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referral marketing strategies

Today we’re breaking down the top referral marketing strategies for real estate agents.  Why?  Because it’s a HUGE topic of interest right now.  Inventory is at record lows and the cost of (crap) internet leads is at an all time high.

Whether or not you’ve already been duped into buying internet leads or ‘premier agent’ spots on certain websites, I’m here to tell you that with the right referral marketing strategies, you can earn your own business – without paying out your nose – or anything at all.

First let’s take a look at some stats so you can fully understand how powerful it can be for your business to focus on referral marketing strategies.

6 Statistics about Real Estate Referral Marketing Infographic

You may share this infographic but you must link back to this post if you do so.

What’s the #1 source of business for Realtors these days?  Referrals from past clients.  Let me repeat that.  The #1 source of their business comes from past clients GIVING them business.  Certainly something to consider spending more time on, right!?

If you can manage to stay in touch with your past clients, 74% of them will give you a referral, (or more) if you implement these referral marketing strategies.  That is a really high conversion rate.  Especially for something you’re not paying for.

Having these kinds of odds makes adopting a solid referral marketing strategy a no brainer, but still only 51% of agents use a CRM to keep in touch with their past clients.

Now I’m not here to tout CRM’s because most of them are expensive and keeping in touch isn’t something that you need a program for.  But CRM’s certainly help to keep you on track.  And it’s something to consider if you’re going to take your referral marketing to the next level.

Now that I’ve convinced you to stop buying shit leads online and focus your efforts on reconnecting and strengthening your relationships with past clients, let’s get to how you can put these top referral marketing strategies to work for your real estate business.

The 80/20 Rule

Your focus with any healthy marketing strategy should be on delivering value, value, value before you ask for anything.  Most successful referral marketing strategies don’t require you to ask at all in fact.

If you can get valuable content into the hands and heads of your past clients, they’ll receive it with appreciation and be reminded of your high service level and professionalism.

A Reward System

This is an old trick in the book of life.  Reward good behavior and you can expect more of it.  It’s your job to create an ethical reward system for the people who go out of their way to give you new business without asking for anything in return.

Before implementing this referral marketing strategy, check to make sure you’re not breaking any local, state, or national real estate laws.  Giving individuals anything with monetary value (hello, everything) gets dicey when it’s in exchange for a referral.

Keeping your rewards small but meaningful is going to be your best bet to take full advantage of this one.


You can certainly be uber successful with your referral marketing all on your own but if you could scale your efforts and multiply your referrals why wouldn’t you implement such a strategy?

My friend, you need friends to get this one done.  And by friends, I mean partners.  Finding referral partners who serve the same types of clients that you do is the name of the game.

You can feed leads to each other and before you know it, you’ll both be so busy you’re getting choosy with your referrals.  Imagine a lifestyle like that!?  It’s possible if you truly dig into this referral marketing strategy.

Learn How to Ask

Ask and you shall receive does NOT apply to a good referral marketing strategy.  You just cannot expect anyone to give you business by just asking them.  While focusing on the 80/20 rule as discussed earlier in this post, you’ll want to be sure you’ve given people a reason to send business your way.

Asking someone to put their reputation on the line, to give you more business, while expecting nothing in return is quite the request.  So ask if you must, but before you do, be sure you’ve earn the trust of the person you’re asking.

If you truly have given that person a reason to trust that you’re professional, capable, and willing to help their dear friend, and you ask appropriately, they’ll send business your way over and over again.

Make it Easy

Sure you’ve over delivered.  Then you went ahead and earned their trust and asked at just the right time to get the response you were looking for.  Now you can kick back and relax, waiting for the business to flood in.

False.  Before you expect to get any referrals, especially if you plan to actually out right ask for them – you’ll need to find a way to make it super easy for your sphere to send business your way.

Just asking for a referral and giving no instructions on how to do so is like dropping a line in the water without bait.  You’ve got to let them know how best to perform the task you’re so boldly asking them to complete.

Choose a Niche

One of the more complicated referral marketing strategies to implement, and one that takes some time and effort is choosing a niche to market to.  This is one that pays off hugely in the end because you’ve spent lots of time getting to know a specific group of people.

You know how they think, and what their problems are.  And you’re the only agent who’s solving their problems on a consistent basis.  Zone in on a specific niche that speaks to your own interests and skills.  Solve their problems.  And they’ll think of you as thee real estate agent that can help them and their friends.

Become the Expert

Speaking of becoming thee real estate agent for a specific audience – if you can become an expert within your niche or community you’ll start racking up lots of referrals.  These referrals will even come from people whom you haven’t yet serviced in a real estate capacity.  They’ll just be aware of you and your professional presence within their community.

Try a few of these referral marketing strategies on for size.  I’m a big believer in working smarter, not harder.  And this my friend is the definition of it.  Learning how to derive more business for very little cost, from old business is one helluva’ business model.  And you can learn exactly how to do it in The Referral Engine.


Jenna Martindale

Jenna Martindale

Jenna Martindale teaches online courses and workshops for new + experienced real estate agents who want to enhance their skills, grow their business, and live the life of their dreams.She believes it’s always the right time for coffee and that if there's a heaven it's a pool filled with golden retreivers.
Jenna Martindale