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Earn, Encourage and Reward Referrals

Earn, encourage and reward referrals is another of a handful of success tips that has a stronghold on Real Estate Business.

Having started out as agents to mass housing developers dealing basically with sales of landed properties we had to create ideas in the speed of light. Since it was our early days in real estate business, we needed as many businesses as we could generate but our major challenge was staff strength which was as thin as the word itself.

With just three staffs we had to go the extra mile to weather the storm, and one of the steps we took was to encourage people to refer clients to us by rewarding them with a percentage of the commission we earned from our dealings with such clients.

This was to serve as appreciation for such referral and that was how our first independent marketing program kicked off. We coined a name for the new initiative, set up a structure intertwined with terms and conditions which included the pros and cons of referrals, the process of referrals et al.

Thereafter, there was a progression from referrals to actual sub-agents under us which ensured that we made significant sales as compared to the others who were also making sales for the same developers. This significant step brought our business to the fore. We became noticeable and recognizable; we weren’t just a part of the crowd anymore, we stood out.

This was made possible basically because we adopted the strength of others to be in business by encouraging and rewarding referrals. At some point we even requested a higher percentage of commission from the developers than what our other competitors would get from them, that was how confident we were doing business and the confidence sprang from the fact that we had been able to meet their demands over time due to the mechanism that emanated from our innovation.

Of a truth, people like to be appreciated not necessarily by giving out cash; it could be via calls, messages, letters, in any way you can show appreciation for a referral that has become a client. Just like they say; one good turn deserves another.

When you show immense appreciation to someone who refers clients to you, it is a huge step in the right direction because it will encourage the person to subsequently refer more clients to you when at his disposal. If you then go on to reward such person for his referrals, then you may just likely be hitting gold unconsciously while digging your way through your real estate business.

Therefore, building a referral mechanism into our business has been one of our major success factors. So I will encourage anybody that’s in the real estate business especially if you are into sales or agency to adopt the referral mechanism into their business by encouraging and rewarding people who refer clients to them in the best way they deem fit. This will help your leverage more by enabling you benefit from the contacts of other people that you don’t have to build your business.

Another trick to the ‘earn, encourage and reward referrals’ success tip is to learn to track your customers. People that have benefited from your products and services should not be made to wander unguarded. Encourage them to refer their friends, colleagues and family to you since you’ve invariably earned their trust.

With all apologies to those this concerns, don’t go the way of some obsolete Insurance marketers:

By way of analogy, a lot of people find it difficult to entertain an old fashioned insurance marketer when they stop by because of the not too good notion about them, but this does not dissuade the marketer to request for referrals which he gets sometimes but in most cases, it’s a ‘get rid of’ kind of referral; not the one that will necessarily keep you in business or would ensure you grow your business.

This is usually a lost cause because there was no method in place to get such referrals. A referral that was handed to you to get off one’s back may not be a referral after all. That’s not the kind of mechanism to adopt if you really want to go into any business especially my kind of business.

You need to develop a marketing system that will attract clients to you and ensure you stay in business instead of going on a wild goose hunt that leads nowhere.

I had to read a book to develop a system around my marketing techniques; it’s that serious. So I don’t expect you to handle this aspect of real estate with kid gloves if you really want to excel in it.

Marketing in Real estate business should set up a chain reaction, that’s why rewarding referrals is big deal. It ensures that I move from one customer to another.

In the marketing circle, there is what we call the world of entities where everyone is a potential customer albeit you have to make them go through a sieving process where people are categorized according to their needs and social status.

Your categorization should include suspect, prospect, qualified prospect and customer.

Let’s take a quick look at the four categories;

Suspect: These are people you suspect to be your clients. At the level of suspect the figures are reduced, this would ensure that you arrive at who your customer should be.

Prospect: These are people that are likely to be your customers for reasons favourable to you. From these figures, you then narrow it down to Qualified Prospect from which you will get your real Customers who make purchasing decisions.

The referral system helps you to move straight from the world of entities to qualified prospects such that it reduces the time and effort required to convert your potential client from world of entity to customer level.

And how does that work?
You’ve sold a product to a particular person who understands the product and its worth. Having crossed that hurdle, ask to introduce the product to would be clients who could be friends, colleagues, family e.t.c. These people could possibly be referred to you.

When this is done, ensure that you get background information on the referrals and look for ways you will gain grounds on the referrals and keep close tabs on them. If you get referrals from a close analysis of your world of entities from where you get your suspect, prospect, qualified prospect and later customers who eventually get you referrals who you monitor closely, then you have a business. This is a system that has worked for me for donkey years.

The system ensures that you earn referrals; make substantial income as your contacts increasingly becomes a treasure base. Your contacts become your asset; people you can make money from.

It becomes a continuous process if you encourage and reward the referrals people make to you; it brings more businesses.

Debo Adejana
MD/CEO Realty Point Ltd


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