5 Real Estate Referral Marketing Ideas
In our industry, it’s common knowledge that referrals are the backbone of an agent’s success. But what does that mean? How important are referrals? And what’s the best way for you to be asking clients for referrals? Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know—from growing your client list and ensuring you’ll always have a steady stream of leads and referrals.
A recent study states that 82% of real estate transactions come from referrals and repeat clients.
This data sounds about right to us.
Who Do You Ask?
Buying a house is often the first significant—and largest—purchase a person makes as an adult. Often, they’ve been saving for years and want to know that the agent they’ll be working with will make their entire home buying process as smooth and seamless as possible. The whole journey is brand new to them, and they want reassurance their agent will have their back, answer any questions, and provide valuable insights.
Whether it’s from friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors, the first step future home buyers often take is to ask for recommendations about their favorite agents. Rather than go with the first agent Google recommends, it can be a relief to work with an agent who has a satisfied client they know firsthand. As prospective home buyers begin the journey into home buying, agents can appease any initial concerns they might have with first-hand feedback from satisfied clients.
The Importance of Referrals
You can take specific steps to remain top-of-mind for past clients, but how can you reach wider audiences? That’s where referrals come in.
Referrals are endlessly beneficial for agents: they show potential clients you’re trustworthy. And they allow you to use your past successes as a critical point in your marketing, and they will enable past clients the chance to share their experiences of working with you.
It’s the most effective type of sales and marketing strategy without breaking the bank. Whether people recommend you to their friends and family in person or you share their referrals as quotes in your client communication, there is truly nothing more effective for your success than first-person referrals and recommendations.
It’s All About the Ask
So, how do we begin? First, start by developing a referral mindset. This mindset shift doesn’t need to change your day-to-day work drastically. Instead, it’s a reminder of when and how to ask for referrals. This way, you’ll be receiving referrals regularly—and your clients will be actively sharing recommendations about you with everyone they know.
Five Key Real Estate Referral Marketing Ideas
Wherever your clients are in their home buying or home selling process, reach out to them at the right time with these key referral marketing ideas and requests.
Start by making it easy for clients. Make it all about them: let them know how much you would appreciate a referral. Their referral helps you out, and it could also help future homeowners in their area looking for a great real estate professional. You can also make it easy to leave referrals: outline exactly what you need, how they need to send it to you, etc.
1. Integrate Referrals Within Your Listing Process
Figure out the most natural time to ask for referrals and when clients would most likely give a glowing review. Then add that process to your standard practice for every client. Just as sending a thank you note card after listing presentations becomes second nature, the same can be true for referrals with enough practice.
Similar to farming your lead list, send out regular marketing reminders for recommendations and referrals, so you’re the first and only trust-worthy agent that comes to mind.
Continue following up with clients shortly after they get their keys. Add your business card alongside a closing gift so they have your contact information handy.
Staying in touch after your clients have closed shows them that you are still available to answer their questions as they settle into their new homes. It’ll also make it natural to follow up on a potential referral—and show them you’re interested in them beyond the listing.
Free Email Template
We’ve offered free email templates to help you ask for referrals before, but here’s another one you can copy and paste, then send out.
Hello [[Insert Client Name]],
I hope you’ve been well and are enjoying getting settled in your new home! I’m here for any remaining questions or concerns you might have.
It was my honor to help you find the home of your dreams. If you were satisfied with my assistance, could you take a few moments and write me a referral? I’d love to tell future clients how I was able to help you throughout your home buying process.
It’s my goal always to provide the best service I can for my clients. Let me know if there’s anything else you need—I’m always here for you and your real estate needs!
[[Insert Agent Name]]
2. Ask Them In Person
If you are comfortable, asking in person is also a great idea. It’s a bigger ask and can feel more daunting, but clients are more likely to agree. But, then, the only follow-up needed isn’t asking them. It’s following up, thanking them in advance, and telling them how, where, why, and how they can send and post a referral.
Here’s a quick script you can follow when asking for a referral in person.
Script For Asking
Hi [[Insert Client Name]],
How have you been? I hope you found my services helpful and more than met your needs during the [[home buying/home selling]] process.
Could you do me a favor and write a referral? I truly loved helping you and would love to share the story of your dream home with others!
Script For Following Up
After your client has verbally agreed to give you a referral, make sure you follow up with them via email immediately. You don’t want to lose that momentum or have them forget to share a referral.
Hi [[Insert Client Name]],
It was so great talking to you today! I’m thrilled to be receiving a referral from you. It was terrific working with you, and I’d love to help other home buyers looking to buy in your area. This recommendation will mean a lot.
If you could email it to me or leave a recommendation on Facebook or Google, that would be absolutely wonderful.
Thanks again! Let me know if you need any other help or have any remaining questions. I’m here to help you anytime.
[[Insert Your Name]]
Don’t forget to send clients a thank you note card for their referral! You can send a few branded goodies as well—a notepad, a calendar magnet, or a gift card with your customized gift tag to show your thanks. Gifts like these help ensure your brand and name are seen regularly by your past clients and their friends and family.
3. Ask Them Online
Add asking for referrals online to your client experience routine. Again, be creative and provide a few options of where they can leave a review. Some possibilities include on your website, Facebook, or Google Reviews. Reach out on social media and ask for requests, be sure to include specific ways you want to receive referrals from current and past clients.
You can also easily ask for referrals using Corefact’s Social Share platform. It is easy to personalize templates with your logo and branding, so it matches your print marketing materials. Social Share makes it easy for agents to stay connected with their farm on social channels. There are thousands of templates to choose from—including several created specifically with referrals in mind.
4. Pop-by Gifts
Pop-by gifts are ideal for clients' past and present. Remind past clients that you’re the agent who helped them find their dream home: you’re here for any future transactions they might need and the agent they should recommend to their friends and family.
Keep all of your relationships fresh and on a good note. Communication is critical for any client, past, present, or future. Send thank you letters to clients for any referrals and welcome hellos to any new referees within 48-hours.
5. Order Real Estate Referral Marketing Products
Our Bright Side Series was designed precisely for this purpose. This series is eye-catching, bright, and whimsical. This series offers real estate agents the opportunity to reach out to clients and ask for referrals in a friendly way that re-establishes their belief in your knowledge and expertise.
Cover all your marketing needs online and offline. For example, send a direct mail postcard, share the matching social share template, and follow up with the related thank you note card! Offering this type of marketing does more than just grow your brand: it’s a chance to ask clients for referrals and remain top-of-mind using marketing materials that will bring a smile to all your recipients.
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