The ultimate goal of most REALTORS is to have a referral based business; one where clients come to you by word of mouth, and you are able to run a successful business just by answering the phone and getting fabulous clients. I'm on my way there, as 78% of my business this year came from past clients or referrals. It's a fabulous way to work, and I thank each and every one of my past clients who were so kind as to entrust me with their family and friends.
Wanna know how?
By begging for them. By calling people up with thinly veiled "Oh by the way, do you know anyone who might be buying or selling real estate?"
There was a rather extensive article in a trade magazine, which actually encouraged agents to group their friends, family, and past clients into Groups A and B. They go on to tell you to treat everyone you know as a Group A for one year. No referrals from you in that time? Well, then, you get demoted to Group B. I guess then you only get four "Oh by the way" calls each year, rather than the thrill of getting one each month.
Let me tell you why I think MY business is mainly referral based:
I do a good job. I work hard (and smart). I care about my clients. I care about you when you hire me, I care about you as we go through the process, and I care about you after the deal closes. (And I care even if you don't send any referrals my way).
I would never disrespect a client so much as to group them by their worthiness of my attention, based on how much business they feed me.
Yet, amazingly, I'm still running a referral based business.
No grouping necessary.