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Sometimes you have to be bold during a transaction to advocate for and support your client.  The best real estate agents will ask for items to be included in the sale, they will ask for closing concessions, and they will ask for the best sale price for their client. To build your referral network, personal brand and online reputation, it’s important to tap into this same boldness or chutzpah to advocate for yourself as you grow your real estate business. 

What should you ask for?

Ask for referrals.  The referral is one of the best ways to generate leads in real estate.  Design a system that helps you to ask for referrals regularly throughout the year.  Ask your previous clients for referrals.  Make a list of family and friends to ask for referrals.  Seek referral relationships with other professionals service providers.

Ask for Testimonials.  In the not so distant past, people would keep binders with letters from satisfied customers.  Today, testimonials are mostly digital and show up on agent websites, Zillow profiles, Facebook and LinkedIn.  On LinkedIn, many people are endorsed by the contacts in their networks for a variety of skills and services.  On the Zillow platform, agents search rankings are influenced by the quality of the reviews they receive.  The same can be said of review sites like Yelp.  Where will people search for their next realtor?

Ask for the Review.  Depending on the platforms you use to build your profile as a successful real estate agent, ask for a review.  If you use Zillow or Trulia provide the links in an email to clients.  Create a short survey on google docs or SurveyMonkey to collect reviews and testimonials.  Ask people to go to your profile and complete a review.  Sit with them and offer to help them with the technology as it may be new to them.  Reviews are highly valuable to your overall success.

Ask for social media mentions.  Almost everyone is on Facebook and most also have Instagram or Twitter accounts.  Provide your customers and referral sources with your social media profiles, handles and usernames.  Ask people for a simple post like “Special Thanks to @josephjamesrealestate and @jose_broker_nj for helping to make our dreams come true with our new home!”.  You will be amazed at how many people check out favorable mentions like this.  It will help to increase your exposure to their entire network of friends and keep you connected online.

You should make it a point to ask in a variety of ways.  Ask in person.  Ask in an email.  Include a link on your profile for clients to write a review or complete a survey.  Be authentic and don’t overdo it – but remember – you have to just ask.

Consistent effort over long periods of time will produce the results of a solid online reputation that is backed up by customer reviews, endorsements, testimonials and social media mentions.  It’s an effective way marketing technique to utilize the online platforms that everyone uses today to establish your expertise and reputation as a real estate agent.

It takes time to build your personal brand

While you invest time and energy into building the relationships that increase business, ask yourself this: what can I do to make more money now? Consider how much more income you could generate for yourself with the Joseph James 95/5 commission split. Use the paycheck calculator to compare your previous transactions.

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