While most real estate agents would love to work with clients for a lifetime, sometimes clients relocate to other cities and states and become out of reach. But for Sarita Dua, a Keller Williams agent in Portland, Oregon, this doesn’t mean the agent-client relationship has to end. Seeing the potential to continue serving past clients even when their ZIP codes change, Dua has been harnessing Keller Williams technology to build a sizable agent-to-agent referral business.
“I want to find John a great agent,” Dua says, “one who knows that area really well, knows the market, is a great negotiator, and also, very importantly, has the time and the support to give John the devoted personal attention that he deserves.”
While it might be tempting for agents to quickly search for a few referral names on Facebook or Google, Dua points out that this risks ending up with a bad fit. And, she adds, other strategies that might find decent referrals are highly time intensive. “I’m thinking to myself, there has got to be a better way,” Dua says. “Enter Referrals. Now we have one place to go online, do our homework, vet agents, and find a match.”
You can find the perfect agents to partner with by using the filtering feature. Search for agents by area, list size, production and/or KW specializations – GPS, luxury, commercial, land, KWYP, MAPS Mastery Coaching and more. These verification features add a layer of assurance that you will be getting in business with the agent that works for you!
“Have it on your phone, have it in your pocket at all times,” Dua says of the KW virtual assistant app. Kelle, she explains, is particularly helpful for your referral business because it is “the best darn phonebook for KW agents,” allowing you to look up any agent and get their direct phone number and email address.
This starts out as a blank canvas for you to expand upon, and if you leave it that way, you’re not attracting as much referral business as you could. Dua recommends including information on who you are, your interests, and how you approach the market. “Make sure that profile is reflective of who you are as an agent,” she says.
Check your production data.
While this information should be correct because it’s based on all production reports, be sure to verify the numbers and bring any questions to your MCA.
Add agents to your Referral Network.
Recognizing that there is no right or wrong approach, Dua says her process involves adding every agent she knows, adding agents who are productive in some of the top U.S. markets, and adding agents based on migration patterns – why people are moving to her area and where they are coming from and why people are leaving her area and where they are going to.
Add agents as soon as you meet them.
Dua stresses the importance of having a robust contact database and cautions against putting this off (you’ll forget) and exchanging business cards (they’ll get lost). “This is a simple one, but I can’t tell you how many people don’t do it.”
Track referral activity.
By tracking referrals in the dashboard, you can communicate milestone events, like getting through the inspection or having a successful appraisal, with the referring agent. “These are really important things,” Dua says, “and thanks to the KW tech team, they knew that even for referrals for a non-KW agent, we can still track it there. It’s really powerful.”
Broadcast referral offers.
“It’s essentially saying, ‘Hey everybody, who wants a buyer from 250 to 350 in Atlanta? Raise your hand.’ You’re going to miss the hand-raisers if you’re not on the network,” Dua says. She suggests targeting the broadcast to a specific area and following up with the agents who would be a good fit. And because it’s anonymous, you don’t get emails or texts and you don’t have friends recommending friends. “It allows me to control it without bias, being professional, efficient, and saving time.”
Which brings us back to tip number one- download Kelle! Referral Broadcasts occur only via Kelle. If you don’t have the app (with notifications turned on!) you’re missing out on potential business.