Ask any Realtor where they get most of their business from and the most common answer will be “from referrals”. So, where do referrals comes from? Referrals come from people you know and people who know you.
- Friends and family
- Past clients
- Referral-based business alliances
How do you get to know people other than your friends and family? Through networking.
Networking to me is one of the most important skills not only for Realtors® but any entrepreneur who wants to succeed. Networking involves building and maintaining contacts and relationships with other people.
Networking is a process of building relationships. It is not just a one-time business card exchange and expect the other person to refer you. It involves building and maintaining contact and relationships with others.
Here are few important steps to becoming a Super Networker.
Step 1. Mindset
If you have the mindset of getting a quick referral by going to any networking event, meet up group, etc. you might as well forget about it, you’ll be disappointed.
Instead, when you go to these networking events go with a mindset of how you can help them with their business rather than how they can help you with yours.
Step 2. Be Curious
Get to know the person. Ask good questions. It shouldn’t be like an interrogation though. Some good examples would be, tell me about yourself, why do you do what you do, and who are your ideal clients.
Step 3. Build Trust
If you ask anyone to name the most important elements of any long-term, satisfying relationship, trust is usually near the top of any list. This is certainly true for personal relationships, but it is also true for business relationships. So how do you build trust?
Be yourself. No matter who you’re trying to build a relationship with, treating that person as a friend rather than a business contact will take you much further with the relationship. So, think about how you would approach a potential friend. Find something you have in common, keep it light, make jokes, and above all, show that you care.
Step 4: Enter Them in Your Contact Management System
You are going to meet so many people and will not be able to remember them all. Add them into your database immediately. Not only add their contact information, also include a few short notes about what you learned about them. Send them an email within 24 hrs for an invitation to meet one-on-one with an introduction regarding your professional motive and purpose. If they are interested in meeting with you great, if not touch base in a few months.
Step 5: One-on-One Meeting
When you do meet with them one-on-one, share your story. Share your vision and identify what they have to offer, why they would benefit from a business alliance and what value will be added to the relationship in terms of both parties’ ability to serve their respective clients. Let them know you are their solution, who in your network you have influence with, and those who you can refer them to. Be their connection to others. This will grow your network exponentially.
Step 6: Give more than you get
Give referrals. If you are a giver, you’ll get more than your share in return. On average once you help 5-8 people you’ll get one referral.
Step 7: Keep in Touch
Communicate with one another when appropriate. Share your market knowledge and your industry information with each other.
Step 8: Be patient
Referral-based business is a game of patience. Keep providing value to your referral partners. Ask them who else they know who could also provide great service to your clients. Ask them to introduce you to such professionals. Once you start this process with each of your connections, soon you’ll create a huge team of advocates who will refer you whenever the opportunity arises.
People refer people or services when they know them well or have experienced their good service because it’s their reputation at stake. So who are you going to help or refer next from your connection?
Your Friend in Real Estate
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage, Independently Owned and Operated Office: 905.845.9180 | Fax: 905.845.7674