If you’ve ever worked with one of the best real estate agents, they will often ask for a referral. They might not be so direct about it, however. “Can I be your trusted real estate partner?” is a question you might get asked. Another question is something along the lines of “If you were going to refer your friends or family to a real estate professional, who would it be?” They are REALLY hoping that you’ll say them. If you don’t, they’ll ask why not. The script goes something like, “If I can’t be your first referral, please let me know what I can do to earn your number 1 ranking.”
Call me crazy, but I’ve always thought that you want to earn a referral from a client with whom you’ve done an outstanding job for. This is what I shoot for. To earn a referral means that you have to have actually done something to earn it. This is something I think a lot of newer real estate agents miss out on. They are so busy trying to make enough money to eat that they rush clients into one bad decision after another.
Over the years, I’ve been the beneficiary of quite a few referrals, and I have to say, that feeling of “you really, really like me!” you get from your clients is a feeling that never gets old. Deals can fall through, the market can be down, but a referral makes you feel wonderful inside.
A referral from a friend or family member can have the added effect of meeting more like minded people. It’s amazing how many times a referral has become a good friend because they are already friends with people you associate with. Some people are really shy; with a referral, you already know something about the other person, which makes a beginning conversation much easier and less “cold”.
If there was a general rule I’d offer on referrals it would be this. Don’t refer real estate agents to your friends and family when they did an awful job selling your house! While you’d think that would be obvious, apparently, it isn’t. It would appear that friends and family will throw out any name just to move a conversation about real estate along. After all, if you aren’t the one buying or selling your home, you aren’t as likely to care.
As real estate agents, we’re likely to give gifts at closing, or any other time we can think of if our gifts can be something you might enjoy. The problem is that we aren’t supposed to take gifts that you give us. We are to be compensated for the work we’ve done in securing your new home or selling your previous home(I don’t make the rules, I just have to live by them). Therefore, if I’ve provided you with service that you appreciate, go ahead and refer one of your friends or associates to me.
Have you ever referred an obnoxious real estate agent to someone you know because you really don’t like the person? I wonder if that happens a lot?
John Schink is a real estate broker in the St. Louis metropolitan area who specializes in full service listings and buyer agency. He is a member of both the Saint Louis and Jefferson County Boards of Real Estate. If you are looking to buy a home for sale in Saint Louis, Missouri or the surrounding metropolitan area or considering selling your home, or for general real estate related inquiries, he can be reached at 314-707-4821 or [email protected]