What’s the least favorite part of your job as a real estate agent?
Most would say, cold calls or introductions. The process of seeking out new leads without a previous connection or relationship can be very difficult. Cold calling is not only difficult but often uncomfortable and unproductive.
How do you respond when someone you don’t know calls you out of the blue? Are you open to doing business? Not likely.
When you become a local leader in your community, the amount of cold sales activities you need to conduct dramatically decreases. Why? Because people know and trust you in your community. When they think of you, they associate positive feelings towards real estate and actively look to refer you to others.
The Power Of Local Groups For Real Estate Professionals
When it comes to increasing the number of referrals you are receiving, you have several options to choose from:
- Reach out to your current and past clients and ask for referrals.
- You can partner with other types of real estate professionals and access their client-base.
- Join and create groups in your area and forge new relationships with potential buyers and sellers.
Local groups are one of the most powerful tools available to real estate agents. If you are not active in at least two groups, you are missing out on a massive opportunity. Groups in your community can be a gold mine when it comes to referrals. There are many agents who have already discovered the power of groups but have failed to recognize the opportunity within online groups.
Local Online Groups
Traditional meetups and groups are still very valuable. There is something about face-to-face interaction that seems to create the strongest bonds. However, there are many online group opportunities which other real estate professionals have not yet discovered (or they don’t understand them).
There are four types of online groups that would be a fantastic place to start to generate more referrals:
- Facebook Groups
- Linkedin Groups
- Subreddit Pages
- Online Meetups
Using Local Facebook Groups To Generate Real Estate Referrals
Out of the four types of online groups we are analyzing, Facebook groups have the most people interacting with them. In North America, about 70% of the adult population is on Facebook. With recent algorithm changes, advertising on Facebook has become more difficult but groups are still extremely useful to real estate agents.
You have two options with Facebook groups; create your own or join existing groups. We recommend that you do both.
In your local area, there are likely already dozens of groups that you can bring value to. Most cities have groups that focus on networking, entrepreneurship, social good, and real estate specifically.
Request to join the groups that have a large number of active users and start contributing. As a real estate professional, you have a lot to share. The more value you give to the group, the more people will take notice.
You might find that potential clients reach out directly to you on Facebook or they might be more receptive to your advertising after seeing your interactions on the group. In the Facebook groups that contain other professionals, look for opportunities to refer business in their direction. A good deed never goes unnoticed. Before long, you will have a stream of solid referrals coming back in the other direction.
If you create your own group, you can facilitate the referral process. You should be finding out what every single member of the group needs, then refer leads their way whenever possible.
LinkedIn Groups For Real Estate Referral Generation
LinkedIn may have fewer users than Facebook but the users that are on the platform may be more valuable to you. Why? Because they are professionals of some kind and likely a) have disposable income and b) place value behind professionals and formal designations.
If you are hoping to join or create a localized LinkedIn group, you really need to bring tangible benefits or value. When users are on LinkedIn, they are there to do business. What value do you bring to the group? Are you advancing the conversation, or watching from the background?
If your local city or town doesn’t have a LinkedIn networking group, this would be a great place to start. If one already exists, join it, and look to create a group that focuses on real estate. Worst case scenario, this is an opportunity to increase your sphere of local influence and drive more traffic back to your social media or website.
Linkedin Is Made For Referrals
Individuals on Linkedin are in a business mindset. They are ready to receive and provide value- and they want everyone else to watch that exchange. A group is a perfect environment to facilitate this value swap.
Provide value. Then provide more value. Then provide even more value. And then, feel free to ask for all the referrals that you want. As long as you are giving something in return, Linkedin users will be open to referrals every day of the week.
Reddit for Real Estate?
If you are unfamiliar with Reddit you may only know it as a website for sharing funny videos and ridiculous cat pictures. Reddit is one of the most under-utilized marketing tools out there. Every professional should be interacting with it in some capacity.
The groups on Reddit are referred to as subreddits. There are large subreddit’s that cover topics such as global news or viral videos. There are also smaller subreddits which can be localized and tailored to serve a small area such as a city.
And, like Facebook or LinkedIn, you can look to join pre-existing subreddits or you can embrace your leader role further and create your own. The Reddit environment is a little different than traditional social media platforms and might take some time to get comfortable with it.
The advantage, however, is that Reddit is full of consumers and it is not known as a marketing environment. Users don’t have their guard up like they do on Facebook.
That being said, if you can find ways to provide value on Reddit, cultivating referrals should come easily.
Taking Your Meetups Online
You already know the power of local meetups and mastermind groups if you follow Parkbench in any capacity. In order to increase the scope and reach of these groups, consider taking them online.
Online meetups can serve many different purposes. Everyone in the local group might be looking to increase their knowledge in a particular area (real estate investing, negotiations etc.) or the goal may be to simply network.
One of the biggest advantages to an online group like this is the turnout rate. When you host a physical meetup, people may be hesitant to enter a new environment or they might be too busy to travel to the meeting location. With an online group, they can join the conversation with a click of a button.
It might take a little longer to create and grow these groups but trust us, it will be worth it. These meetings will be much more intimate than a Facebook or Linkedin group, especially if you use video for the calls.
Don’t be afraid to start small and invite some of your friends and current clients. Remember, just like any other group, if you are providing value, you will eventually get that value in return.
Step Into Your Role As A Local Leader
Are you ready to join and start some groups of your own? Can you feel your identity as a local leader growing?
Don’t let this motivation fade! Go and join 2 or 3 groups right now and add a post about the current real estate conditions in your area. You have so much value to give as a professional beyond your real estate expertise. If you consistently share that value, you will have more referrals than you know what to do with!
Did you enjoy the insights from this article? If you want to learn more about becoming the real estate leader in your community, consider sponsoring your area with Parkbench.