 people I kept my brand in front of, roughly 10-15 of them are moving this year. At the same time, all 100 of them could refer me to at least one person in the next 12 months.  

These are the facts and why I make this my numero uno marketing strategy. I consistently communicate with my database, but my marketing doesn’t generate leads, it nurtures relationships. When you do this consistently, you will ATTRACT business from the people you know. Much like cold calling, this is also a numbers game, but one that doesn’t involve “selling.” 

It’s like gambling with marketing!  

I like placing my marketing dollars on the best odds. This is where over 60+ percent of business comes from. When you combine this with the percentage of people moving each year (that 14.19 percent) and the fact that 100 percent of the people you know can refer you to at least one person this year, it can be very lucrative if done right. 

This is simple. DO NOT MAKE IT COMPLICATED. Your “Database” is nothing more than a collection of people you know or who know of you. It’s a popularity contest. The makeup of your database includes the following: 

  • Your friends 
  • BEST FRIENDS (yes, they don’t know what you do for a living or remember it well enough to refer you business, but you still love them) 
  • Family 
  • Classmates 
  • Neighbors 
  • Your kid’s friends parents (if you have kids) 
  • Past clients 
  • Facebook friends 
  • Any social media connections 

Your database is anyone who you know and they know you. It’s anyone you’d be upset to learn was buying or selling property without you. If you woke up, logged onto Facebook, and saw someone you know holding keys to their new house, you’d have sharp pains in your stomach. I call this the smell test. If it hurts, they are part of your database. 

You don’t get direct business or referrals from strangers, you get them from the people you know as long as they remember you are a Realtor. 

Let’s look at it like this: 

Everyone lives somewhere, don’t they? Everyone you know is a future client. More importantly, everyone you know also has the ability to refer you to people they know who may need your services. 

Would you expect someone you had a relationship with to use you as their agent if they were buying, selling, renting, or investing in Real Estate? Wouldn’t you expect that same person to also refer you to their friends and family? 

Build An Audience Out Of Your Database & Business Will Come To You

An audience is what any business strives to create so they can build a solid customer base, which therefore drives sales. An audience is a collection of people who pay attention to what you have to say. You can only create an audience out of your database by a stream of consistent communication. 

A Realtor’s audience is their “Database. 

You need to create your audience with qualified relationships. We are not farming a strange community, but we are farming your relationships.  

It’s not about buying a list of names and numbers to market to. If you do that, I am telling you right now, this is not going to work for you. These relationships have to like you to refer you. If they don’t know you, how can they like you? 

The Value of Each Relationship 

How much is each person you have a relationship with worth to you? 

The average person will buy three to five properties in their lifetime. If each person you know buys three houses at an average sales price of $250,000 that equates to roughly $18,750 in total potential commissions just from a single relationship. What is the average time someone remains in their house before they move in your market? This does not take into account the value of a referral they can generate for you. 

Referral marketing is about building an audience out of your current relationships and keeping your name in front of that audience so that you are thought of when Real Estate comes to mind. If you market your audience consistently, you are more likely to get their business and referrals when the opportunity comes. This is not rocket science. It really is that simple. 

Two Types of Sales Created from Marketing Your Audience 

Referral marketing creates two types of clients. The first type of client will be someone within your audience who needs to lease, buy or sell a property. They contacted you because you were the first person they thought of when they needed a Realtor. Remember, it’s inevitable that they will eventually move. You are farming your relationships so that when the “move time” comes, you are NOT FORGOTTEN. 

The second type of client you will receive from marketing your audience is someone who is referred to you. How many opportunities does your audience have to refer you business? It’s a fact that 100 percent of the people you know can refer you to at least one person this year. 

The best part about referral marketing is that once you set up systems within your practice to market your business, you can streamline the workload so it’s done with little time out of your work week and you will receive a steady stream of clients. 

You Already Have An Audience 

Your audience already exists and is right in front of you. You already know them. This is one of the few businesses that you can start with a built-in audience. If you were to open up a pizza shop, you would have to work to build a customer base since they don’t know how your pizza tastes yet. That’s not the case in Real Estate. 

People do business with and refer business to agents they know, like and trust.  

Our audience may need our services every five to seven years, but that does not mean lose touch with them and only pop up when they are in the market or buy or sell.  

More importantly, marketing our audience will encourage referrals for our services to their friends and family members. This is fundamentally the most important concept to grasp if you want your business to run on referrals and repeat business.  

Facebook, Linked In, email, direct mail and any other medium/platform you can think of serve as channels that allow us to communicate with your audience consistently and stay on top of mind. 

Real Estate agents who embrace this concept and market their audience or relationships will develop a consistent stream of business. Do you think if you systematically marketed your audience 50-80 times a year that you would get more business? I’m telling you that YES, YOU WILL. 

People WANT To Refer You Business 

When people refer others to you, it is almost always because there is an ongoing conversation about Real Estate. Suddenly, someone jumps in and says, “Hey, I know an agent, you have to call him/her. They are great!” Then, a referral is born. The question everyone wants to know is: why did someone refer the client to that agent? 

Referral marketing is all about training your audience to remember you when they are going to be needing assistance for a home or sharing your name with others they notice talking about Real Estate 

We as humans are genetically programmed to refer our friends, co-workers and family to things we like. Why do you think that is? Everyone always “has a guy.” Everyone always wants you to use “their guy.” You can make a post on Facebook right now and ask for any type of service provider and people will respond with several of their “guys,” but the question is why do they care? What’s in it for them? People refer others when the following three things are present: 

  1. They have to like the agent they are referring them to;
  2. They have to like the person that is asking or suggesting for a referral for an agent; and
  3. The person referring the agent has to notice that an ongoing conversation is taking place (about Real Estate) and they have to THINK OF YOU (this is the key). 

You may be second guessing whether or not your database wants to hear from you. I just demonstrated that they actually WANT to refer you. If they don’t refer you, they will refer someone else. You can’t be too shy to get up on the rooftops and scream what you do for a living.Don’t be scared to put yourself out there with your network. 

You may be thinking; 

I don’t have a database… YES YOU DO. 

I don’t know that many people… YOU MIGHT BE IN THE WRONG BUSINESS. 

I don’t want to bother my friends… YOU ARE IN THE WRONG BUSINESS. 

People know what I do for a living… NO THEY DON’’T, YOU’RE NOT THAT COOL. 

I don’t know how to build a database… LEARN. 

How am I going to get that many people’s information? PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL. 

These are excuses for not marketing your database. Don’t let them get in the way of keeping your brand in front of your most valuable asset. Make it easy to be remembered or referred by keeping your brand in front of them. 

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