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There are really only three important steps for cultivating and generating referrals:

  1. Fulfill a want or need of the consumer with such superior results that they become a raving fan of your business or service.
  2. Create and implement systems that target your database and ask for referrals.
  3. Create and implement systems that reward your database for sending you referrals.

While the steps may sound simple, the truth is that many agents do not utilize this valuable resource in their business. Many agents feel uncomfortable asking for referrals so they just don’t ask. Others don’t view it as an integral part of lead generation so they don’t systemize the referral process; they sometimes ask for referrals, and other times they just forget.

* The first step in our strategy is to ensure that our clients are having an exceptional experience when they use our services. If you can’t guarantee a superior level of satisfaction with each and every one of your clients (realistically, 99%, there’s always those who refuse to praise anything), you need to go back and fix those areas that are broken before attempting to generate referrals. Consumers only refer others when they feel they have something truly positive to share, and your business must represent that positive experience for them. The good news is that with Craig’s system, it’s easily accomplished when you systemize each aspect of your services. *

* How do I know if my clients are super-satisfied with my services?

You ask them. Get every client to fill out a survey.

Read the surveys. Understand exactly how your clients view your company.

Do something about it. Great survey results mean you need to keep up what you are doing and reward those on your Team who are helping you do such a great job. Bad survey results mean you need to go back and fix those areas and Team members who are broken.

To get started in creating our referral systems, we must first identify the three different streams of referrals.

  • New Client Referrals
  • Database Referrals
  • Team Referrals

New client referrals are those that are procured as soon as you accept a new client. Whether you are signing a buyer to contract, or listing a seller’s property, you need to ask for referrals at that earliest moment. This is when your client loves you the most – they have just selected you to represent them in buying or selling property – what better time to ask them to give you names of others looking to do the same?

Database referrals are all those whom are in your database – past clients, prospects, family, and your sphere of influence. This system needs to be centered on an exchange of information and benefits. You are keeping in touch with those in your database, updating them on the current real estate market, asking them for referrals and rewarding them for sending them to you. The intent of this system is to position you as their realtor for life.

Team referrals are generated by those members of your real estate team. Your licensed agents, unless they are brand-new to real estate, have their own database of potential referrals. The smart thing to do is to arrange a mutually beneficial system where your agents open up their database to you and add their prospects to your marketing campaigns. Most agent to agent referrals are at 25% to the referring agent, so the arrangement would be the same here – they get a 25% referral fee on top of their current split. To keep this system free of disagreement, your agents must provide you with their list of past clients/solid prospects (not a list compiled from the phone book), complete with addresses and phone numbers and allow you to check them against your own database. This ensures that you are not agreeing to a 25% referral for a prospect that you have gotten farther with than your agent.

New Client Referral System

  • Include a referral letter/card in all of your new VIP buyer or new seller paperwork.
  • After the paperwork is signed, before leaving – ask for referrals.
  • ALWAYS remember WIFM.

Referral rewards/$$ off commission for referral.

Database Referral System

  • Add to Prospect Monthly Newsletter or Past Client Monthly Newsletter mailing. Newsletter asks for
  • Add to monthly video email campaign : January – New Year, February – Valentine’s Day, April – Easter,
  • Invitation to annual client appreciation party. BBQ; face painting for kids, some type of family affair.
  • ALWAYS remember WIFM.

Referral rewards/$$ off commission on next move for referral, Gift Card for Home Improvement Store, Voucher for dinner for two at local restaurant, entry in annual draw for larger prize.

Please note that laws governing giveaways and gifts vary greatly from state to state and province to province. Before implementing any reward program, please consult with your local real estate board and other governing bodies.

Licensed Team Member Compensation on Referrals

  • Agent gets the referrals they generate – pay them at least 50% plus a bonus for each one above a
  • The more you pay, they more they will pursue referrals.