Have you heard the term “influencer” before? An influencer is a person who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others.
Celebrities are often influencers, as are politicians, athletes, and business leaders. They can use their influence to endorse people, products, services, and even ideas.
In real estate, local influencers can be huge sources of referrals. Getting to know just a few of them has the potential to double or triple your referral business.
TYPES OF INFLUENCERS
There are two types of influencers who can send you referrals. The first type is the individual with substantial social connections.
This person could be a social butterfly, have a high-profile job or position, or just be a natural networker. Because of the sheer volume of people a social influencer knows, he or she is often the first to hear when people are looking to buy or sell real estate.
The second type of influencer is the individual whose job or position involves regular contact with buyers and sellers. Obvious examples are mortgage brokers and bankers. Less obvious examples are divorce attorneys, estate attorneys, HOA & condo board members, and property managers.
The first place to look for influencers is your current database. Many agents have existing relationships with influencers but don’t realize it. Now that you know who to look for, scan your database and make note of any candidates.
A second place to find influencers is at networking, social, and charitable functions. Be sure to meet the hosts of those events, as influencers are often in that role.
Finally, influencers are found in local news stories, magazines, blogs, and other publications. Reach out, mention you saw them in the publication, and ask if they’d like to meet up.
GETTING REFERRALS FROM INFLUENCERS
Most influencers have existing relationships with real estate agents. That doesn’t mean you can’t get referrals from them; it just means you need to build relationships with them as well.
The key to building relationships with influencers – or anyone for that matter – is to give before you take. Since influencers thrive on the strength of their personal and professional connections, the best way to build relationships with them is often to introduce them to people in your network.
For example, an influencer who owns a business would appreciate introductions to potential customers. An influencer who supports a charitable organization would appreciate introductions to potential donors.
Focus on building relationships and the referrals will come as the natural by-product.
P.S. – It’s never a good idea to build a relationship with someone just so you can get business. Instead, seek out those influencers who share your values, interests, or hobbies. That way, even if the referrals never come, you still have a meaningful new relationship.