Building your referral network is essential to your success in the luxury real estate market, but if you find yourself struggling to make these connections, you’re not alone! Meeting new people might be easy but cultivating an authentic connection is the hard part. In the latest episode of our Estate of Mind podcast, Patrick Ryan (managing broker at Genuine Real Estate Corp. of Chicago, Illinois) discusses the importance of building a referral pipeline and offers valuable tips for growing a strong referral network. We’ve summarized three key tips below, but be sure to check out the podcast for yourself to dive even deeper.
1) Travel 3-4 times per year
Traveling to other markets is a great way to meet new people that could potentially turn into referral partners, not to mention some might become lifelong friendships. Make an effort to visit these contacts three to four times a year for more opportunities to strengthen your relationships with them, while acquiring first-hand knowledge of their markets.
In the podcast, Ryan explains that cultivating relationships with real estate professionals in different regions and having unique information about those markets will give you something interesting to talk to your clients about during your listing appointments. Once you’ve built these connections, you can confidently make a referral to your clients who are interested in out-of-market investment opportunities. Keep in mind that affluent clients are leaning on you as their trusted advisors for personal recommendations and referrals, so the more out-of-market knowledge and connections you have will only benefit your business.
2) Attend industry conferences
Industry conferences are coming back stronger than ever! Take advantage of these excellent networking opportunities and meet other real estate professionals and industry experts. Find conferences in your contacts’ markets so you have many opportunities to visit them and connect with them—hence the first tip above!
Some examples of the industry’s most popular conferences and events include:
The Institute’s Leaders in Luxury (GUILD™ Members-only)
Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate Conferences
RISMedia’s CEO & Leadership Exchange
LeadingRE Global Real Estate Conference
If you’re not already attending conferences throughout the year, now is the time to get involved! Plan ahead by checking out itineraries, presentations, and speaker schedules, and registering for sessions in advance (where required) to secure your spots. Bring plenty of business cards and keep a running list of everyone you’ve spoken with or interacted with during the event because once the conference is over, the real work begins. Follow up with your connections either through social media or emails and maintain a line of communications for any opportunities in the future!
3) Don’t forget to give referrals
Perhaps above all else, luxury real estate professionals must remember that referrals are never one-sided. Don’t pass up the opportunity to refer your clients to other real estate professionals outside of your market. You should even take things a step further by following up to find out how each referral went. This way, if it was a bad experience, you can make notes and keep this in mind for the future. If the experience was excellent, you’d know to continue cultivating that relationship.
While you shouldn’t expect every relationship or friendship you create will lead to a referral, it’s a great feeling when things work out and it’s a win-win for both parties. The most important thing to remember when giving referrals (and receiving them) is to ensure you’ve communicated with all parties involved and that the expectations are clear on both sides. This will minimize the chances of conflict while ensuring that everybody is on the same page.
Grow your referral network with The Institute
These are just a few of the most effective ways to build your referral network as a luxury real estate professional. For more opportunities to elevate your career and grow your network, join our online community of over 6,000 members throughout the U.S. and Canada! Members of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing gain access to benefits such as premier market reports, marketing content, and training to earn your designations and elevate your career. Learn more about Members Only resources and benefits here! Reach out to our team today to get started.