Referral Programs that Actually Work

Referral Programs that Actually Work

As we learned from a recent survey by international property news website, some agents find it quite difficult to change their online marketing habits, even if they know their strategy isn’t as effective as it could be.

The agents surveyed told that customer referral programs were the most effective way to generate leads, yet only 37.8 percent of those surveyed actually used them. So what’s stopping these agents?

Perhaps it’s the impression that building a successful customer referral program is too complicated or time-consuming. But the fact is, if you have an email database of past customers, you’ve already got the raw materials you need to get started.

While it’s not particularly hard to implement a referral program, there are a few ways in which companies from any industry can slip up. So before you send that email, take a minute to ask yourself these questions:

What is it about you that’s worth recommending? When you pitch your referral program, remind your past customers what it is that makes you stand out as an agent. The temptation here is to focus only on your sales record, but don’t forget to mention how much you know about the local market.

Is the reward worth their effort? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If what you’re offering in return for a referral isn’t enough to get you excited, you can hardly expect anyone else to be. What would you like to be offered if you were the customer?

Is there more than one step involved? If the transaction involves more than simply “tell someone about our agency and we’ll give you X”, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Let’s face it, even a customer who was pleased with your service isn’t going to spend more than a minute trying to understand your pitch, so make sure your message gets straight to the point.

Needless to say, the best referrals are the ones that take place without any effort on your part - the unprompted recommendations that happen because you were just that good to your customers. Still, it never hurts to give people a little incentive.


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