How To Build Your Referral BusinessHow important are referrals to your business? According to the most successful mortgage brokers, referrals are an impactful way to grow your business. With referrals, you can expand your client base by turning to the loyal clients you already have. It’s like free advertising! If you go by the 80 – 20 rule, 80% of your new business should come from 20% of your existing clients. At QLMS, we’ve put together our top 10 tips for getting more out of your client base so you can grow your referral business.
- Make Sure Your Client Service Is Top-Notch Go above and beyond for your clients every day and watch the referrals fly in. When you give your best service, your clients will give in return – in the form of great referrals. After all, clients want to refer brokers who’ve impressed them. They want friends and family to have the same great experience!
- Don’t Wait In this current era of abundance, it’s a great time to be a mortgage broker. But don’t sit back and wait until things slow down (which we hope won’t be anytime soon). Instead, have a referral plan in place.
- Give Referrals So You Can Get Some In Return You do business with many people in your community. We encourage you to write referrals for the ones who’ve gone above and beyond and then ask them for a referral in return. The best way to grow your referral business is to make sure your business is doing the referring, too. Help other local business and they in turn will be more inclined to spread the word about your place.
- Connect With Real Estate Agents And Financial Planners There are over 2 million real estate agents and more than 70% of them are on social media. Reach out and collaborate. Local agents have a wide base of contacts and go-to brokers. Become one of them and watch your business grow. Attend open houses with real estate professionals, offer to preapprove their clients who are really interested in a home and explain the benefits of working with a QLMS partner (like competitive pricing and fast turn times).
- Just Ask The most successful brokers are enthusiastic, positive and confident. Don’t be shy. Ask your most loyal clients to post something about your company on social media or write about you in their blog. You’ll be surprised how often the answer will be, “Of course!”
- Timing Is Everything When’s the best time to ask for a referral? Right after you’ve exceeded your client’s expectations and they’ve had a great experience. Tip: Don’t ask for referrals right after the loan is closed. Try a follow-up call in a few weeks. Check in and make sure the move-in experience went well. Then, be casual and friendly. You can say: “If you’ve been happy with your mortgage experience with us, please recommend us to your family and friends. Our business wants more amazing clients like you.”
- Keep The Referral Process Simple You want to make sure that your clients can submit a referral in the easiest way possible. But you also want to create a unified process so that you can track the results.
- Create An Actual Program Creating a real referral program helps you stay on top of this important part of your business. If you have a loyal client who just closed, give them a gift card to a local furniture or home improvement store. Promote this referral program in your office by displaying posters and flyers and highlighting it on your website and social media. Make sure to educate your entire team about the ins and outs of your referral program, too.
- Say Thanks It may not seem like a big deal, but a simple thank you goes a long way. Thank every client who refers someone. Don’t wait. Timing is everything. A handwritten thank you note shows that you are truly appreciative, but you can also reach out with a quick phone call or email. Are your clients sending multiple referrals? Reward them with a small gift. When you treat your referral clients with respect, they’ll keep the great words coming.
- Analyze Your Results How many people are leaving referrals on your website? How many testimonials did your clients write this year? Monitor your results, compare it to your established goals and work from there. Keep doing what’s working. What incentive is the strongest? If something’s not working, go in a different direction.
Impressive client service and responsive, caring team members are what your clients are really referring. Are you there for your clients after hours and on weekends? Do you use QLMS technology to help a client’s loan speed through your pipeline? Are you promoting great turn times? Referrals are about brand building. Too often, businesses assume that clients know a lot about their offerings. Make sure your best clients know what you do best.
As a successful mortgage broker, you already have a marketing plan, but it’s just as important to have a referral plan. You can gain new clients from referrals that you might not reach from your marketing plan.
Establish clear goals that you want to achieve with your referral business and work toward them. Make sure you’re constantly engaged on your social media platforms. Have a new product or service that you’re excited about? Promote it on your business’s LinkedIn page.
Remember to identify your target audience. Going after first-time home buyers? Trying to reach the ever-growing millennial market? Narrow your audience so that your referrals reach your specific target.
Start networking with financial planners in your community and use LinkedIn to establish stronger relationships. Referrals from financial planners are often pretty solid. People who use financial planners usually have their finances in order, and if they’re in the market for a new home or they plan to refinance, these are the types of clients you want.
Place your referral form on the landing page of your website. Keep it front and center, so clients can easily find it. The referral form should have required fields for your clients to fill out and submit. Make sure the referral form is mobile friendly, too.
A well-executed referral strategy is essential to growing your business. Remember who you are and what you stand for, give referrals to businesses that you love, be proactive and ask your best clients for referrals and make it easy for them to do it. Are there any referral tips that you’ve used that have proven effective? Leave us a comment!