7 Steps to Transform Your Database Into a Referral Machine

by | Sep 16, 2022


Written by Erin E.

September 16, 2022

Real estate agents have a number of tools they rely on to generate new leads. From premium paid leads to social media, lead generation is an essential aspect of success; if you aren’t generating new leads, you can’t grow your business. 

However, many agents overlook their strongest asset: their database. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and challenges real estate agents face when managing their database, as well as the 7-step process you can follow to turn yours into a referral machine.


Understanding the Benefits

  • You Own Your Contacts: If someone offered to buy your database today, what would you charge for it? This is one of the easiest ways to realize how valuable your database is to your business, literally and figuratively. Most agents would charge hundreds of thousands, if not more, or simply flat out refuse the very concept! 

Now, consider: are you treating your database as if it’s worth that much? These are YOUR contacts. You worked hard to get them into your sphere of influence. If they’re properly nurtured, the return on investment they’ll bring back into your business will be incredible. 

  • Build Relationships and Trust: The real estate industry is a relationship-based business. People need to trust and feel close to their agents before they decide to who buy or sell with – especially nowadays, where competition is fierce. Your database provides a direct connection to your audience, making it much easier to build rapport.

Consistent outreach can work wonders toward this goal; by focusing on and providing a value-based experience and giving your contacts information that is useful or beneficial to them (such as general home evaluations for their local market, important updates about the market, etc.), they’ll begin to see you as more than just a real estate agent out to make commission and more as someone they can trust to get the best price for their home.

  • Generate Referrals: Referrals are the favored as the best leads by many agents, and for good reason. They are relatively easy to convert because most of the heavy lifting has already been done; you don’t need to work as hard to provide value and build trust because your previous client has already done that. 

Referrals are extremely low-cost as a result. Marketing campaigns don’t need to be as detailed or extensive, if used at all; in many cases, all it takes is an appointment (which should be easy to arrange) and you’re in. This is one of the largest benefits of your database, so keep reading if you want to discover the step-by-step process you can follow to transform your database into a referral machine.


Overcoming the Challenges

Despite how valuable your real estate database can be, most agents struggle to maximize its potential. This can happen for a number of reasons, but lets take a look at the three most prevalent ones. 


If you’re relying on 3 different systems to handle follow-up and outreach, you’re going to have a major fragmentation problem. Having to deal with multiple platforms can result in duplicated contacts, mixed information, and general confusion; you might end up sending the same email or text twice to the same group, while accidentally neglecting a different portion of your database. 

Old Information

At the same time, you might have outdated information; email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses can all change when you’re busy focusing on other aspects of your job – especially if you have a large database! This can make follow up impossible. If you can’t stay in touch with your leads, they’re sure to forget who you are and why you matter. That results in wasted time and money – both of which are extremely precious commodities. 

Lead Stage Confusion

Your follow-up plan depends on a number of factors: where the lead came from, what stage it is in, and whether or not it’s been warmed up. Even if you have all the correct contact information, many agents are matching the wrong follow-up plans with the wrong leads; cold leads that aren’t ready to buy/sell need to be treated very differently compared to hot leads that are actively looking for agents. 

 Artificial intelligence and automation can solve these problems; AI can examine your contact’s history and online behavior to determine where they’re at in the client journey. Then, it can instantly trigger an automated campaign to begin whatever warm-up process or marketing campaign makes the most sense for the lead stage. REN 360 even offers a month-by-month, completely built out marketing plan for its clients, so you never need to worry about what to send and post or when to send or post it. As for fragmentation, consolidation is the only solution.


7 Steps to Success

We’ve already discussed the value of referrals, so let’s take a deeper dive at the actual steps you need to complete to put your database to work for you. The following 7 steps will generate powerful results and help you to build a powerful brand by leveraging key partnerships to generate hundreds of referrals over time.

  1. Hyperfocus on the client experience. In our previous blog, we discussed real estate trends that are expected to gain traction in 2023. One of the biggest ones was creating a value-based experience. It is no longer enough to simply provide a service; you must focus on giving the client a great experience by benefitting the customer throughout the sales process. This means figuring out the pain and motivations of your clients and treating them directly.


  2. Create your top 100+ list. This is a list of influencers, close friends, past clients, and family members that you trust to become referral partners. Anyone in your direct sphere of influence should be included. Remember, you are the best at what you do! If these people are going to become referral partners, they already know that.


  3. Create Facebook stories. Strive to create five Facebook stories a week. The content can vary from a “day-in-the-life” theme to educational content that you think would benefit your audience. Don’t overthink the process! Done is always better than perfect. In fact, the more “perfect” you try to be, the less relatable you’ll look and the harder it will be to build trust with your database.


  4. Record weekly live Instagram and Facebook Live videos. These videos should be focused on 3 topics: market updates, referral partner interviews, and webinars. Real estate market updates should be created monthly (Altos Research has some great data) with the other topics filling up the remaining 3 weeks. The interview topics should be educational – tips about how to get the best price for your home, why now is a good time to buy or sell, etc. – while the webinars can be centered around the actual processes that go into buying and selling a home.


  5. Follow your content creation formula. The content creation formula begins with one pillar of content that you can then break down into chunks without needing to start from scratch each time. Pick one of your videos to post on all channels: social media, YouTube, via email, and text. You can then break these down further by using bite-sized pieces in Facebook posts, blogs, podcasts, and newsletters.


  6. Send a monthly mailer. Direct mail marketing is NOT a thing of the past! This strategy can keep you at the forefront of your audience’s mind without costing an arm and a leg. Use the content you’ve created to form an informational mailer to send out each month.


  7. Develop a personalized touch campaign. Touch campaigns ensure you’re staying in contact with your leads, whether they hot, warm, or cold. They can vary from ringless voicemail and text automation to actual gifts. Personalize these campaigns by sending them on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special occasion that applies.

If you commit to these 7 steps and follow them to the best of your ability, you will see results. Don’t let your most valuable asset go to waste! Remember that number you chose if you were going to sell it… If you’re not treating it like it’s worth that much, you’re missing out on countless opportunities to profit and grow your business.

Getting started can be tricky, especially given the challenges surrounding real estate database management. REN 360 can help! This all-in-one platform can manage every aspect of your marketing campaigns, ensuring the right contacts receive the right follow-up plan and marketing materials. Plus, you never need to worry about falling behind or getting confused; our support team is always standing by to help you through the process and answer any questions you may have.


Manage your database the right way. Sign up for your free trial of REN 360 today.

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