Agent-to-agent referrals account for roughly 15 percent of my $20 million business. After receiving some top-dollar referrals, my eyes were opened to the depth of opportunity in this area. I’d love to see more agents take advantage of this lead source, and I hope to inspire business owners to action by sharing insights on how I’ve built the referral side of my business.
Like social media, open houses, and past clients, prospecting for referrals requires you to be strategic about how you seek out referral partners and where you spend your time. For me, that’s venues, offices, and classrooms across the country speaking and coaching. However, you don’t have to be a coach or public speaker to find quality referral partners. A simple internet search will lead you to agents who are willing to offer real estate education in hot markets just outside of your local area.
You want to be in business with givers – the people who are speaking with your local board and coming to you to share their knowledge with others. After you’ve built a relationship with these individuals, ask them if they have any agents in the markets you’d like to move into. I’ve found that givers know givers. Also, always start building your referral network in your local market before moving outward.
Experience has taught me to be selective about who I send outgoing referrals to. Why? Because clients are not dollars and cents; they're human beings who are relying on us to help guide them through an exciting, yet scary time. Every day they are inundated with options and can easily get stuck in a cycle of double-thinking their choice to buy a home. When I make a referral to another agent, I must have full confidence that any anxieties my clients have will be eased, and they will have a world-class experience; anything less will reflect poorly on me.
My background is in engineering, so I like systems and processes, and this helps when referring to another agent. I’m interested in an agent’s character first. Do they do the right thing when nobody else is looking? Their business model and numbers come second to that.
Here are two things I look at when evaluating an agent’s character:
• How do they respond to my inquiry? Do they take my phone call on time, or do they make me call them back multiple times? If a real estate agent is not willing to keep their word with me, how do I know they're going to keep their word with the client that I referred them to?
• What do online reviews say? Online reviews are important. Number one, they give me a snapshot of the public opinion around the agent. Also, it's tough to get people to submit a review – even if they love you. If an agent is willing to work that hard to get good reviews, I know they’ll work equally as hard for my buyer or seller.
Since I’m online vetting agents before sending them a referral, I know they are doing the same to me. The increased visibility and transparency of the digital world has pushed our team to be clear about what we stand for, the service we provide, and how we excel as a team.
About Monty Van Dyk
Monty Van Dyk is founder and CEO of Lead Funnels Australia and Easy Agent, headquartered on the Gold Coast, Queensland with teams in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Under Monty’s guidance and leadership, the team has sold thousands of homes in the past 18 years, performing exceptionally regardless of changing market conditions.
Before moving into real estate in 2002, Monty was a mechanical engineer for ten years. He credits the success of Easy Agent to the culture of learning and growth. His commitment to learning has placed him in the top agent mastermind and within the top 10 percent of real estate principals in Australia.
When he is not coaching or speaking, Monty is enjoying time with his family or training for his next IRONMAN; he has completed six so far in his sporting career. He is originally from Cairns, Queensland.