5 DOs and DON’Ts of Getting More Real Estate Referrals

09 September 2022

By Darcia

Imagine checking your email and finding a message like this:

Hello [your name here],

 Our friends, Tom and Mena, recommended you. They say you did a fantastic job selling their property. We want to list our home this fall and are hoping you can be our agent.

Can we meet soon?

That email would likely put a big smile on your face.


Because it’s a referral. And a referral is the best type of real estate lead you can get.

Real estate referrals convert better than any other type of lead. Often, you’re the only agent the prospect is contacting. Referrals also tend to have the lowest cost per converted lead — especially compared to advertising and online lead generation websites.

And it gets better.

According to marketing expert Stefano Troba, writing in the Fingercheck blog, referred clients often become referrers themselves. A new client who comes your way as the result of a recommendation is twice as likely to recommend you to others.

If you were to imagine your career three to five years from now, that vision likely includes getting most of your real estate leads via referrals.

So, how do you make sure that happens? Here are some basic DOs and DON’Ts of building a referral-based business.

  1. DO a great job for clients That goes without saying. A client is unlikely to recommend you to friends and neighbours unless they have a great experience working with you. So, make that a priority. Strive to be — as real estate success expert Richard Robbins puts it — “the referral-worthy” Realtor.
  2. DON’T be the disappearing agent Many agents have a bad habit of vanishing once the deal is made and the client has moved. Just because the transaction is complete doesn’t mean the client relationship ends. In some ways, it’s just beginning! Check-in with your client several times in the weeks following their move. Show that you’re there for them.
  3. DON’T neglect to keep in touch How long should you stay in touch with your past clients? Well, how long should your dentist or financial advisor stay in touch with you? It’s not about time, it’s about building the relationship — and getting them to see you as their agent, always. When you do that, you dramatically increase repeat business and referrals. (That’s why a high-value real estate newsletter, mailed each month, is so effective. It helps build these priceless relationships-of-trust.)
  4. DO let clients know you welcome (and appreciate) referrals Clients are more likely to recommend you again if they feel you appreciate their support. So, when you receive a real estate referral, call or email your client and say thanks. Also, consider sending them a personal note or card. Make it obvious that you value their real estate referrals.
  5. DO use a real estate marketing system The key is to stay in touch and build lasting relationships with your past clients — so they recommend you often, and hire you for their next move. A real estate marketing system designed for client referrals will make that easier.

If you want to increase your real estate referral business year after year, follow these basics. If you do, you’ll get more emails like the one at the beginning of this post!

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Realtors: Why use Referral Marketing

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