Back in April 2001, Dan Gooder Richard wrote an article for Mortgage Broker Magazine called "Six Rainmaker Strategies to Generate Customers for Life ."
Within Dan’s article he mentions as the single largest source of business for mortgage professionals (which applies to real estate professionals as well) is their group of past clients. “Each person on your client list has a circle of about 20 friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers with whom they willingly share positive experiences.”
Thinking about the proliferation of social media today, eight years later – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. – that circle of contacts that one person willingly shares positive experiences has grown exponentially. In fact, you may not even be able to track the true number of people who you “communicate” with (or is it possibly just communicate to) because much of the info one puts out into the social media realm is seen by more than that one person’s contacts, but their friends’ friends and often times just the general public. (Search engines pick up a ton and if you have a moment, poke around pipl.com and search.twitter.com. You might be surprised what you find!)
Now, because of all those eyes that see and hear about people’s positive experiences, it’s of the utmost importance to provide excellent customer service. When people are in the mood to send referrals your way, they often make it a public announcement that affects the decisions of many more than just their 20 closest confidants. (I won’t go into the effects of bad press circulating even faster to that same huge number of people.)
Keeping in contact with your previous clients is imperative–whether you keep up with them by email, newsletter, tweets or whatnot. The effect you have on that group is huge in terms of them keeping a favorable opinion of your professional services. And the reach that your previous clients have to influence others has never been greater.
How does referred business come your way? Do they remember who recommended you to them or where they learned about you?