Vicky: I've been in real estate now for three years. February of 2007, I set a goal of building more agent referrals, giving and receiving. Now, I sit a little over a year later. In February 2007, I had only sent out 1 referral. Now, I've sent out 8 and received 12 since June 2007. Here's what I did....
1. I attended CRS's ProACT class. It's an intense six day, three class retreat with agents from all around the US and a few from other countries. It's usually held only once a year in a central, fun city. While there, I truly was THERE. I spent time with my classmates, I brought all my materials to share with people, I participated respectfully in class, I gave USB adapters out with my website on them and stayed up late and worked on graphic email signatures for everyone who signed up. After the conference, all 100+ students received a handwritten note from me and have all been added to my email distribution.
2. I attended NAR in Vegas. It was a like being a freshman at a university, but I survived. I stayed out of my room. I was in the hallways all the time. I hung out with the one or two people I knew there who introduced me to more people. I kept cards, I followed up on the few I had.
3. I joined my state CRS chapter and became an officer. Within three months of that, I had received two in-state referrals and sent one out.
4. I attended/attend classes outside of my immediate area, including the areas extremely close to me.
5. I try to keep a respectful on-line presence in as many places as possible with one avatar for people to associate with me.
6. I began to teach blogging, social media, search engine optimization, video marketing, geo-farming and about four other classes free of charge to agencies in and out of my area. I've taught it in several states and several cities in my area. From one of my IN NASHVILLE classes, I received a referral from another Nashville agent who knew her client would be best served by me....weird!
7. Just be nice and leave the I LOVE REFERRALS pin at home.
Ultimately, building agent-to-agent referrals is not one thing, but a big bowl of ingredients that can turn out to be a pretty tasty cobbler. It wasn't cheap to start, but I have returned all the money spent at least five-fold now. All the best!!