How to Drive Referrals & Repeat Business

Welcome to my pubDeveloping & nurturing leads are key skills for any real estate agent. But, the truth is that the majority of an agent’s leads come from their existing client base – 42% of home buyers find their agent based on a referral from a friend or family member and 12% used the agent previously.


Agents that can capitalize on their current client base reap the benefits. First, they’re able to scale marketing efforts quickly and can reduce time & money spent on advertising. They also have better conversion rates since referred clients are less likely to shop around for an agent. However, growing referrals and repeat business doesn’t happen automatically. So, if you’re wanting to spend less time cold calling, here’s our top tips for driving leads from your current client base.


1. Thank Clients Personally

After you finish working with a client, whether the deal was successful or not, thank them and let them know you appreciate their business. If the deal was successful, send a personalized letter and closing gift – like a gift certificate to a local restaurant near their new home.


2. Stay in Touch with Newsletters

Stay top of mind after deals have closed with regular communication. Remember, you shouldn’t be selling new homes to clients that have recently purchased. Instead offer home maintenance advice, news about local events & attractions, or details about the local real estate market – it’s reassuring for recent buyers to hear that their purchase was a sound financial decision.


3. Check In

If you want past clients to refer you to their friends and family, personally check-in with them after the deal has closed. Keep in touch around move-in day, anniversaries of their home purchase/sale and holidays. Sending a card for the anniversary of their closing shows you’re invested in each client and were attentive when you worked together.


4. Connect on Social Media

Your social media presence is great for staying in touch with past clients. To save time, schedule posts for the upcoming week during a slow morning – this way you won’t feel so overwhelmed with social.


5. Make Referrals Easy

As great of an agent as you are, referrals won’t just automatically roll in. Despite 83% of past clients stating that they’re willing to make a referral only 29% actually follow through. Remind past clients in your digital and print communications that you appreciate referrals. Then, make it simple for them to send a referral by adding referral forms to your website and Facebook page.


How do you win repeat business and referrals???

Leveraging Reviews to Grow Your Real Estate Business


Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews. For real estate agents, online reviews are big business: an agent’s trustworthiness, honesty and reputation are the most important factors when buyers and sellers choose an agent. As sites like Zillow, Trulia, Yelp and Redfin continue to grow in popularity, managing online reviews will only continue to be more important. So, if you want to start leveraging reviews and building your online reputation, he’s the skinny on how you can win the review game.


Increasing Reviews

Did you know that the number of online reviews you have influences where you rank in search results? And that 85% of consumers only feel satisfied that they can trust a business after reading at least 10 reviews? That means increasing your review volume is crucial for SEO and your credibility. To increase reviews, first make sure you’ve claimed your profiles on major review sites and completed your details. Include links to profiles on review sites in your email signature, website, newsletter and blog. Better yet, ask past clients to offer feedback on review sites. Whatever you do, DON’T be tempted to write fake reviews or buy reviews – review sites are cracking down and will flag your profile. For example, Yelp will post a Consumer Alert on your profile to notify potential clients that you’ve been caught posting fake reviews.consumer alert yelp


Leverage Positive Reviews

Positive online reviews are marketing gold – word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising. First, thank online reviews for their feedback – it shows genuineness and that you care about clients after the sale response

To get even more traction from positive reviews, direct potential clients to view your profiles on review sites by having links on your website, social media profiles, newsletters, email signatures and print advertising. Better yet, share positive reviews on social media to increase exposure and let these positive reviewers know that you appreciate referrals!


Mitigate Negative Reviews

Any agent, no matter how exceptional, may end up with a few negative reviews. When you read a review, first take a step back and be objective. Is there an opportunity for improvement? How would you react if your broker had given you the same feedback? While negative reviews can be embarrassing, they often can offer valuable performance feedback.

mediocre review

Consider responding to the review with tact – either publicly or in a direct message. This functionality is available on most review sites if you’ve claimed your profiles. Responding publicly shows that you respect clients and address problems, but if you feel the client is especially angry or are dealing with private info then a private message is likely the better choice. When responding publicly, try to highlight the positive, apologize for any mistakes made and invite the client to bring the conversation out of the public eye if you need to address their concerns further. For example,

Hi Jane,

I’m glad that we were able to get your home sold quickly, but I’m sorry you felt out of the loop and found the transaction process stressful. I want all of my clients to feel 100% happy after working with me, and would appreciate if you could email me any details on the particulars of what made the transaction less than ideal – I appreciate the feedback.


After responding to a negative review and working to amend the situation, the client may take the review down or update it to show that you solved the issue.


At the end of the day, you don’t need to be afraid of online reviews. While they can make any business owner weary, 66% of Yelp reviews are 4 or 5 star ratings. And better yet, 13% of agents receive 21 or more leads from online reviews. Have you used online reviews to increase referrals?



The Top 10 Things Your Real Estate Website Needs


websiteReal estate websites have become increasingly sophisticated as agents work to drive leads online. From listing data, online chat, videos and social media integration – the options can be endless. And with 90% of home buyers searching online, having a great website is a necessity for any agent. So, if you’re doing a website revamp or want to check in with how your site stacks up, here’s our list of the 10 website essentials for any real estate agent.


1.Have One

While this advice might seem obvious, 45% of small businesses in the US still don’t have a website. While your brokerage likely has a site, you shouldn’t rely on your broker’s website to increase leads. Every agent should also have their own site that they have full control of. Don’t lose out on the 90% of home buyers that are searching online.


2. Be Mobile

This year, mobile search will outpace desktop. Your site should be mobile optimized – ideally responsive – and have mobile features like click-to-call. Google and NAR have published that 89% of new home buyers use a mobile search engine for their research. Don’t give them a bad experience with a site that isn’t mobile friendly.


3. Optimize for Local Search

Local search is the when a search engine delivers results that are specific to a geographic region. This means that when you’re working to rank higher in search engines, you should focus on “Real Estate Agent Toronto” instead of “Real Estate Agent”.  Just how important is local search for real estate? 69% of home buyers that take action on a real estate website started with a local search term, like “Houston homes for sale”.

Local search 2


4. Display your Value

Your website is your opportunity to show potential clients how great of an agent you are. Have a clear value proposition displayed right on your homepage – ie Buying and Selling Luxury Properties in Houston since 2002 – and make sure to have a bio page that highlights your qualifications and experience. Testimonials from past clients are great for social proof!


5. Use Great Visuals

Does your website have “curb appeal”? Great images, design and videos are so important for keeping visitors from dropping off. Here’s one of our favorite examples.

the force realty

6. Make it Easy to Search Properties

The most important features of a real estate website? According to a recent survey of home buyers, photos and detailed information about properties for sale are the most important. Have easy-to-use property search functionality on your website with great listing descriptions.


7. Have a Blog

Blogging regularly is an effective and inexpensive digital marketing strategy. Blogs are great for showing yourself as an expert in the local real estate market, improving your local search ranking, providing info & tips for potential clients and converting visitors into clients. Whether you choose to have your blog on a  subdomain ( or as a subfolder (, blogging regularly is a definite must for any real estate website.


8. Integrate with Social Medialike box

Are you working to find leads and connect with clients on social media? Integrate your website with your social profiles by adding Activity Feeds that show recent Tweets & Facebook posts, a Like Box that let’s website visitors Like your Facebook page without leaving your site and Share buttons.



9. Be Referral Friendly

Add a Refer Us form to your website. Using separate forms for referrals from past clients and referrals from agents in other centers is a simple way deliver high quality leads from your website. With QuickLinkt, you can add Refer Us forms to your website and be automatically notified everytime you’re sent a referral.


10. Make Contact Info Easy to Find

At the end of the day, the goal of your website is to grow your client base and increase closings. To turn website visitors into revenue, have your contact info prominently displayed on each page of your site and have one-touch calling and email functionality on your mobile site.

The 2015 Marketing To-Do List for Real Estate Agents

check listThe new year is always a time for reflecting on the past, planning for what’s to come and gearing up for success in the year ahead. For real estate agents, it’s a time to get organized before the craziness of the summer selling season. Planning your marketing efforts in January will help you to stay on track, measure your progress and exceed your marketing (and selling) goals in 2015. So if you want to increase leads AND sales, here’s a list of 7 initiatives to get you on track.


1. Organize your Contact Lists

If you want to reach potential buyers & sellers, engage with past clients and network with your sphere of influence you’ll need your contact lists organized. No matter what CRM you’re using, you should be keeping track of names, contact info and a brief history of communications.


2. Get Online

90% of home buyers search online for their home. Optimizing your online presence should be the foundation of your marketing efforts. Remember, your website is usually a potential client’s first impression of you – so make it memorable.


3. Focus on Google

While 3rd party websites like Zillow & Trulia are well-known in the real estate industry, the number 1 search engine is by far Google. See how you rank in local search results for Realtor, real estate agent, homes for sale, etc. Then work to improve your rankings with doing keyword research, adding keyword-rich content to your site, setting up a Google Places and Local Google+ page, and creating or claiming your profiles on directory sites.


4. Share Your Knowledge

Real estate agents are experts on real estate market trends, home decorating and maintenance, local events and neighborhood profiles. Use a blog to share your knowledge with potential clients and engage with past clients. By blogging on a regular basis, you’ll be seen as an expert and help increase your search engine ranking.


5. Create an Email Marketing Schedule

Email marketing is crucial for staying top of mind with your sphere of influence. Use January to create a schedule, pick an email template and start prepping your content. For example, you can decide to send your newsletter every 2nd Thursday. Then start building out your content with when local events are going on and home maintenance tips for the seasons.


6. Make Social Media a Habit

Start a new habit in January with regularly posting on social media and engaging with your followers. Ghost social media profiles can make potential clients think you’re no longer in business.  Plus, it’s an easy way to connect with young, first-time buyers and keep top of mind with past clients.


7. Cultivate Referrals

Did you know that referred clients are 4X more likely to close? If you aren’t engaging your sphere of influence for referrals, you’re missing out. Create a simple way for managing referrals (like getting a QuickLinkt account), and engaging with your professional network.

What are your marketing plans for 2015?

5 Tips for New Real Estate Agents to Survive & Thrive

Real estate is a tough market. With 9 out of 10 agents leaving the industry in their first year, it can be especially intimidating for those getting started. Since we’re always looking for ways to help agents grow their business, we asked some of the experienced real estate agents using QuickLinkt what advice they’d give to those starting out in the industry.


1. Let People  Know You’ve Made a Career Change

You’ve likely heard your broker or other agents stress the importance of your Sphere of Influence – the personal and business connections that respect your expertise and know how great you are. These contacts can send you referrals and connect you with potential clients ready to buy or sell. Write a personalized note to let  connections know you’ve made a career change and why you’re passionate about real estate.

2. Learn from The Best

Agencies and professional associations are full of experienced & knowledgeable real estate agents. Take advantage of training initiatives and spend time helping out other agents as you build your client list. Your education doesn’t stop the day you pass your licensing exam, so be prepared to always keep learning. Remember, your broker WANTS you to succeed!

3. Get Involved in Your Community

As awesome as real estate agents are – you won’t meet many potential clients hanging out with other agents. Getting involved in your community is a great way to help your career. First, it helps you to become an expert in the neighborhoods that you work in which can be key for wowing your clients and closing transactions. Better yet, being involved in your community is also a great way to connect with potential buyer & sellers.

4. Go Online!

90% of home buyers use the internet in their home search process. If you don’t have a strong online presence – you’re missing out on 90% of potential leads. Learn how to edit and update your website, create social media pages for your personal real estate brand, start an editorial schedule for your blog and research how to create & manage online ads. It may seem daunting, but there’s lots of great advice on digital marketing for real estate.

5. Grow Your Referral Pipeline

Referred clients are 4X more likely to do business with you. When you’re working with clients and after sales have closed, let clients know that a referral is the best compliment. The home buying and selling process can be stressful – your happy clients will want you to help their friends and family with the process.


What advice would you give to new real estate agents? 

What’s My Specialty? The Benefits of Niche Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

niche marketing

A lot of times when marketing, new Real Estate agents try to reach as many people as possible. They chase every opportunity and desperately work to turn potentials into clients.

But being everything to everyone is a tall order. It’s extremely expensive to market to multiple segments – not to mention difficult to be knowledgeable about all of their needs.

Instead, wise agents focus efforts on a particular niche – a subset of the market that has specific needs and represents a profitable demographic. While large agencies can cover many specialities, individual agents focus on specific niches – whether its condos, a specific neighborhood or revenue properties. Even if you haven’t intentionally carved out your market niche, you probably see similarities in the types of properties you sell and clients you work with.

Susan Freidmann, author of Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a Small Market supports becoming well-known as an expert in a niche because of 4 main reasons:

  • There’s less competition in niche markets
  • Efficiencies are created in research & marketing
  • You can demand premium prices because you’re seen as an expert
  • You benefit from increased visibility in your marketplace

And better yet, focusing on a niche market drives referrals. When you become known as the go-to-guy or -gal for selling historic homes or working with first time buyers, business connections know exactly the type of clients to refer to you. Better yet, because these clients are looking for what you specialize in, they’re easier to close.

Referrals from past clients also become simple. Remember the age-old saying Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Well, chances are that your past clients’ social networks are full of similar people that fit your niche – whether it’s newly married couples looking for their first home, or retirees wanting to downsize.

So, whether you choose to stick with a strongly defined niche for your entire career or have a more fluid approach where your niche changes with market trends, creating your niche is powerful for growing your business and increasing referrals.

And let’s face it, you’ll also have a killer answer when potentials ask what you specialize in.