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    Asking for real estate referrals is often one of the hardest parts of an agent’s job. Truth be told, it can be awkward to ask to be given work outright. Yet, it’s important to understand that asking for referrals doesn’t always have to be an uncomfortable conversation.

    To that end, we have five creative ways that you can ask for real estate referrals. Take a look so that you can decide which strategies you want to incorporate into your marketing plan.

    Real estate referrals: 5 interesting ideas

    1. Host a client appreciation event.

    If you want to bring out the big guns when it’s time to ask for referrals, think about hosting a client appreciation event. In real estate, a client appreciation event is an event that you throw in order to thank all of your past clients for their business. It could be as simple as inviting your clients to the park for a day of family fun or as lavish as hosting a golf outing with prizes and giveaways.

    Whichever type of event you choose, The crucial part is finding a thematically appropriate way to ask for referrals. Most of the time agents will give their client a small parting gift that has the referral request attached to it. It doesn’t have to be an outright ask. You can incorporate a slogan such as “Referrals are the heart of my business. Give me a call if you know someone who is looking to buy or sell their home.”

    2. Deliver pop-by gifts.

    If hosting a whole event for your clients’ enjoyment sounds like it might be a little bit above your budget, consider delivering pop-by gifts instead. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, pop-by gifts are small gifts that you can give your client. Usually, the gifts have a catchy slogan attached to that advertises your services. In this case, you would want the slogan to specifically ask for real estate referrals.

    That said, pop-bys are a two-fold marketing strategy. The reason why it’s called a “pop-by” is because the gift gives you an excuse to pop by your client’s home out of the blue. Ideally, they’ll be home when you’ve stopped by to drop it off and you can spend a few minutes catching up with them. At the end of the conversation, you can always ask them for a referral as well.

    3. Volunteer at a community event.

    Next, if you have some free time in the evenings or on the weekends, consider volunteering at community events. Put simply, while this may not be the most direct marketing tactic for real estate referrals, it will get you socializing with members of the community who you might not have met otherwise. You can always strike up a conversation in the midst of volunteering and casually mention that you are a real estate agent.

    When you’re going this route, make sure to volunteer for a cause that is personally important to you. Not only will it be a more fulfilling on an intrinsic level, but if you are engaged with the cause, you’ll be more likely to go above and beyond as a volunteer, which will help solidify your reputation in the community.

    4. Take part in a trade show.

    Think about taking part in a trade show. In this case, you may want to be one of the vendors or the sponsors. It’s important that you be able to give out swag or other marketing materials with your brand on them. Not to mention your business cards, which will have your contact information displayed in plain view. Although, truth be told, the more items you can emblazon with your contact information, the better.

    In this case, the type of trade show that you choose to participate in is key. Ideally, you will want to choose something that is adjacently-related to real estate. For example, a home and garden show would be a great choice, as would anything to do with vacations or vacation rentals.

    5. Cross-promote with another industry professional.

    Lastly, you may want to think about cross-promoting with another industry professional, such as a lender or a real estate attorney. Here, it’s very important to be cognizant of RESPA laws and regulations. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) is a piece of legislation that governs how information is distributed to homebuyers during the buying process. However, it also regulates illegal practices on the part of industry professionals and has some strict guidelines about referrals.

    Still, as long as you’re operating within the law, it is perfectly okay to get real estate referrals from another industry professional. You might be able to reach an agreement by marketing each other services in your marketing materials, such as email drip campaigns, or newsletters.

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