The Ultimate Way To Bond With Clients and Stimulate Referrals

By Craig Forte, Founder - Posted on
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Do you want a fun way to make an incredibly positive impression with your network?  Think about holding one of the special events listed below once or twice a year and watch your referrals shoot through the roof.

Here’s the description of how agent Richard Maxfield is using this system in his practice…and below I outline the key steps to implement this in your practice.

“In May of each year, our team Maxfield and Associates, holds a Client Appreciation Party. We rent the local theater and have a live performance put on for our clients, past clients, affiliates and their families.  During the main break of the play we serve refreshments and after the play is over we have a drawing for the many door prizes we have accumulated through the year. To announce the party, we send out invitations that we insert into our monthly real estate newsletter.  We send out 3 notices…the first one says ‘announcing,’ the second one has ‘just a reminder,’ and the third one says ‘time’s almost up.’   Closer to the event, we send out tickets to those who have RSVP’d.  And we also assign seats so we don’t run out of space. Our clients have become our friends and look forward to attending the play every year.  Not only do our clients come but they bring their friends who eventually turn into new clients.”

Here’s the step-by-step process to use a SPECIAL EVENT to get more business:

Step 1: Decide on an event to host

Here are some examples to get you started:
  • A special wine or beer Tasting Party.  Just locate one of your favorite distributors or retail stores, and they’ll set it all up for you.
  • Hold a Fashion Show with a local high-end boutique.
  • Create a Family Picnic or BBQ once a year for your network.
  • Have an annual Comedy Club outing.  Simply go to a local comedy club in your area, and book a night when great performers will be appearing.  Often you can book a weekend and get discount rates.
  • Hold a Sports Clinic if you find many of your clients like a certain sport such as: walking, running, cycling, etc.
  • Hold an Art Show with a local gallery.  This is very classy way to meet with many network members at once.  Consider holding a Wine Tasting with your art show.
  • Rent out an Opera or Theater just like Rich does for all his clients.  Or, gather a smaller group of your best clients and take them to a live performance.
  • Coordinate a New Automobile Preview with a local high-end or exotic auto dealership (BMW, Lexis, Mercedes, Infinity, Porsche, Ferrari, etc).  They’ll be ecstatic you’re promoting their cars, and will gladly participate with your inner circle network.

Step 2: Make the arrangements

Contact local businesses in your area that would be thrilled to get a group of local residents in their restaurant, shop, or business.  This way the event costs you little to no money.  And many times they will share the promotion costs if you intend to send printed invitations to your network.

Step 3: Send out the invitations

There are three critical components when sending the invitation.
  • FIRST, notice how the event examples above target certain INTERESTS?  This is very important.  You want to invite the right people from your network.  Many times you can invite your entire network, but if the event is limited in size, choose members who have told you what they like.  This communicates that you’ve listened to them and bonds them to you.  Also, you want to make sure you don’t offend someone by inviting them to something they have no interest in.
  • SECOND, tell them to invite their family and friends (again if you have room for everyone).  This is how your network can really start to multiply.
  • THIRD, send out several reminders to maximize your attendance.  Rich includes the invitation as an insert in his monthly newsletter to his clients.  Here’s an example of his insert you can use to get an idea for your own invitation:

<< CLICK HERE to download an example invitation insert >>

Step 4: Hold the event and offer a prize

Richard does a great job of collecting contact information by offering ‘door prizes’ to all attendees.  You can even use the prizes as another incentive to attend the event.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money here.  Raffle off something from the business that you’re holding the even with, or work with other sponsors to give prizes that don’t cost you anything out of pocket.

Step 5: Follow-up with people with regular contact

Most of the people who attend your special event will not be in the market for real estate services.  After the event, add attendees to your regular mailings to continue to stay in touch and provide value until they’re ready to buy or sell. If you use a relationship-building tool like Service For Life!®, you can follow-up every month with valuable information that’s not all real estate related (so it gets read).  Make sure you include offers for Free real estate reports in your monthly follow-up that identify when someone is getting ready to need your help.

Step 6: Put this as a regular SYSTEM in your practice

You can hold events annually, seasonally, or anytime you need a boost of business.  Keep holding the same event every year.  This way it’s not a “one hit wonder” and people will start to remember it, look forward to it coming each year, and tell more friends. Keep in mind…this works because we have a culture of reciprocity. When you do something special for your clients, and remind them that your business comes from referrals, they’ll reciprocate by sending you referrals and spreading the good cheer about you and your real estate practice. This is one powerful way top producers earn consistent and high-incomes each year.  Give it a try, and remember, you do not have to spend a lot of money to make this work for your business.  Get creative, and above all else…have fun with it!

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Craig Forte
Craig Forte has helped more than 32,000 real estate professionals over the last 22 years, helping them generate more clients, more referrals and repeats, and grow their production with less stress, time and effort – all by using innovative marketing training, systems and tools.
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