As a real estate agent, there are a lot of ways to get your name out there. From business cards to billboards and advertisements on search engines, there’s no shortage of marketing tools that you can and should use to your advantage as a real estate professional. Each of these tools can be useful in its own rite, but there’s one tool that you’re probably not making enough use of: word of mouth referrals!
Unless you’ve spent your real estate career up to this point living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of word of mouth advertising. This handy tool can skyrocket you to unbelievable heights, increasing your commissions and public image by miles and miles. Word of mouth advertising is free too, so you won’t have to factor it into your marketing budget!
This phenomenal tool is not easy to use, of course; if it were, then everyone would! If you want to generate word of mouth buzz, you’re going to need to work for it. There’s a lot that goes into securing this type of advertising for yourself. Luckily, we know a thing or two about word of mouth marketing. No matter where you live or how far along you are in your real estate career, we can help you generate some of this buzz for yourself.
In today’s article, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the art of getting your name out there without spending a penny on marketing. There’s no guarantee that any of this will work for you, but with some luck, you’ll come out ahead of your competition, with a clientbase that won’t cease to sing your praises at every opportunity. Want to know more? Keep on reading!
While it may sound a touch predatory, getting your clients to do your marketing for is anything but. Word of mouth marketing isn’t about “tricking” your clients into doing something they don’t want to do; it’s about being such a stellar real estate agent that they can’t help but tell their friends and family about you! With that said, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can generate word of mouth referrals in a way that is above board and on the up-and-up!
As you might have guessed, the best and most obvious way to generate word of mouth referrals is to, well, be a real estate agent who people want to refer to those close to them. At every opportunity you get, you should be proving why you are better qualified to serve your clients' loved ones, and why they’ll have a better time working with you than your competitors.
If you’re showing a house to a buyer, make it your mission to make sure they have everything they could possibly need or want. Swing by a cafe and pick up a latte and a bagel for them before your next meeting, or bring them something else thoughtful that shows you pay attention to them and their needs. Basically, you’ll want to do everything in your power to make your clients feel seen!
When you’re helping out a seller, do your best to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to get them the best sale price possible. If there’s anything you can change about the property to increase the odds of selling it at a profit, do it. If you have to lower your commission slightly, do it. Whatever it takes, we guarantee you it will be worth it!
While some might be hesitant to admit it, real estate is beholden to one unfortunate truth: many real estate agents chase big commissions instead of trying to help people. It may not always be obvious, but real estate agents have the power to help people in a really meaningful way. If you choose to prioritize helping people instead of making piles of money, you’ll gain a great reputation and a steady stream of clients from word of mouth referrals!
Of course, accepting less desirable listings won’t make you all that much money in the short term. These listings aren’t likely to fetch exceptionally high prices, and your commission is probably not going to be very big. What they fail to net you in material gains, however, they more than make up for in gratitude. If you succeed in helping someone sell a suboptimal home for an optimal price, they’ll likely show their gratitude by referring you to their friends!
This goes for buyers too; if you manage to find an inexpensive home for someone with financial difficulties, you can make a real, genuine difference in their life. This is, once again, something that they will no doubt be very, very thankful for. As we pointed out before, gratitude translates to word of mouth referrals!
Another important thing to keep in mind when attempting to generate buzz via word of mouth advertising is the fact that a good reputation can mean the difference between success and failure. Building a good reputation takes a long, long time, but it can be destroyed by one false step. If you want to rely on word of mouth advertising, you’re going to need to avoid false steps.
This means, above all else, learning the real estate agent’s code of ethics and sticking to it religiously. Never, ever slight anyone if you can help it, and never break the law, even if it seems like a minor transgression. There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth being, and this saying is every bit as applicable in real estate as it is anywhere else.
Ethical behavior isn’t just about following the law; it’s about doing what’s right. There’s a lot of gray area in real estate, and you can often “get away” with things that aren’t illegal but aren’t on the up-and-up either. If you want to keep your reputation clean and your clients happy, then you’ll want to be beyond reproach in all regards.
When we said that word of mouth advertising is free, we were technically telling you the truth. You can make it work without any investment whatsoever, but there’s a better way. It’s still a lot cheaper than most marketing solutions, but it will technically cost you a couple bucks. Don’t worry though; it’s well worth the investment. That’s right, we’re talking about a good business card to carry your name!
A business card might not seem like the best way to spend your money, but trust us: it is. For a few hundred dollars, you can commission the design and printing of a few hundred business cards which you can then hand off to clients when your business with them is concluded. Give them two and they might just pass one off on to a friend or family member!
While business cards might not seem like the most prudent investment, they can actually lead to a surprising number of sales. It’s a simple idea, but putting your name and contact information on an aesthetically pleasing card is just a great way to spread the word about your real estate business. With a good business card, you’re already well on your way to getting more sales!
While there are a number of ways to generate word of mouth advertising that are quite effective, one of the most effective methods is to simply ask for it. Ending your real estate transactions with a friendly suggestion to share your name and business card with friends and family who might benefit from your services. If you do your job as a real estate agent well, your clients will likely be more than willing to do just this!
If you’re ambitious enough, you can even tell clients how and why they should recommend you; after all, if you’ve done your job properly, they’ll be helping friends and family by recommending your services! This is where it proves worthwhile to be an ethical real estate agent, as your clients are much more likely to heed your recommendation and share your info with friends if you act in a way that is upstanding.
While business cards are always a great way to get word of mouth referrals in real estate, you should also have a website and social media presence to make it easier for potential clients to find you. With a solid social media and online presence, you can make sure that anyone who is referred to you will find all the information they need, ideally writing a solid agent bio so they can get to know you before making contact.
With all of this said, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration as to how you can grow your real estate business using word of mouth advertising. This type of advertising may not seem the most accessible at first, but it’s worth keeping at it if you want to see big time results. If you keep at it, it’s likely to yield incredibly impressive results that will provide you with staying power as the years roll by.
Ultimately, word of mouth advertising is all about creating a good reputation. If you can build one that stands the test of time, your clients will refer you to their friends and family, allowing you to help one person after another until your name is the golden standard in the local market. It won’t happen overnight, but if you give it time it’s bound to come to pass sooner or later. We wish you the best of luck in achieving that goal!