Reposted with permission from Pat Hiban. 

All real estate agents want to get more referrals, but asking clients for referrals isn’t always easy. Just bringing up the topic is a struggle for many agents, even when they know they’ve done a great job.

Stacey Brown Randall

Stacey Brown Randall has a solution to this problem. She created a complete five-step system for generating referrals without asking for them.

Read on for an overview of the five steps to take to generate referrals without asking. For more details on these steps and other useful tips on generating more real estate business by referral, listen to the podcast below.


Step 1: List current sources of real estate referrals

Before anything else, you need to identify current sources of real estate referrals. The easiest way to do this is to simply look at the business you’ve gotten over the past few years.

Identify clients who were referred to you by someone else. If you can, try to remember exactly who referred them. These are the names you’ll need to build your list of referral sources.

Step 2: Create a system for following up after referrals

When someone’s sending referrals your way, you need to follow up and thank them each and every time. If you don’t, there’s a good chance they won’t be sending as many referrals your way in the future. Besides, it’s part of providing excellent customer service.

So, once you’ve received a referral, make a note of it somewhere. Set a reminder for yourself in your cell phone. Do whatever you have to do to ensure you won’t forget to follow up.

When you do follow up to thank a referrer, don’t just send a quick email. Something more personal, like a hand-written letter or a call, is much more powerful.

Step 3: Maintain top-of-mind awareness with referrers

Reaching out to referrers shouldn’t just happen whenever you receive a new referral. Instead, you need to be in contact with them regularly; this will ensure that you’re able to maintain top-of-mind awareness.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to use holidays as an excuse to do something special for your referrers. You could, for instance, send out special gifts or cards to your referrers each year for Christmas.

Step 4: Plant ‘referral seeds’ during outreach efforts

When Brown Randall thanks her referral sources, she likes to plant what she calls “referral seeds.” She uses very specific language to remind referrers of the business they sent her way and to subtly hint that she’d love to help any other important people in their lives.

To find out how she does this, listen to Brown Randall’s complete podcast interview. In it, she shares the exact wording she uses in her thank-you notes and explains why it helps her get more real estate referrals.

Step 5: Automate the process for getting real estate referrals

To ensure that current and new referrers will continue to send you business over the years, you need to create a follow-up process that’s foolproof. The best way to do this is to automate it.

Brown Randall recommends automating your process for thanking and reaching out to referrers based on systems you already use. If, for instance, you rely on an electronic calendar to remind you of daily business tasks, integrate your follow-up process for referrers into that.

By following Brown Randall’s simple five-step system, you’ll be able to maximize your referral-based business. Even better, you’ll be able to get more real estate referrals without having to ask for them!

Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.

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