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Lead Generation Marketing Relationship Selling

The Fastest Way to Get More Referrals: 5 Strategies

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The word “referral” is about as old as real estate itself, but also for good reason. Referrals should be a top focus when learning how to generate real estate leads, especially early on in your agent career. 

So, why is it difficult to get more referrals? How come referrals take so long to land? Is there a secret sauce successful agents know about? 

There isn’t so much a secret sauce as there are smart methods to employ. Becoming the type of agent or broker who wins referrals left and right is about meeting clients’ needs on a deep level more than anything else. 

Ready to discover the fastest way to get more referrals? You’re in luck–we have more than one way in this blog post. Keep reading for the goods.

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Do Your Best Work Every Single Day

Truly, the fastest way to get more referrals is to do your best work. When you wake up every day excited to serve new clients, this will carry through to your results.

As an agent, chances are you got into real estate because you love changing people’s lives. Using relationship selling and relationship selling techniques to sell homes is an honor, considering you’re guiding people through one of the biggest decisions in their lives. You’re in a position of influence and expertise–two privileges that not everyone benefits from in their professional life. 

With this perspective, doing your best work every day should feel fairly natural. If you’ve hit a slump, pause to ask yourself why.

Is there something in your personal life holding you back? Are you feeling groggy or stressed out? Addressing what’s going on outside of work will realign your energy when you need to serve customers. 

It also helps to have a workday rhythm so you can afford maximum throughput every week. Set a schedule where you can tackle each day’s most important tasks at key times. In general, it’s best to accomplish your toughest tasks earlier so you have the afternoon and evening for less demanding work. 

As you deliver phenomenal results to more clients, they’ll love the idea of referring you to their friends and family. Positive feedback is infectious no matter where you go and makes introductions to new people a breeze. 

Give Referrals Often

It seems counterintuitive at first, but giving lots of referrals is considered another fastest way to get more referrals. Human nature is reciprocal, so the more often you support others, the more excited they’ll be about supporting you.

As your business grows, you’ll meet new professionals from other lines of work. Develop relationships with these people–especially if they’re great at what they do. These connections come in handy for referrals and sometimes your own needs down the road. 

Here are a few recommendations on how to make referrals with four types of professionals: 

  • Recommend your favorite loan officer. Loan officers are an integral part of the real estate industry. A loan officer walks buyers through preapproval based on their savings and income, which is what qualifies them to buy a home. If you’ve worked with a hospitable lending company, refer your clients to them. 
  • Refer clients to a lawyer you trust and appreciate. Real estate transactions are filled with legal documents. From the bill of sale and the deed to affidavits and more, some buyers want a lawyer present during the key moments of a transaction. As an agent you’ve undoubtedly worked with several lawyers over the years. Feel free to recommend one of your favorites to current and potential buyers. 
  • Recommend a plumber, roofer, or electrician you’ve used. Have you hired a contractor or technician who did an excellent job? Refer your customers to them, and vice versa. Homeowners are always looking for skilled craftsmen who fix problems the right way, the first time. As people in your sphere get to talk with each other, conversations will point back to you, which means new referrals before long.
  • Offer to introduce your accountant to your client (if requested). Financial clarity is another type of support home buyers look for. If they’re interested in working with an accountant and have the means to do so, recommend your own to them. Your clients will appreciate your transparency and have a skilled service provider to speak with. 

Retain Previous Clients’ Contact Info

Another fastest way to get more referrals is keeping track of your clients’ contact information. Every client who was happy with the results you provided is someone you want to keep in your sphere. 

The way to do this is by listing your clients’ names, emails, phone numbers, and new addresses in a spreadsheet (each of these as their own column). Then add another column titled “Asked for Referral?” and another titled “Date.”

During the conversation with your previous client, be relaxed and direct with your request for a referral. Don’t say something like, “If you happen to know any friends or family currently house shopping, let me know…” This is passive and communicates that it’s not important to you. 

Instead, say something like, “Have any friends or family members recently mentioned they’re looking for a house?” This shifts the focus to your client. Of course, your client may say no (whether or not that’s the truth is a different story). But you won’t know until you ask. 

If they say no, simply respond with a “No worries” or “Thanks for letting me know.” If they do respond with a name, ask if that person is open to receiving a call from you. If yes, request their full name and phone number and add them to your list of people to call.

Ask for Referrals

Of course, a great way to get new referrals quickly is to ask for them. While it’s a little awkward and doesn’t always produce desirable results, it’s a valuable use of your time. 

Referrals–being word of mouth–are one of the most effective ways to market your real estate business. A referral operates on trust, and since people don’t hand out trust to anyone, when they do it’s highly effective. 

Here are a few methods for efficient referral generation: 

  • Ask for referrals often. It’s a no-brainer that asking for referrals is a fastest way to get more referrals. Conversations about referrals don’t need to be intimidating or pushy; they simply require a little courage. Make it a point to reach out to each previous client one to two weeks after the deal is closed. This space allows them time to settle into their home without too much time passing. The more deals you close, the more referrals you’ll benefit from over time. 
  • Be clear and concise. As with any request you make in life, you want to keep it simple. A request that’s too complex decreases the chance that the person will answer or follow through. Simply make your ask and respect the fact that your client can respond with a no. This is a key part of learning how to market yourself as a realtor.
  • Accept nos in stride. When a contact does respond no, be okay with that. Don’t push them for one or get upset that they said no. Keep the conversation moving by asking them how they’re liking their new house or the local area. This shows them you care about them, not just what you can get out of them. Remember that every no puts you that much closer to your next yes.
  • Follow up with the referrals you do get within one business week. When you do receive your next referral, follow up with them within one week. This is essential in maintaining a great realtor client relationship with your client who offered the referral. While the referral themselves may not be interested, it says a lot about the job you did with your existing client. 
  • Never be desperate for referrals. A crucial aspect about referrals is to never be desperate for them. Some agents dread learning how to master content marketing, social media, or video editing tips, so they put all their energy into generating referrals. Though referrals are fantastic, they should be one of several real estate marketing ideas you use. Clients can sense neediness and won’t want to recommend anyone to you if you’re desperate.

Set Up A Customer Referral Program

This strategy takes significant time and energy to implement, but it’s well worth it once done. A customer referral program is the opportunity for referrers to submit referrals’ names through a website or online portal. These referrals are then contacted by the business that received them.

If a referral leads to a sale, you can offer the referrer, referred, or both a small financial reward for the mutual outcome. Said rewards are typically called referral fees or finder’s fees. 

Be aware that referral fees are legal between individuals but not between businesses. The 1974 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was established to stop companies and real estate agents from giving each other kickbacks for business referrals. The government found that some agents were neglecting the needs of their clients as a result of this incentive structure, so they made it illegal. 

All that’s needed for a customer loyalty program on your website is a form. Create a form with fields for Referrer’s Name, Referred’s Name and Date of Referral.

Referral agreements are important to have, too. Include a checkbox in the form with a few sentences like: “I understand that by submitting this referral form I am not guaranteed any reward, including a finder’s fee. If my referral leads to an official sale, I will be contacted by [YOUR NAME HERE] to request details for my reward.” Once your form is live, email it to your previous clients. Now you’re all set!

Frequently Asked Questions About The Fastest Way to Get More Referrals

Referrals are the secret sauce to any relationship-based business. They can take an average or struggling business to new heights in a matter of months. 

As a real estate professional, it’s no wonder you want as many referrals as you can get. Referrals are the most reliable means to generate future potential clients compared to any other lead source. So how can you gather more, and quickly? 

We looked at the most commonly asked questions about this very topic. Check out our answers below: 

How Can I Get Referrals Fast?

There are several actions to take when learning the fastest way to get more referrals. They include focusing on recent clients, offering rewards, and knowing the difference between how to generate real estate leads and referrals. Let’s look at these three methods in detail. 

Keeping in touch with recent clients is perhaps the fastest way to generate referrals. You are still top-of-mind for them and they have just recently moved into their new home. This is the perfect time to reach out to them and ask if anyone in their world is also looking at the housing market forecast

Offering a finder’s fee is another foolproof means of incentivizing referrals. Whenever a client or friend recommends someone to you and they transact, you give a little bit back to your referrer. No one will turn down the opportunity to have free money! It also means you may not need to learn the 6 secrets to getting a real estate listing every day.

Understanding the difference between referrals and leads is also key. Leads are usually cold contacts that you found yourself and have no personal connection to. That’s why a smaller number of strong leads is good for business, because you can commit real attention to each lead you generate.

A referral comes from a personal connection, because someone you already know brought them to you. As such, you should be extra grateful to speak with referrals. That person trusts you enough to introduce you to people who are in their world.

How Do I Get More Referrals From Existing Clients?

If you want to get as many referrals as possible from current clients, there are smart ways to go about it. A few methods include going above and beyond, providing a referral template, and utilizing LinkedIn. Keep reading for the details on these tips. 

Going above and beyond is the best way to generate referrals. People love remarkable services and gladly share their customer experiences with their friends. Getting incredible results for your clients points to your reliability, honesty, and work ethic.

Using email marketing tips like a client referral template is another smart call. This is a brief, simple message that your client can plug their information into and send to their contacts. It can look something like: 

“Hey [client’s contact’s name],

I know you mentioned recently that you’re house shopping. I worked with [your name here], a great agent/realtor/broker who helped me close on my new property! [YOUR NAME] definitely knows the best time to sell a house in our area.

If you haven’t read up on how to find a good real estate agent yet, I recommend working with [your first name]. She/he is super professional and prioritizes your needs!

If you do end up buying your home through them, we both get a kickback of [enter your finder’s fee here]. No pressure, of course.

Let me know of any questions.


[client’s name here]”

Messages like these are best sent via email, though by shortening it a little, it can be sent via text. Use the example above as an outline for your own business and tweak as necessary. 

LinkedIn is an excellent, often underutilized tool for referrals. As a LinkedIn user, you have first, second, and third degree connections. First degree connections are your current contacts on the platform.

Second degree connections are those your contacts know but who aren’t connected to you yet. Third degree connections are the people that your own second degree contacts are connected to. So, how can you make use of all of this?

Begin by logging into your LinkedIn account and starting a search under “People.” Type in job titles or companies that you’re interested in and review the results. LinkedIn will show you second degree connections that your existing contacts could give you an introduction for.

If you’re connected with current clients on LinkedIn, even better. Reach out to one of your contacts who knows the person you want to talk with and request to be introduced. 99% of the time people will be happy to introduce you to others!

How Do I Get Real Referrals?

The fastest way to get more referrals of the good kind is telling the truth and being dependable. If you’re great at what you do, and people know who you are, you’ll have no shortage of clients. 

In the first few years of any career, it’s difficult to build connections. Everyone wants to have a large network without building one over the course of years, but reality shows us this isn’t possible. 

Start building your future network today by giving each client your best. When you don’t know the answer, commit to finding it. When you make a mistake, commit to resolving it. Your reputation will grow strong and people will naturally want to hear more about you. This makes it effortless for current clients to recommend you–which is exactly what you want. 

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Referring You to Success

Referrals are one of the great joys and challenges of business. They are powerful when you have them and difficult to find when you don’t have any. 

With the strategies outlined in this blog post, you’re more informed than 95% of real estate agents. Where others are wondering who their next referral will come from, you’ll be executing a proven plan to exponentially grow your referrals.

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