Some of the most valuable property management leads come from customers you’re already doing business with. And that’s not just something we’re pulling out of thin air. The numbers support it as well. Not only does a referred customer have a 16% higher lifetime value than a customer acquired through other avenues, but they can be acquired without having to spend a single dime on advertising or marketing. Of course, asking for referrals isn’t always easy. In fact, if it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to you, it can feel downright uncomfortable. Not if you have a plan, however. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can get more referrals without going too far out of your comfort zone.
Focus on adding value first.
People need to trust you in order to share information with you – especially if they’re going to put their reputation on the line. Don’t rush the process. Focus first on adding value and continuously delighting your existing book of business. The goal is to make them want to refer your property management services to their colleagues, and that’s something that comes with time.
Pinpoint your most valuable relationships.
In general, your referral efforts will be most fruitful if you focus on the customers with whom you have the strongest relationships. These are clients you’ve worked with for some time, have a consistent track record with and may have already indicated that they might be a good referral source by giving good feedback or posting a positive review.
Open the door.
Once you’ve established a positive working relationship with your customers and have earned their trust, you can start opening the doors to potential referrals. Mention it in your email communications or when you’re engaging with them. Ask if there’s anyone in their network that might benefit from your property management services. Put it on the table and nurture it gently. Don’t be pushy.
Ask them to be specific.
When a client is willing to share a name with you, don’t leave it at that. Show them that you’re genuinely interested in helping their colleague by asking a few specific questions. For instance, ask whether the referral has any noteworthy interests or hobbies. Not only does this provide you with valuable information to connect with the referral on a more personal level, but it also helps to bridge the gap between yourself and your referrer.
Referral marketing is really just high-level networking. And the key to effective networking is a healthy give and take. If you want property management referrals, you should also be willing to give referrals of your own. Help your colleagues, contacts and acquaintances grow their own businesses by connecting them with others within your network. In turn, they’ll be more likely to consider doing the same.
At the end of the day, the most compelling way to win a new customer is through the trust and support of your existing clientele. By following the five tips above, you should have no problem generating a steady stream of referrals and turning those leads into new business.