Strategies for Steady Referrals

You can safely say, if you do not develop and maintain consistent referrals in this business, you are going to work a lot harder and make a lot less money. Creating a business with consistent, high-quality referrals requires purpose and intention. Many agents make the mistake of assuming their trusted contacts and past clients will naturally refer them. That is flawed thinking. In this article, we share some specific ideas and strategies to consistently earn referrals.

Ask thoughtfully

It’s critical to stop and really think about your referral dialogue and messaging because the words you use mean everything. Consider the difference between these two examples:

If there’s anyone else you know who might be thinking about buying or selling, I’d be happy to help them out.

This dialogue lacks meaning. It’s more about you than it is about them and it doesn’t provide a specific path for them to refer you.

I’m so grateful to work with clients like you. You two are the best! I’m guessing you have a network of friends who are just as awesome, so it would mean the world to me, assuming you appreciate the way I do business, if you’d let me know if they ever need a Realtor. The best way to do that is with an email or text introduction if that’s something you’d be comfortable doing?”

This message is thoughtful. It expresses meaning for both you and them and provides an easy way for them to make the introduction. You are also asking them a direct question and hopefully, you’ll be getting a verbal commitment that they will refer you. This message can be difficult to say with confidence unless you practice it over and over again, which is something you should do. Take note that it will always be more impactful when this is said in person, but you could use it over email as well.

The above is just one example. You’ll want to review the different places you can share your referral messaging, such as your email signature, website, social media profile bios, company website, third-party search sites (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.), business cards, and so on.

Ask often

When you are passionate about your business and confident that you provide a valuable service, asking for referrals will be easy. It should be second nature. Consider asking for referrals from clients during a transaction when you have a big win, such as going under contract.

I’m happy for you that we’ve made it to this milestone in the process of buying (or selling) your dream home. You’ve worked really hard to get to this point. Oftentimes when you're going through a real estate transaction, you’ll hear from other people that are also considering a move. It would mean so much to me if you could connect me with anyone you think would appreciate my services. The best way to do that would be to text or email the two of us together as an introduction.

Obviously, past clients are a great source of referrals, however, if you don’t regularly follow up with them, they will think of you less and less as time passes. Follow up is all about having a quick chat to see how they are doing. You can ask how they are liking the house and neighborhood that you helped them find. You can also ask about their family, work, friends, recreation, and so on. Then you can say something like:

Do you mind if I ask you a big favor? I want to make sure my most trusted clients know that I work almost exclusively by referral. So, my favor is just that you share my information with anyone you might know who needs help with a real estate deal. An email or text to both of us is an easy way to introduce us.

Again, these are just two examples. Take some time to tailor a message for all of your different interactions and networks. You should be crafting messaging for fellow business owners or vendors, someone at the gym, or other non-real estate colleagues you may be affiliated with.


Remember to dovetail your referral message into your other marketing activities. Consider adding a referral message on your next postcard or newsletter campaign. If you have a client appreciation party, be sure to ask for referrals in your speech or your thank you cards. You can also remind your contacts that you love referrals by posting on social media with a funny GIF like this.

Breakthrough Broker Toolbox

Find additional resources below to enhance your referral strategy.

On-Demand Webinar: 2021 Lead and Referral Conversion Strategies
Seller Referral Letter
Closed Buyer Referral Letter
SOI Marketing Ideas

Technology, marketing, & strategy your real estate business needs!
Easy to create and customize professional marketing templates - no design experience needed.
No-cost downloads and affordable print, ship, and direct mail options that simplify marketing.
Automations to make it easier than ever to promote a listing or open house and stay top of mind*.
Workbooks, checklists, playbooks, and workshops to support the growth and management of your business.
Advanced marketing technology, profile settings, premium benefits, and more for Plus Members.
*Automations can be limited based on location.

Create Account

By creating an account, you agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.