Referrals can build your business in a big way. Just ask Keller Williams agent Tammi Juengst. The largest referral she ever received from a past client was a $1.2 million listing, which became even better when that referral turned around and bought a $1.6 million property. In a separate instance, during a previous market shift, a past client referred her to a builder with whom she ended up doing 50 deals.
“When people ask me what the secret sauce is in generating all those referrals, I tell them it’s all in the consistency in which you communicate with people,” Juengst says. As the co-coach of a KW MAPS Group Coaching program called Never Ending Referrals, she proposes a system called DTD2, or ‘doing the database two.’
“Simply put, it is calling two letters of the alphabet by last name each week,” Juengst says. This system ensures that she consistently has one-on-one conversations with everyone in her database at least once per quarter. In tandem, she makes sure to carve out the time to make these calls happen. “Following the time blocks and DTD2 system creates habits that form consistency,” Juengst says. “Our number one priority is ensuring these conversations take place, and the only way they happen is if we protect the time block fiercely and don’t allow distractions to creep in.”
Get in some client face time
Another portion of Juengst’s strategy is regularly scheduled events, with the intention of keeping her consistently in front of her referral network while also offering value to her database. “We begin with the end in mind, and that starts with who it is we are targeting,” Juengst shares. “Not every event appeals to every person in our database, so we are purposeful in our planning to ensure that different events will attract different people.”
Of course, in the current shift, in-person events are a matter of the safety measures put in place by your individual location, but Juengst has had no trouble pivoting to virtual events to accompany her current circumstances.
Three virtual event ideas for garnering success and referrals:
1. Virtual bingo: a classic event that is easy to throw together and can attract crowds of all ages.
2. Happy hour: these can be themed or targeting specific audiences.
3. Selling, buying, and investing seminars: you can use your connections to bring professionals to the small screen and bring value to your sphere.
Once businesses are in a position to safely reopen, Juengst looks forward to continuing some community-acclaimed events that have seen success, time and time again:
1. Annual Hayride and Bonfire. “It started with one wagon, and now it’s four or five wagons, a bonfire around a pond, and cooking hot dogs and s’mores,” Juengst says. “We also have all sorts of food and yard games on at the same time.”
2. Annual Pie Party. “It is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and our sphere comes to the office to pick up their pies,” Juengst says. “They fill out a form with their pie preference at the annual hayride and bonfire.”
Meeting someone new? Have a plan
For Juengst, consistent and systematic communication is key to solidifying relationships. “When meeting someone new, the very first thing is to send a handwritten note letting them know how wonderful it was to meet them,” Juengst says. “We use SmartPlans to keep us on track with new relationships.”
Once the initial contact is made, Juengst employs the DTD2 system to keep in touch and invites her sphere to all events. “Always be mindful to match the message to the person,” she says. “Begin with the end in mind and craft a message that you would respond to if you were them. When you think backward, you can shorten the length of time it takes to start building that relationship.”
Always offer value
Outside of her events calendar, Juengst constantly finds creative ways to provide value to her clients. Below, she shares two successful examples:
- Real Estate Portfolio Review. “It is something we offer once a year for our clients,” she says. “This is basically a CMA, an insurance audit of sorts for them, and it can spark a selling conversation.”
- Local Business Partnerships. “We partner with local businesses to offer our clients ‘specials,’ working with different businesses each month. This pours value into both our clients and the businesses in our area.”
Don’t forget your fellow agents
To build an even bigger referral network, Juengst points to Keller Williams’ referral platform – available globally for KW agents. “Globally, we have 180,000 associates,” she says. “It’s the largest referral network in the world, and we have it at our fingertips.” In Q1 of 2020 alone, 16,569 live referrals were sent within the Keller Cloud, representing $4.5 billion in sales volume.
Once you’ve made a new agent contact, Juengst recommends the same strategies she employs for client referrals: consistency and bringing value.
“My first phone call is learning about them and their business and how I can support them,” she says. “How can I be their best referral and bring value to them? What’s happened in my business and what’s a lesson I’ve learned that I can share with them to solidify those referrals?”
Ultimately, according to Juengst, the most important thing to keep in mind is coming from a place of care. “Service first, sales second,” she says. “Ask how they’re doing and find out how you can help. Maybe connect them to someone in your database that can help them with something.”