The key to integrating a robust referral program into your real estate business comes down to several factors, including exceeding expectations, working your CRM, networking, and leveraging social media.

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As a real estate agent, generating referrals is essential. Gaining repeat customers, growing your business and growing your network through your personal connections are some of the most rewarding aspects of being an agent in this industry – and a surefire way to ensure longevity and success in your career. .

Here, I’ve outlined several ways to incorporate a strong referral program into your real estate business.

1. Exceed expectations

As a real estate agent, your main goal should be to provide excellent customer service and an invaluable experience to clients. After all, buying or selling a property is one of the biggest investments and decisions a person will make in their lifetime.

Striving to always exceed expectations, anticipating your customers’ needs, and seeking new and innovative ways to add value and be useful is crucial.

Whether providing an in-depth analysis of neighborhoods and enclaves of interest to your client or creating special touch points throughout the year with a small gift during the holidays or a congratulations card for the birth of their first grandchild, thinking three steps ahead will ensure referrals are in your future.

2. Work on your CRM

The new year is the perfect time to stay visible to your sphere of influence and organize your CRM. Develop a plan to strategically target your contacts throughout the year.

This can be done through direct mail, email messages, phone calls, targeted advertising in key online and print publications, as well as social media targeting and video messaging that goes beyond word of mouth to create a predictable and steady stream of high-quality leads and referrals from friends and colleagues.

3. Ask for references

The old saying goes that if you don’t ask for what you want, you’ll never get it. After a successful transaction process with a client, ask for a referral if they have any friends or family members looking to buy or sell their home or property.

If you receive a referral from an existing customer, send a thank you note or a small gift to show how much you appreciate them thinking of you and recommending the business.

4. Leverage social media

Be sure to leverage your social media presence and potential reach by ensuring all positive customer experiences are shareable.

For example, if you’re closing in record time or you’re with your client when they close their first home, be sure to take a photo and share it on your social media. The more positive experiences you can document, the more potential referrals will be on the horizon.

5. Network

The only way to grow your business is to network wherever and whenever possible. Health risks permitting, grow and expand your sphere in the new year by attending networking events, following leads online, and working at open houses. This is especially effective for new agents who are just getting started in the industry and looking to grow their business.

Overall, the key to incorporating a robust referral program into your real estate business comes down to several factors, including exceeding expectations, working your CRM, networking, and leveraging social media.

Staying consistent, staying visible, and delivering value whenever possible are great ways to acquire new business in the new year.

Rainy Hake Austin is the president of The Agency in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on Instagram.