By Peter Ricci
Referrals, it’s safe to say, are the lifeblood of a real estate agent’s career. Though networking and prospecting are invaluable for generating leads, it is through stellar service, and the referrals that such service generates, that agents succeed; indeed, many of the top producers we know are 100 percent referral! So, it should come as no surprise that referrals continue to be an important gauge for homebuyers in choosing their agents, as NAR’s 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found.
Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers: Essential Agents
As we reported earlier, though technology is becoming more and more prevalent in how prospective homebuyers search for properties, it has done little to lessen the importance of real estate agents on the buying and selling process, and in its 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR found that agents are still very much in demand.
Eighty-nine percent of homebuyers, in fact, used a real estate agent to purchase a home, compared to just 6 percent who purchased directly from the builder and 5 percent from the previous owner
Referrals, Repeat Business and Reputations in Real Estate
So, given such widespread usage of agents, referrals then become a critical component to what agents homebuyers choose:
- Forty percent of the buyers surveyed found their agent through a family member or friend.
- Trustworthiness and reputation were the two most important factors in choosing that agent.
- Interestingly, two-thirds of the sampled buyers said they interviewed only one agent.
- And based on their experience with the agent, 89 percent of buyers said they would likely use the same agent again (or recommend him/her to others).
So, what can be taken away from this? That referrals and repeat business, derive from one thing – reputation. We’ve written extensively about reputation the last couple months, and for good reason. Though the Internet has not replaced agents, it has added a whole new playing field for clients to discuss your services, and from Angie’s List to Trulia to Yelp, your services can be critiqued at any time.
But as NAR’s data demonstrates, should you reputation be solid, and your referrals strong, you can count on repeat business.