RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

DEC 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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24 December 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE R eferrals are the undisputed lifeblood of an agents' business, but managing inbound online referrals can sometimes be challenging. Plus, most agents admit that they don't send as many outbound referrals as they could be doing. For inbound online referrals, clients may have requested information from multiple sources, and some referral companies—like ReferralExchange—send referrals to several agents so the client can choose the best fit for them. For outbound referrals—e.g., when you have a client moving to a different location, a buyer moving into your area who needs to sell a property in their old location, or a friend/family member who needs to purchase a property that's out of your price point or market—the challenge can often be finding qualified agents in other markets and keeping track of how they're handling the referral. Here, we highlight some tips and tools from agents who use ReferralExchange, a nationwide referral and lead management service, to help you convert and close the online referrals you receive, as well as how to find ways to send out more referral business. For both types of business, the key is to have a thorough and consistent marketing and communication strategy in place in order to capture the business when the pros - pect is ready to transact. Converting Inbound Referrals Melissa Zavala, administrative broker at Broadpoint Properties in Escondido, Calif., serves the busy North San Diego area along with her husband, Javier. "When a referral comes in, we make the call, get an appointment, and do what it takes to work the lead," says Zavala. "It sometimes takes a lot of negotiation, but it's gratifying to know we've helped more than one family out of a very tight spot—and we get paid to do it." "Acting quickly and professionally is critical," notes veteran Broker/Owner Donald Patterson, whose compa - ny, Commonwealth Real Estate Associates, has closed seven inbound ReferralExchange transactions in Georgia and Florida within the last 24 months. "You have to be good—and fast—to beat out the competition." Here's how these leaders follow up with inbound referrals: 1. Call quickly. Patterson calls within 30 seconds, and Zavala calls on the same day. 2. Make follow-up calls and send emails and texts sev - eral times during a two-day period. 3. Include a photo of yourself, as well as any personal or customized information based on the prospect's request. 4. Add them to your CRM/drip campaigns, since these types of referrals might be at the very beginning of their home search. Converting Outbound Referrals When managing outbound referrals, agents need to have a partner with a large number of vetted agents, the sys - tems in place to manage and track the submitted re- ferral, and a customer service team to help everyone through the process. Zavala says that ReferralExchange provides the na - tional network and support they need to help their cli- ents. They simply upload the name and information into the ReferralExchange system. "They find an appropriate agent and manage the entire transaction, and we get paid when it closes. "When we work with clients locally, we know the area well, and we can offer the kind of insights a buyer needs to know in order to make a good buying decision," says Zavala. "When we refer through ReferralExchange, we know our clients will get the same level of expertise from Making Online Referrals Work for You Managing and growing your online referral business can turn a good year into a great year by Lisa Fettner

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