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26 March 2017 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE What Is the Law of the Harvest? In the spring, farmers plant their seeds before tending them through- out the growing season by building up the soil, watering and adding nutrients and fertilizer. The seeds grow into plants, and eventually, the farmer is able to harvest fruits and vegetables. Real estate, specifically working by referral, is similar. An agent receives leads by way of referrals from his best clients. He then gives excellent service by providing helpful informa- tion, keeping them up-to-date on the local market, connecting them with services and tradespeople in his network and always showing his ap- preciation. As the relationship grows, the agent becomes the trusted ad- visor of his clients. When the agent reminds them that he's never too busy for their referrals, they're more likely to refer him to their family and friends, and the agent is able to har- vest new leads. Give. Ask. Receive. Working by referral boils down to three words: give, ask, and receive. That is, give excellent service and ask for and receive referrals. As real estate professionals, we're natural givers who are eager to find ways to help our clients reach their goals. We're also great at the receiving part. Any time we receive a referral, we thank the client in person and write a personal note. Then we get to work building relationships with the people who were referred. It's through providing great service that we're able to build strong, lasting re- lationships with each of our clients. What doesn't come naturally is the asking part. We often think if our cli- ents appreciate the service we pro- vide, they'll automatically refer us to their friends and family. The truth is, our clients lead busy lives and some- times need a gentle reminder to give a referral. When Is the Best Time to Ask for a Referral? The general answer is any time you speak with a client, but the best time to ask for a referral is when you're working with a client on their transac- tion. They're already consumed with the real estate process and their family and friends are likely asking them how it's going. What better time for them to respond by raving about the services you offer and re- ferring you to their connections who are in the market to buy or sell? With enough practice, using a gentle nudge to remind your clients to refer you will come naturally. RE Brian Buffini was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and immigrated to San Diego in 1986 where he became the classic American rags to riches story. After becoming one of the nation's top REALTORS®, he founded Buffini & Company, an organization dedicated to sharing his powerful lead-generation systems with others. Buffini & Company has trained three million business professionals in 37 countries and currently coaches more than 10,000 business people across North America. For more information, please visit www.buffiniandcompany.com. Rookie of the Year in Less than a Year by Brian Buffini W e have an award here at Buffini & Company for our clients who achieve a high level of success in their first year in the business. One recipient, Wendy Hulkowich in Plano, Texas, grew her business so quickly that her husband, a successful executive who had just been laid off from his job, became an agent so she could handle all the business and referrals she was receiving. How did she do it? She built relationships by taking every opportunity to plant the seed for future referrals. As a result, she continues to harvest new leads and reach the ambitious goals she set with her coach. Whether you're new to the real estate industry, or feel renewed zeal for your business, one thing is for sure: if you want to make this year your best, you have to understand the law of the harvest .