Referral Maker CRM
Inman Rating

Referrals, not leads, are the heart of Buffini & Company's CRM

This smart, relationship-driven solution centers on referrals instead of the race to add more features or earn unqualified online leads
Referral Maker CRM
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Referral Maker is a CRM for members of national coaching company Buffini & Company. The smart, relationship-driven solution centers on referrals instead of the race to add more features or earn unqualified online leads.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Referral Maker CRM is a customer relationship manager by Buffini & Company.

Platforms: Browser; mobile-responsive; iOS; Android companion apps
Ideal for: Members of Buffini & Company’s coaching and training programs

Top selling points

  • Focused on existing relationships, not lead gen
  • Integration of coaching concepts
  • Task and follow-up prioritization
  • Relationship management feature
  • Business goal integration

Top concerns

Agents migrating from traditional lead-gen systems with deep feature stacks could haven issues adjusting to the top-down user experience of Referral Maker.

What you should know

It all comes down to who you know.

Referral Maker CRM, a solution exclusively for members of Bufffini & Company’s nationwide training and coaching network, succeeds in leveraging that phrase better than most products in the market today.

Like First and SquadVoice, Referral Maker focuses first on people you already know. And like the new app-first approach of First, Referral Maker tightly integrates coaching themes and methodologies.

The two systems part at the point of automation, as First lets the software do a little more driving of interactions while Referral Maker aims at intimacy. It encourages users to make one-by-one decisions on who to contact, how and when.

Additionally, Referral Maker is about exactly that, earning referrals, instead of unearthing potential deals from people you don’t know. Both concepts are very valuable in today’s lead-goes-to-the-highest-bidder ecosystem.

A single, nuanced function nicely summarizes my affection for Referral Maker: A “delete relationship” feature.

Relationships in the system are ranked, from A-plus to D. Those rankings adjust according to interactions over time, thus they either flourish or altogether evaporate.

Unlike the unfortunately accepted industry notion that every contact has value, Referral Maker reminds its users that that’s not true, and it’s perfectly acceptable to remove fruitless relationships from your business sphere. Hit that dump button.

Much of what users will engage with inside of the solution is powered by the CRM’s Priority Action Center, an engine that mines relationships and pushes those demanding attention to the dashboard’s top spot.

Throughout the product, content screens perpetuate the power of relationships, from recognized Buffini & Company coaching lexicon to the deliberate lack of superfluous features, such as contract-to-close transaction management to or deep response automation mechanisms.

There are some common lead-gen integrations available here, but contacts are introduced only by manual import, not live connection.

In another send-up to what I believe is hurting agents today, Referral Maker makes a clear distinction between online leads and relationships.

The two are classified separately, as they should be in all aspects of your work.

Teams can use Referral Maker, and exist within their own working environment, complete with separate goals, reporting and team-oriented marketing tools.

I can’t fathom much of a learning curve here. The User Interface is works well, with nicely bolded table and content area headers and a traditional left-side, collapsible navigation design. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t very sharp or intuitive.

The software asks of its users to merely “Win the day” or week by reaching who they should and when and by staying abreast of how each day’s win contributes to their business goals. It is, as its essence, true relationship management, not dollar-driven power dialing or paint-by-numbers drip campaigns.

Sure, Referral Makers has a collection of fairly milquetoast marketing collateral that can be dealt-out with the seasons and as part of a larger keep-in-touch strategy, but the software’s real value is in its ability to help users not lose touch with what keeps agents in the game for the long-run: How confident those around you are about recommending you to others.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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