Grow Your Referral Base With These Five TipsBy JD Esajian on August 16, 2019
There is nothing in business like getting a referral. Not only are
referrals much more likely to close, they can help cement the relationship with person who gives it. Also, the more referrals you can get, the less you have to spend on marketing. Building a referral base is much more about effort and persistence than any other talent. Showing up at a networking meeting ready to meet new people and step out of your comfort zone puts you ahead of the game. If you commit to doing nothing more than the actions on this post for 90 days, you will be surprised to see how many referrals you will get. All it takes is one referral to change your business for the better. Here are five things any investor can do to build their referral base.
- Find Local Networking Meetings: People like to work with people they know and are comfortable with. The quickest way to build a comfort zone is by seeing and talking to the same person repeatedly. Right now, probably without you even knowing it there is a networking meeting happening in your local market. You don’t necessarily have to hit every meeting, but you should make yourself available for a few networking meetings every week. Sure, some of these meetings can be painfully boring, but they are a great way to meet like minded people in the business. Find someone new every meeting to talk to and exchange business cards with. Your conversation doesn’t have to be all business, in fact you should keep business to a minimum. The next time you see them ask about their favorite sports team or children’s activity. This will instantly help build a connection and make you stand out from the crowd. The more you are remembered the more likely people will want to work with you.
- Real Estate Investment Clubs: Networking meetings can have a variety of different people in your market. You can talk to plumbers, insurance agents and general contractors. When you go to a real estate investment club meeting, your audience is much more focused on real estate. This is a great way to instantly boost your referral list. Every REI club meeting is full of local attorneys, hard money lenders, mortgage brokers, fellow investors and more. These are real people who are closing deals in your market. They are an invaluable network of people to have as a resource. Your approach to REI meetings should be similar as your networking meetings. Be prepared to talk about real estate, but don’t make it the main focus. You want to build a connection and not just blindly exchange information. The person you talk to may have a dozen conversations before the keynote speaker takes the floor. If you don’t stand out, they will not remember who you are, and it will take longer to make an impression.
- Social Media Posts: You don’t have to be a millennial to understand the impact of social media. Nothing can help you gain exposure and build contacts faster. Every investor, regardless of their portfolio, should have a dedicated real estate page. On your page you should commit to posting timely articles and blogs about anything important to you in the business. You should look up anyone you met at past investment clubs and networking meetings and become online friends and like their pages. You should treat social media posts like any other type of networking and marketing you do. It can be frustrating not getting immediate results, but you never know who is on your page or reading your posts. The more consistent you are online, the more people will be comfortable with you and want to reach out. If used properly social media can act as a catalyst for generating more meetings and growing your profile.
- Email Campaigns: Going to meetings and investing clubs are great, but it isn’t the ultimate goal. You need to turn your contacts into solid referral sources. One way to do this is by taking the information you obtain and starting an email campaign. Every campaign should have a plan of attack and be specific to the person you are targeting. This may take a little more time but will have much greater results. The email you would send to an attorney will not the be the same as one you would send to a contractor. However, all emails should end with a call to action. You want the recipient to meet you for a lunch, or a quick cup of coffee. At the meeting you can put on the full court press and see if there is a way to work together. All this starts by taking action and reaching out to them through email.
- RE Sites/Classified: There are more real estate specific web sites than ever before. What most have in common are listings either for rental or sale. You should take a few hours out one day a week to reach out to these listings. You can use the same email to all of them saying that you are a real estate investor and may have interest in their property. You can tailor the email to your liking, but you should reach out to all the listings in a specific market on a specific site. If you stay consistent with this after a few months you will slowly build a list of leads, and potential referral sources.
Building referrals doesn’t take thousands of dollars or hours of time. You just need to commit to what you are doing and not let a few rejections get to you.