This article was originally published in Real Estate Agent Magazine Twin Cities, written by Charity Malmberg, Founder and President of Trademark Title
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer
Did you know according to Out- BoundEngine.com in a survey of 500 real estate agents, they reported only approximately 20% of their business came from referral sources. Trying to generate 80% of your business year after year can result in time and energy lost. Failing to stay in touch was cited as number one reason real estate agents do not receive referrals. Many real estate coaches, sites, and lead generation systems and technology providers will promise to increase your referrals for a cost. Let’s take a look at a simple and free solution that you can start to implement today.
COMMUNICATE BY LISTENING FIRST
Perhaps one of the most cost effective approaches is to learn the lost art of clear, concise and dynamic communication. First and foremost the most important part of communication is “listening”; be present, remove distractions and ask questions. Clients want to know you are sincere in their interests and desires. If you are trying to listen to what characteristics they want their new house to have, stop texting your other clients or kids. Put your “out of office” on while in appointments and make sure your clients you are meeting or skyping with feel heard.
DISPLAY SELF-CONFIDENCE, BUT NOT OVERCONFIDENCE
Clients have their own personal wish lists and if you have 2 clients looking for one house, well you know, you have to solve a miracle of finding the right house sometimes. With desires and opinions flying around, try to express your professional opinions in an open and honest manner. Understanding that your opinion is just that – yours. Don’t try to force your opinion on a client or another realtor you may be working with on a transaction and worse yet, don’t try to “win” arguments. Doing either one of the aforementioned will derail effective communication instantly.
COMMUNICATING THROUGH TEXTING
According to Gallup poll, “sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication for American adults under 50.” Texting became the most used form of communication in 2017.
So how do you build trust and credibility to earn more referral business when your clients only want to text?
Sure there are certain ways we communicate with family and friends over text, but your message needs to be clear, concise and professional when sending to your clients who you would like to receive referrals from. If your text message will take more than one bubble to send your message, perhaps instead send a text message asking to set up a time to talk either on the phone or even to grab a quick cup of coffee at their office to discuss the task at hand.
When you step out of the pack and work on your skill sets including effective communication, you set yourself apart. Be sure your communication, no matter the tool (phone call, video call, email, text, etc.) is authentic, timely, relevant, and personalized. Continually improving yourself, your skill set and more importantly the way you effectively communicate with clients and other realtors will win you more business through referrals.