The secret key to word of mouth marketing: Gratitude

For real estate professionals who have been in business for a while, word of mouth marketing is one of the most important tools in our business-building toolkit. Clients want to know that they can trust their real estate agent, both as a source of expert advice and as the person who will be representing their interests in one of the largest financial transactions of their lifetime. Referrals, testimonials, and other word of mouth marketing avenues are prime ways for potential clients to develop that trust.

Of course, it’s important to actively seek out referrals, both with targeted options like real estate referral postcards and through more general calls for referrals (or reminders that referrals are appreciated!) on your social media and through passive options like an email signature or the tagline on your real estate business card.

But as important as seeking referrals is, too many real estate professionals forget the other half of that equation: being grateful for referrals. The holy grail of word of mouth marketing looks something like this: “Hey, Joe Homeseeker, I know you’re looking to buy a new place. I’ve worked with Sally Sales before and she’s the absolute best. Better give her a call, now!” But as wonderful as those connections are, they’re not the majority of the word of mouth marketing that you will get in the course of your career.

For the most part, word of mouth marketing looks a lot simpler: it looks like sharing your Facebook posts, or holding on to your business card to pass on to a friend, or telling a coworker that their daughter should give you a call when she’s serious about selling her house.

It may be a lot easier to thank the referrer in the first scenario, or to see the connection between their actions and your increased revenue. But you absolutely should not neglect the second group. These are people who remember to talk you up on a regular basis, even when they don’t have a specific referral to give. They enhance your reputation. And they are a great source of testimonials.

As the year winds to a close, remember all the people who have helped your business throughout the year. Halloween and Thanksgiving are both perfect examples of smaller holidays where people are unlikely to be overwhelmed by mail, and extremely likely to appreciate a holiday greeting card that offers sincere thanks for all their support over the year.