Increase Your Real Estate Referrals Through Your Database – Mike Babakhanyan
Do you want more real estate referrals? Not sure what to do to get them or what to say? Mike Babakhanyan has some great ways to implement asking for referrals and planting referral seeds in the client’s mind. He gives some great tips on how to “wow” the client before, during, and after the transaction. By following his nurturing suggestions you stay on top of the client’s mind and referrals start flowing!
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Robert Mack 0:00
So the first time I actually met Mike was when he was on stage at a Tom Ferry event.
Robert Mack 0:07
My our, our former coach Bill pipes was talking about how Mike and Martin pin bill in the corner was like, you have to coach us we want to grow. And that was the first time I was like, Okay, I gotta meet this guy. He seems like a really cool guy. And ever since we met, we’ve always stayed in touch. And we’ve talked about our numbers. And every year we’re neck and neck. So I love that about him and his team. We inspire each other, we grow together, we help each other be great. And to be honest with you, and Mike said he was in for five, I couldn’t be more excited for both of us. So today, we have the pleasure of hearing more about how Mike and Martin generate an abundance of business through their database, Mike, take it away my brother.
Mike Babakhanyan 0:50
Wow, that was a very pleasant and warm introduction. Thank you, Rob. I appreciate that. Today, I’m going to discuss the following topic, unlock the power of your database, how to turn clients into referral engines. Now as professional real estate brokers, we deepen our commitment to obtain referrals and most agents have a very passive approach in asking for referrals, we tend to wait for conditions to be perfect for us to feel comfortable asking for a referral. And let’s face it, even if the conditions are perfect, a lot of agents don’t know how to ask for a referral. So today, my topic is going to be about how to generate more business from your database. Martina we teamed up back in 2012. And we love to track and measure everything. Whoever knows us can agree that we track and measure everything. So after the first year in our partnership, we noticed that 38% of our business was from our database. So throughout the years, we worked closely with our coaches to put strategies and procedures in place to grow that percentage, we went from 40 to 5060. And last year, we were at 81% of our business was from our database. Right? Now ever since joining five, we just literally opened the doors to our new office in Glendale, we’ve been growing the team and I love the team members that are with us now. My goal this year is to input their database within our strategy so they can generate more referrals from their database. And that’s what I want for you folks. today. I want you guys to walk away with very specific strategies that we use some scripts, and overall be excited to provide your clients a different experience. Okay. Now let me ask you guys a question. Why do most agents fail to ask for referrals? Can I know a share with me? And don’t share it all at once?
They’re nervous, they’re scared to try database will rejection.
Mike Babakhanyan 2:55
Okay, very good. I agree with that Jack. Most agents are afraid to ask for a referral. Because one they don’t want to sound desperate. And I’m sure you can agree with that, too. Some of them don’t know how to ask for a referral. But if you think about the deeper meaning a lot of agents subconsciously feel that they haven’t provided enough value to the client for them to ask for a referral. But on the flip side, why do we tend to refer businesses and products to our family of friends? It because it makes us feel good. Think about it for a second. If you go to a new restaurant, you have an amazing experience. The food is delicious. You generally want to promote a restaurant to your family and your friends. And the reason why we do that is because it makes us feel good. We want our loved ones to have the same experience. So when we came to that conclusion for us to increase the referrals from our database, what can we do to make our clients feel good? It’s as simple as that. Okay, so let’s break it down.
Mike Babakhanyan 4:01
I’m hoping everyone has a database. Okay. The way we did in our in our businesses, we categorized our database into three tags, VIP, type B and type C. So VIP are anyone in our database, if they heard hear the word real estate, though they call Martina, my, they’re my guys, type B, our clients who know you, they like you, they trust you. They probably have done business with you. They’re okay to refer your business but you have to constantly remind them that I’m still in the business. Please think of me when you have a referral. Okay? And type C are people in your database that you’re not getting any activity. So the goal every year should be to transition type C to type B and type B to VIP. Fair enough.
Mike Babakhanyan 4:52
All right. We broke down our business model into three components. The before unit, during unit and the after unit, let me show what that means. Before unit is basically any type of activity we do to attract the client from the marketing, cold calling door knocking, so on and so forth. That’s your before unit. However your client experience actually begins in the during unit, and it continues in your after unit. So what is your during unit? Your during unit is when you’re actively working with a client. Now, today, I want to pretend you guys are first time buyers. Okay, I want to share the experience our clients feel through your eyes. Rob, I’m gonna pick on you, you and Tanya our clients walking to our office for a buyer consultation. Okay
Mike Babakhanyan 5:46
99% of the buyers that we work with will do a buyer consultation and we prefer to have him come into the office, not at a coffee shop or Zoom because we want to wow them with the first impression. So here’s how it goes. Rob you and Tanya will walk in you open the door. The first thing you’re gonna see is a whiteboard that says Mike walk comes Rob and Tanya. Then you’re going to hear her voice. So receptionist she’ll say oh, hey, you must be Robin. Tanya Mike has been waiting for you, she will lead you to the conference room. When you guys sit down, she will hand you a menu.
Mike Babakhanyan 6:24
And she will say I’ll be back in a minute with your order. On the menu. On the left hand side is drinks, sodas, ginger ale, Pepsi, coke, bottled water, coffee and tea. On the right side is snacks, granola bar, peanuts cookies. But the key is on the bottom, we have a message that says our goal is for you to be so outrageously happy with the level of service that we provide that you gladly introduce us to the people you care about. So what do we do there? One, we gave him a different experience, when they walked into our office to I just planted a referral seed in their subconscious mind. And watch how many times during this transaction, we’re going to be planting referral seeds in a client’s mind. Okay. During the buyer consultation, we’ll explain the whole you know, we all do it A to Z on buying a property. However, the secret sauce that we use is a strategy I learned years ago from one of my mentors about the five, six and seven. You might be wondering what is a five, six and seven? It’s an NLP strategy that we use to find out what’s important about blank to a client. So in this example, Robin, Tanya, are the clients. I’ll ask them Robin, Tanya, you know, at this time, I’d like to ask you a few thought provoking questions. These are the typical questions that most agents won’t risk asking you because I really want to discover what’s important to you. And when I find out what’s important to you, it’s gonna be important to me and my team. So when we’re negotiating, we’re going to be fighting for you. Well, as Rob, with your permission may get started, they always say yes. And I’ll say, Hey, Robin, Tanya, what’s important about buying a home to you?
Mike Babakhanyan 8:16
Nine out of 10 times, they will give you a very surface level answer. You know, we just want a bigger space that kids are growing, or I want to private backyard, so on and so forth. I hear what they say. And I follow up with well tell me more about that. What’s important about that to you. And I’ll continue going on, try to get four or five levels deep. That’s when true magic happens. Those are opening up to you. They’ll pause. Those are thinking, why am I buying this house. That’s when you don’t talk. You just listen and you take notes. And a lot of clients I’ve shared that you know, growing up my mom worked two jobs which never could afford a house now I’m in a position I could afford a house. I want to give my kids something I never had as an example. I’m taking notes. Okay, what happens after the consultation? Our assistant will mail the client a letter. I know if I’m going too fast let me know guys, okay, because I want to give you guys a lot of strategies. So the clients will get a letter about a week you know mail, and I’m going to read you what the letter states. Dear Rob, thank you again for choosing me and my team to help you find your dream home. Feel comfortable that we will consult, negotiate and oversee the details through this often complicated process. When we met, I asked you some questions about what’s important about buying a home to you and here’s what you share, and I will list everything they said why they want to buy property. Okay. My team and I are committed to helping you achieve your goal. Please let us know immediately if you uncover anything more to share with us. Our goal is to help you fulfill your dreams. It’s important that you know our purpose is for you to be so outrageously happy with the help that we that we provide, that you’re gladly introduced the people you care about now because you feel obligated because you truly believe they will benefit. So what do we do here? One, we just planted another referral seed in their subconscious mind to weed that let them feel that we heard you, we heard what’s important to you about buying a home. So right off the bat, they’ll say, Well, Mike cares for us.
Mike Babakhanyan 10:40
So three, what we use is leverage. What I mean by that is when we’re negotiating for a property if they try to lowball or they’re giving us issues in the request repair, all bring up what’s important to them, are they Hey, Rob, remember you mentioned that, you know, growing up, you didn’t have a house and you want your kids to feel that. I’ll bring that up to them. And then I’ll say let’s do the right thing. Let’s offer x versus what you’re trying to offer. So we take control. Okay. So that letter gets mailed out right away after the consultation for 45 days, within working with a regardless if we’re in escrow or not, they can get an email. The email pretty much reads, it’s time to relax. Hey, Rob, can you believe it’s been almost 45 days that we’ve been working together hanging there, we’d like to invite you to take a deep breath, put your feet up and enjoy a quiet evening. Here’s a coupon for a large pizza on us kick back, relax, enjoy the evening. By the way, if you ever know the stigma, buying or selling please think of us first what do I do? I gave him another experience that’s different than the typical agent does. But I also planted another referral seed in their mind. Okay.
Mike Babakhanyan 11:53
Once Escrow is opened, we will send them an email with the 88 different types of turbulences that a buyer can encounter in escrow. We want to scare the shit out of them. Why? Because we want them to know that real estate is not an easy job. We as professionals, a lot goes on behind closed doors, however, we flip the letter into a positive aspect where at the end, we tell them we make in current turbulence. Turbulence is just like any flight, but just know where the professionals will get you to your destination, trust us and trust the process. So we want them to know that we are here we have their back, okay? Some scripts we use during in the during phase. Now keep in mind, you could ask for referrals, very conversational casual. As an example, you’re doing a showing. And you had a great showing with a client right before you leave, you’re like, Hey, Rob, just my purpose is for you and Tanya to be so happy with the level of help I provide that you’re glad they introduced the people you care about to me. I’ll see you guys later. I didn’t ask for who do you know right now that wants to buy or sell? I just planted another reference in in their subconscious mind. Or hey, if you think of someone think of me, I like this one. Hey, Rob, next time you’re in a conversation with a family or friend that wants to do exactly what you did. Where you’re selling a condo to buy a single family home. Please don’t keep me a secret. So I’m going with their exact scenario, what is it that they’re doing? I want to bring it to their attention that you may have friends that wanted the same thing. Think of us. Okay. I will share some of these scripts with you. If you guys like at the end of question. I can email it to you. You can forward it to the group. Good.
Mike Babakhanyan 13:41
All right. Now, at the closing. Here’s the strategy we love. We haven’t done it for the last year but we’re gonna go back to it. We had a card a welcome to the neighborhood card was like this big. About a week prior to closing we will door knock 10 homes, introduce ourselves and tell them hey, were there real estate brokers are helping Robin Tane your new neighbors moving to the neighborhood? Would you be kind enough to sign a welcome to the neighborhood card. You’ll be shocked how people are taken aback by that. Wow, that’s so nice of you guys. My agent didn’t do that. Yeah, absolutely. Give me the card. Let me sign it. They sign the card. And more importantly, you can follow with Hey, out of curiosity. Do you know anyone their neighbor that’s thinking about selling you add them to your database. It’s another avenue to build your database at the closing. Okay, we have a moving the kid box we like to provide the client with a letter that states congratulations you finally move to your new house. I know it’s stressful the first few days so we took the time to do a little shopping for you and inside the box we have plastic cups silverware, paper plates, napkins, tissues, toilet paper, batteries, flashlights, aspirin box cutter. So again, we’re providing a different experience for the client. Okay, that is our during unit any questions on our during unit?
Robert Mack 15:19
Mike, do you have this like, on a like a Trello board or on a Google Doc? Or like, who? Where are all these processes outlined? And who’s in charge of making sure that everything gets done in a timely manner? Because it sounds like there was like six to eight different, like, referral requests, plant the seed moments, like, how do you guys back up all that?
Mike Babakhanyan 15:39
So we have Inga working on that she’s a marketing manager and the team and then sevaks, who we just teamed up about a month ago, he’s the team manager, he’s going to be in charge of all this as well. So for now, it’s been Inga throughout the years, but it’s going to be now ourselves.
Robert Mack 15:55
And then where do you guys get to keep that process? Like, is it like, a Trello? board or
Mike Babakhanyan 16:00
Trello? And follow up boss has reminders? I mean, so it’s simple. Okay. So that’s our during unit, and I’m sure you could agree it’s a little different than the typical process most agents go through. So we try to, again, wow, the client with the experience of buying a home. Now let’s go into the after unit, and the after unit is where the real relationship begins my opinion, okay.
Mike Babakhanyan 16:28
30 days after the closing, do you guys remember that initial letter that went out? After the consultation that told the client Hey, I asked you what’s important, this is what I hear. Hear you say? That same letter goes out with a handwritten note. Hey, Rob, we close escrow, buddy, how do we do? And I’ll circle what was important hear me, so I just created that emotional bond between us that Hey, Mike, made it happen. He told he asked us what’s important. Now they were living in this house, the follow? So that’s one of the strategies. Every month, everyone in our database gets four emails. In the beginning, I was hesitant. I’m like, Well, I feel like it’s too much or harassing them. Who cares? For emails, you’ll have a few people unsubscribe, but doesn’t matter. The rest of the database will see your face four times. What we do is we use a lot of the KCM. So they have great articles are just listed just sold. We have a monthly raffle. It’s called Fun Day Monday, where on the first Monday of the month, a quiz goes out to the database with four answers and they pick and whoever guesses correctly, they’re entered into a raffle to win a $25 amazon gift card, I get maybe 6070 responses every single month, which is cool that we’re interacting that way. Every month, everyone in our database, get a mailer from us every single month. Now I even broke that down into three parts quarterly. The first mailer of the month in our quarter is something real estate related. Now, again, I use a lot of KCM stuff, I love it. The second month is something that’s not real estate related. For example, this one said, five hottest restaurants redefining LA’s food scene, and we have a little article about talking about the restaurants. Okay. The third piece for that quarter is our proof of success. What What have we sold that quarter, we want the database to see that we’re professionals, we’re helping families, you could add reviews in there as well. So every single month, our database will receive four emails and a mailer, okay. This year actually came to my mind that I’m going to add this to this afternoon that we have were about 45 days into closing escrow our Home Warranty rep is going to call the clients and personally introduce herself and say, Hey, I’m your home warranty rep. If something breaks in the house, you guys, Mike was able to negotiate a home warranty policy for you. If anything breaks and give me a call, I’ll handle it for you. Again, we’re trying to go outside the box, provide a wonderful experience or service to the client. Okay.
Mike Babakhanyan 19:17
Some of the after unit scripts we use is a ROB isn’t a nice note that you have a friend in the business. Anytime you have anyone that’s thinking about buying or selling real estate know you can count on me several scripts. I call them everyone in our database, quarterly gets a phone call, or phone call or video text message. You just remind them that you’re still in the business and you’re planting a little referral seed in their mind. All right, here is my favorite part. Every year our clients get to annual client appreciation events. And I’m going to share that with you share the screen. All right, this is an example of a summer picnic.
Kristina Kendig 21:43
That’s awesome, Mike. You guys send that out to them after the event?
Mike Babakhanyan 21:46
Yeah, we actually after we recording, we’ll send it out to them. Okay, so here’s our movie date that we saw the Summer Picnic we do around June, July. And then the movie that we do towards the end of the year around Thanksgiving, in the beginning of December, just thanking the clients for their referrals. And so here’s an example:
Mike and Martin Properties 22:20
Right to the mic, here we are at Burbank, AMC 60. For our third annual client movie, we’re about to greet our guests that are gonna be watching Justice League during opening weekend. So it’s gonna be fun. Yeah, see you around
Mike Babakhanyan 22:49
So you guys get it? So that’s what we do, we do two huge client appreciation events. It just another way of thanking our clients for their support. And they really get the feel that we’re not just a typical agent that we really care about the relationship. And you’ll be surprised how many referrals we’ve had. And transactions, we’ve closed from our client appreciation events, they’ll bring their friends, they’ll bring their relatives. So it’s just a great way to connect. And in conclusion, just find a way to make your clients feel good. That’s what we did. It’s about the experience of the buying process or song process. And if you could do that I guarantee you’ll increase your referrals, that’s it!
Kristina Kendig 23:36
that is amazing. So many good things in there any questions out there for Mike if you have any you can drop them in the chat. But I one thing that really came to mind because we do a lot of events but we’re doing a more just for our farm, not our specific clients. So really targeting those and going for the referrals that way because we’re farming for new business not loving on the ones that we already have.
Mike Babakhanyan 23:59
That’s their friends is because we still mail to our farm we have you know, every year we have like an annual junk day where we help the community clean up the community, but we feel like it we’re doing all this to build relationships. And we’re not just going after new relation we want to cater the relations we already have with our clients, our family, our COI friends, everyone so just a way of being top of mind letting them know that we really care about you.
Kristina Kendig 24:28
Yeah, I love that I think that makes a huge difference and it shows in your numbers because you guys have a ton of past clients and referrals from it. That’s awesome. Anybody anything else I know that there was a lot dropped in there the the card idea was genius, love the follow up boss using that for the tasks until they hire an assistant. You did really fill up the theater and if you don’t mind sharing, like how many people like the theater one on average, how many people come to that?
Mike Babakhanyan 24:53
So we the way the process works is we send a video inviting them, we mail to them maybe two months in a row. Hey, we’re having our annual movie day, RSVP. Here’s a link a week before we give them a call. Hey, just giving you a friendly reminder this Saturday or Sunday is our moving day. And we generally invite invite about 200 and we get about 170 180. attendees.
Mike Babakhanyan 25:20
That’s awesome. That’s a picnic we have about 150 170. Again, attendees now this year, since we’re growing the team, I’m excited to bring this to my team members so they can invite the top 50 people in their database. So I imagine when we have our summer picnic, we’re gonna have at least 300 attendees this year basketball. Okay.
Kristina Kendig 25:44
That’s awesome. So great. Well, thank you so much for breaking it down. I know I can see in our team office here, a lot of wheels are spinning. So very good. I’m sure that people will. And you guys, I I’m gonna throw it out here. Mike can tell me off camera. I shouldn’t have done it. But if you have questions, you can reach out to him. I’m sure he’ll like your processes, anything like that kind of give you an idea of what’s worked, what hasn’t worked and how they’ve refined it and gotten to this point. But thank you so much, you guys. Thank you.
Robert Mack 26:16
Thanks, Mike. Killed by Mike.
YouTube Video 26:19
Is it too late? That question? Oh, no. Oh, yeah, that’s a question. So you said that you send out these cards after the initial buyer consultation? Is that a handwritten card? Or is that typed out?
Mike Babakhanyan 26:30
It’s typed out, it’s signed. But again, the sector says, I asked you what’s important, here’s what I heard. And you break it down exactly what they told you. That’s, that’s the key on that on that specific letter.
YouTube Video 26:45
And then you said, you got almost all of your buyers to commit to doing a buyer’s consultation? What what do you say to them in order to get them into your office? for that?
Mike Babakhanyan 26:53
Sure. So we normally tell keeping at one person, our business is referral. So they already have that expectation that they’re going to be coming into our office, most of our clients will let them know, hey, they do a great buyer consultation, go to their office. And we’ve converted leads from open houses where we, hey, I’m not sure it’s free. But we have a first time buyer consultation where we’ll explain a twosie the entire buying process, more importantly, how the market is, so you feel comfortable with the decisions you make. How does that sound? Now, they’ll say, I want to do it on Zoom, you’ll say oh, that’s fine. We could do it on Zoom. But I have I have a process and procedure, if you don’t mind once you come to my office, they’re not gonna say no, you’re, then you’re, you’re gonna call an attorney. If the attorney says Come to my office, are you gonna say no, let’s do it over zoom, you’re gonna go to the office. So treat yourself as a professional. That’s how I see it. They want to come great if they don’t, so be it.
Kristina Kendig 27:49
And you’re not giving up on the first No?
Mike Babakhanyan 27:53
Oh, no, no, never. Because we want to wow them with the process.
Kristina Kendig 28:00
And their office is beautiful, their new office, so I can’t wait. It is so nice. I wouldn’t mind going in there. And like Rob said, I’d love the menu idea, too. It’s just that extra level of service, that you’re setting the standard going into the transaction from that very first meeting, like, hey, if I’m offering you all caviar, if I’m offering, you know, at the very beginning, and I’m just meeting you imagine how the rest of the transaction is going to be. So I love that.
Mike Babakhanyan 28:27
And if you guys noticed during the entire process, we’re planting seeds in their subconscious mind, just very casual. We’re not making it so aggressive. Who do you know that wants to buy? Give me a referral now just friendly. You know, think of us think of us think of us?
Kristina Kendig 28:44
Yeah, and I love the point that you made at the very beginning to that, like when we love things. We refer to everyone, it’s like, oh, my gosh, I tried this, you need to try that. So why wouldn’t we do that with? You know, we would want people to do that with services and stuff. Because we don’t hesitate asking like, Oh, do you have a mechanic? Or do you have a housecleaner or things like that, like, this is huge. You’re spending a lot of money. We want people to be like, yeah, let me refer my real estate agent to you. They’re amazing. So love it. Very good stuff, Mike. Amazing job. Glad you guys enjoyed it. So Rochelle is asking for scripts. Scripts, okay, cool. Just any anything that you have any documents, if you want to send them to me or have Inga or Seebach and then I can send them out to everybody on the call. If you guys want. I’ll send you the sample letter. So we send out Yes, absolutely done. Awesome!
Robert Mack 29:42
Thanks, Mike. Thanks, team, bro. Thank you. Thanks, Mike.
Unknown Speaker 10:30
And I’m sorry, let’s do it.
Unknown Speaker 10:36
Can you guys Jeremy
Unknown Speaker 10:39
Unknown Speaker 15:15
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