A Modern Approach To Working by Referrals (Part 2)





Welcome to The B Word, the podcast for women in real estate who want to unlock the clarity needed to put your big-girl panties on and rock your career, like the true boss you are. I'm Joanne Bolt, your host, and together we'll dive into the things your broker doesn't teach you in order to own your own path, disown the things getting in the way to finding your place, and stop apologizing for the obstacles you had to overcome along the way. If you're ready to stop playing small and take action in your professional life, this is the place for you.

Joanne Bolt:

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to The B Word. We have been diving into the referral process and how it is so outdated. It's time to up your game just a little bit, and I am thrilled to bring you today's episode, which is my other and final technique on really modernizing your thought process and your approach to working by referrals. Now, you guys know that this is near and dear to my heart, because I've never cold called a day in my life, nor do I ever intend to. So, creating that referral strategy and keeping it fresh and modern and up to date is super important to me, because quite frankly, the people in my database, they don't want to be getting the same old, cheesy Swedish fish that we used to send out or the little hearts at Valentine's with the candy, "I'd love to be your realtor." Those things that the kindergarten teacher in us probably loves, but the 43-year-old adult does not.

So, here is another way for you to modernize your strategy. Are you ready for it? It's so simple, it's stupidly easy. You need to go live. You need to create live video opportunities with your best referral sources. Either do it on Instagram, go live on Twitter, go live on YouTube, go live on my favorite, which is Instagram, but you can do their partner, Facebook, or heck, I think you can even go live on Twitter now. Pretty much every social platform out there has a version of livestreaming. You do not have to play on all the platforms. For once, you need to play on the one that you like the best. It's where your audience is going to hear your voice, see your face and get to listen to the story that you're telling about the person you're interviewing.

Why does this create amazing referrals? Well, for one thing, I've preached for a while now that your social media needs to be like a running billboard for your business, but it doesn't need to scream business. When you're giving people an opportunity to come to your Instagram page, or come to your Facebook page, or come to your Twitter feed and really get to see 18 to 21 touchpoints of who you are so that they can determine if they want to work with you, or better yet, when your referral person sends your information to their friend, family, or colleague, that person needs to be able to come to your social media and figure out, "Hey, was the friend that referred her to me off her rocker, or is this really someone that I want to work with?" And quite frankly, livestreams are amazing ways to accomplish this.

You can choose to go live with a variety of factors. If what you really want referrals for is narrowing down into your niche database really the people that you want to work with, then you can go live on things like places, shops, eateries, charities are great ones to talk about live. Anything you can do live that brings the audience into your level of knowledge about what you're talking about, in a way that is more about them than about you, is a good topic to go live on. But here's some of my favorite ones. I'll give you a couple examples from a few different industries. Let's just say you're a home stager and you want referrals from your top referral sources, which happen to be six of your past clients, and you know that they are your top referral sources because they keep giving you referrals, and you've tagged it appropriately in your database. So decide to go live with each one of them.

I would probably go to the home that you staged for them or that you designed for them, and I would sit down on the couch with them and I'd go live, and I probably wouldn't say a whole lot, because quite frankly, the person that controls the conversation is the person that asks the right questions and the most questions. Ask them how they liked the decor that you helped them install. Ask them to walk through the process you guys went through. Ask them if they would change anything now after the project is completed, and then laugh and offer to help them change those things if there are in fact things that they want to change. Just ask them questions about their experience. Don't ask them about their experience with you, ask them about their experience and how much they have fallen in love with the home staging that you've done for them or the home decorating that you've done for them. Ask them what emotions it evokes in their heart. Tug on their heartstrings.

Guess what will happen? You come across to the person viewing it as what you really are; very authentic. You are very human and you are very relationship based and a relatable person that they might want to work with, and the person you're interviewing gets the excitement of sharing with their friends what they loved about this process. They will most likely share it on their social media, and that actually gains you a whole broader audience looking at you as a potential home decorator or stager. All right, I told you I'd give you a couple of examples from a couple different industries. So real estate agents, here you go. Since I picked on you in episode 49, when we first talked about changing some tactics for your referral strategy, and if you haven't already listened, I'll link it in the show notes so that you can go back and catch up on your homework. But since I picked on you in episode 49, I thought I'd give you a really easy out.

Real estate agents tend to want to go live and walk through their listings. I mean, okay, that's fine if your strategy is showcasing the listing that you've got and selling the listing. If your strategy is working by referrals, you can do some of the same things, go and sit down with your top referral sources, but you better know who they are, because they're not always your past clients. Maybe they're the vendors you work with. Maybe they are friends of family, but not actually your family. Maybe they are your past clients. You'll figure them out by tagging them appropriately in your database, which I'll dive into later, but grab those people and go sit down with them or walk a home with them, put them on the camera more than yourself, and again, ask the questions.

"What made you decide on this home that we helped you purchase? What features about it appealed to you during the process? What were you surprised about after you moved in? Oh my gosh, what's the best thing you've loved about living in this new home?" Create six to eight good questions, and I promise that live interview will go off successfully.

Now, folks, let's also talk about the length of the live interview, because I know you're all wondering that. Your live interview needs to be about five to 10 minutes long. In my experience, anything under five minutes really doesn't have enough time to grab the attention of the social audience you're looking for, because the algorithms reward you the longer you're on. You've all been on Instagram or Facebook, when you're scrolling your feeds and you look at the top on the stories and it says, "So-and-so is live now," or you've gotten a notification that so-and-so is going live now. Well, guess what? The longer you're live, the more people can see that notification, and the more people that can tune in.

That really also applies to the person you're interviewing. If both of you have a really good Instagram presence, that's a great platform to go on. If your Instagram is higher than their Facebook, you might want to tell them to let their friends and family know that they'll be going live, or at a minimum, once it's done, to share it to their Facebook page, because you want to celebrate them and you want them to showcase to their friends all of their excitement about the new home. Kind of make it out to be a home welcoming party. Once you've gone live for five to 10 minutes, sort of try to wrap it up at the end of that. Much like our podcast episodes, we try to keep things shorter than the average bear.

What I mean by that is I listen to a lot of podcasts, you guys. I love them. They feed my mind, they feed my brain, they feed my energy, but most of them run between 30 minutes to an hour. And after about 30 minutes, I'm tuning out, because I'm driving, or I've gotten to the location that I was driving to listening to the podcast and so I have to break that podcast up into several different segments. And I lose my interest a lot, because if I start a podcast episode on my way to Target and then I have to finish it on my way home, well, I mean, a lot of things have gone on in my brain in those 30, 45 minutes while I was in Target. Well, okay, let's be honest, I'm usually in Target for more than 45 minutes. I digress.

My point is we keep the podcast episodes, we try to do them under 20 minutes because your attention span is probably that of a gnat, it just is what it is in our social society these days. So if you keep a livestream going for more than 10, chances are your audience is going to watch a couple of minutes live, then they're going to click off, because they're not learning something from it, they're just kind of watching you do your thing. So keep it five to 10 minutes and then it can live in your feed for the rest of all time, because hey, live videos don't just get deleted like a story, they actually stay on your timelines.

Best days to go live? I know that's another question you're asking. Really, there isn't one. I'm sorry to tell you that. And the reason I don't believe that there is one is because your audience is made up of a wide variety of people. People who are dropping kids off at school in the morning, or working nine to five jobs, or they're stay-at-home moms, or they're yoga instructors, or they're finance people that do not have time to be on social media in the middle of the day. People stream social media at all different times. It's according to them, so if you're going to go live with one of your referral sources to talk about them, I suggest going live at a time that works for them. Because remember, it really is more about them than you, and you are creating value by showing them that you appreciated working with them. That's why you go live.

So now we've gotten who our audience is, the length of our live session and when you should go live, but really, how do you dig down into picking out the with whom? I already mentioned it, and it's because you go into your database. You go into that database and you look at how you've tagged everyone that's in there, how your relationship is with them. How did you meet them, how did you work with them? Had they sent you referrals in the past? Have they sent you referrals in the past six years, but not since then, or only in the past two years? Or have they sent you one referral or a hundred?

When you start tracking your data in a very systematic method, it does a couple of things for you. A, it shows you who you need to spend your time with. We often think we need to spend our time with the clients we enjoyed working with the most, and then we find out that we really need to spend time with the clients we maybe didn't know if we gelled with or not, but turns out that person has sent us 300 referrals, 32 referrals, it doesn't matter. If they've sent more than the person we loved working with, they are a better referral source, and you've got to pour your energies into your good referral sources.

Now, if you've been working your database for a hot second, I hope you have really implemented some good tagging in there and some good systems on tracking your people. I have probably 102 tags in my database. A referral system has its own set of taggings, and that is not just, "past client", or "closed in the last year", or "sent me one person." No, you've got to tag super, super granular. But guess what? I have created a free download for you on my top five tags that I personally have used in 20-plus years in the business to ensure that I track who my referral sources are, when they last referred me, and how many of those referral people I actually converted into clients.

Because it's important to know if your sister, Mary, has sent you 32 referrals, but zero of them have been convertible, or your friend, Bob, has sent you four referrals and you've converted every single one of them. Well, guess who's the stronger referral. Actually, it's Bob, because you converted the four, but maybe we need to go and look at Mary and say, "Well, why am I not able to convert your referrals? Is it me? Am I the problem? Am I scripting wrong? Am I coming across rude? Like what in the forking shirt balls am I doing that you keep giving my name out and I keep not getting clients?" When you are willing and able to be vulnerable enough to dive into your database and look at it from a perspective of who loves me, how do I love them back, and do I need to change anything about my processes and wording in order to better the business and better the referral experience? I promise you, your referrals will explode. And by explode, I mean you're going to be amazed this time next year when you start digging in.

So, make sure that you go to the website and the show notes, grab that freebie download, because I want you to start using those taggings in your database. It will help you immensely. And make sure you tune in next Tuesday, because, oh my gosh, I've got Stacey Brown Randall on deck to join us, and she is literally the queen of referrals. It's all she does. She's a referral ninja. I met her a couple of years ago, and we're so in line with how we look at referrals that I had to bring her in to wrap up this series. We'll see you next Tuesday, same time, same place.