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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2003

The Gifts that Keep on Giving

“It’s better to give than to receive.”  In social situations, giving leads to a warm, fuzzy feeling.  But this philosophy is also an exceptional tool in creating referrals for mortgage brokers.  The way to get referrals is to thank the people who send you referrals.  Every single time you close a deal or receive a referral, you need to recognize the person who sent it your way.  This gesture of gratitude will make these people think of you each time they need a mortgage broker.  

Acknowledging your customers and the professionals who send referrals your way is not only good manners; it is good business.  

A good way to thank your customers is to send them a thank-you letter along with a gift such as gift cards, candy, or cookies.  People will think you are philanthropic.  Meanwhile, you are selfishly controlling their brain and making them think of you. It’s the thought that counts!  By thanking your customers and associates, you are putting yourself inside their heads for the next time they need your service.  Just ask Pavlov or Robert Fore (President & CEO of Realty Profit Systems) who says “Make it known…that when someone sends you (a referral) there’s something in it for them…a behavior rewarded is a behavior repeated.”   

Many real estate professionals are involved in the sale of a home, and each one is often asked if he/she can recommend the client to a service provider. Buyers, sellers, brokers, agents, appraisers, and builders all exchange referrals.   You need to be on the receiving end of the action.  Showing your appreciation every single time someone sends you a referral will keep referrals coming your way. Established brokers have a consistent stream of referrals from the people with whom they are already working.   

There are different levels of commitment for thanking the people who help your business. Some brokers take the time to thank their clients and connections personally. The huge advantage of doing it this way is the element of personal touch. A hand written card is always warmly received. You can also throw in a personal reference or anecdote that you know the person reading the card will enjoy. Another option is to outsource appreciation. Brokers too busy to write cards and shop for gifts may outsource the job to a company that takes care of managing customers for them. Outsourcing the work is not necessarily more expensive than doing it in- house. Outsourcing companies often have relationships with printing firms and gift manufacturers, and they certainly save time. Both methods work. The most important thing is that the job gets done.

In business, as in life, it’s better to give than to receive. And so I thank you for reading this article!


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