How to Ask for Real Estate Referrals [with Free Template]

Jun 30, 2022 | Uncategorized

Real estate referral from client

Real estate agents don’t just sell homes. With every successful sales opportunity, agents also sell their skills and reputation.

Top producers understand that their career relies heavily on positive client experiences and feedback. The most successful agents build a network of satisfied clients. This vital step sets them apart. They know how to ask for real estate referrals from clients and continue to expand their network.

What Agents Need to Know About Asking for Referrals

Experienced agents have mastered the art of asking for referrals, which less experienced agents may still be working on. These top producers understand that happy clients translate into free advertising.

Real estate agents know the process of buying and selling homes inside and out. They’re already:

  • Dressing professionally
  • Conducting home showings and listings
  • Enhancing staging and presentation
  • Transaction facilitation for on-time closings

Most agents complete all the necessary checkpoints and may not know how to follow up on the big-ticket item after closing: referrals.

Asking for real estate referrals may make agents feel vulnerable or uncomfortable at first. However, asking happy clients for referrals gives agents access to a network of future sales and revenue opportunities. 

While professional marketing and advertising campaigns promote an agent’s career, a personal referral holds a much higher chance of guaranteeing new clients.

Learning how to leverage real estate transaction tools and templates strategically, but naturally, takes practice. But any agent can learn to use the resources they have available to increase and improve how they’re asking for referrals.

The Power of Referrals

There are subtle nuances that differentiate happy clients from engaged clients.

According to a leading referral expert, 20% of happy clients will pass their agent’s name on to friends and family.

Referral Coach

Any endorsement is terrific. However, an agent who can engage their satisfied clients could see that number skyrocket to as high as 98%. That means a full schedule of future clients.

So, what separates a happy client from an engaged client?

A Happy Client

A happy client shakes an agent’s hand, smiles, and says thank you for this wonderful service. Their agent manages to tuck a business card into their outstretched hand. 

That little business card then lands in a folder. Those happy clients may mention their agent’s name once or twice at gatherings with friends or family. Eventually, the agent’s name fades from memory.

An Engaged Client

An engaged client also shakes the agent’s hand. But instead of the agent closing out their file, they call the following week, month, or on celebratory milestones to check in. This refreshes their client’s memory about the quality of service they provide.

Engaged clients remember their agent’s name and speak it often and in high regard.

An engaged client interacts reciprocally with an engaged agent. It’s a circle that casts its net, and it doesn’t have to be overstated. It should simply convey the agent’s message of professionalism and that they take steps beyond standard customer service.

What Prevents Agents from Asking for Real Estate Referrals?

A main reason for not asking is that agents don’t know where to start. Agents may not ask for referrals because:

  • They’re unsure about when to ask
  • It’s difficult to phrase the request naturally
  • They feel uncomfortable about seeming needy
  • It makes them feel vulnerable 

Asking for referrals is a learned skill. Successful agents aren’t afraid to slip the request into conversations with satisfied clients. They repeat the request in follow-up emails and phone calls. Seasoned agents send personal reminders with a small gift or memento to keep their name in the forefront of their client’s minds.

Inexperienced agents mistakenly believe the only time to ask for a referral is when they close a sale. Nothing is further from the truth. Agents can ask for referrals after successful showings and listings, closing a transaction, or even after positive interactions with clients.

Agents who confidently ask for referrals are participating in a transaction. This transaction of asking for the honor of a referral benefits clients as much as agents. Buying and selling is a two-way street where each participant needs the other.

Practicing the Skill of Asking

The adage of “practice makes perfect” applies well to asking for referrals. Knowing what to say and when to say it makes an agent sound friendly and confident.

Confident agents understand how they fit into the dynamic housing market. Real estate agents perform many essential tasks for buyers and sellers. They also realize that home buyers and sellers choose a specific agent to represent one of their most valuable investments, and put significant trust into their agent.

Use a direct approach. Trusted clients don’t mind bragging about the excellent service they received from their agent. Receiving professional service makes clients feel validated too.

Who To Ask for Real Estate Referrals

Real estate agents ultimately form a more personal relationship with their clients than other figures in the sales industry. Buying or selling a home takes time. Clients may share personal details about their lives and develop genuine relationships with their agent.

That dynamic opens a lot of opportunities for agents willing to listen and engage with their clients. After all, people like to talk about their lives. Listen for subtle clues and openings to stay in touch with clients, then you can follow up on those interactions with referral requests later.

Learning to Listen for Potential Opportunities:

  • Career changes and relocation
  • Marriages and first-time homeownership
  • Birth of babies and or new pets
  • Divorce and separation
  • Educational achievements
  • Renovations or downsizing
  • Death in the family

Undoubtedly sadness mires some of these opportunities. But despite personal tragedies, potential clients are looking for someone to transition them to the next phase. A compassionate and effective real estate agent can navigate them smoothly through their changes.

Making it Easy for Clients to Refer An Agent

Clients who genuinely care about their agent will go above and beyond. They will seize any chance to recommend and introduce their agent to their circle of acquaintances.

A great tool to enforce your skills as an agent is to perform outstanding service for your clients. Bring a smile and professional attitude at all times. If you have a difficult client, it’s okay to advise them that their expectations do not meet the real estate industry standards.

Tips for Being an Outstanding Real Estate Agent Who Gets Referrals:

  • Follow up with past clients
  • Host a client appreciation cocktail hour
  • Become specialized in a niche market and adjust your agent brand image
  • Build a network with local businesses to promote them and your agency brand
  • Introduce your service to related businesses like mortgage lenders, construction and renovation companies, and lawn services, and know the community they’re serving
  • Attend trade shows and meet other real estate agents
  • Engage with social media platforms and post regular, relevant content
  • Provide an easy way for clients to submit referrals or testimonials

Not all of these tips will generate leads every time. Agents who constantly feed the wheel of client engagement will start to see a return for their efforts in time. Though it’s not guaranteed, word of mouth is one of the best and least expensive ways to generate interest and following.

Learning to Ask the Referral Favor the Right Way

Real estate agents learn that their job involves questioning and listening skills early on. These guide agents through the listing and selling process.

One of the basic tips is learning how to ask open-ended questions. That technique can also work with asking for referrals and introductions. Instead of asking a question with short yes or no answers, learn to ask the question to trigger a long, engaged reply.

“Would you mind recommending me?” Some clients won’t hesitate. Others may say yes and forget about it soon after.

Instead, engage the client and make it personal–include them in the process.

“It would mean so much to me if you could take the time to refer me to your friends and family. Can you think of someone who may be in the market to buy or sell?”

Clients who are happy with the service they received have no problem bragging. By making it personal, they’ll make an effort.


Get our go-to templates free to help you start asking for referrals like a pro.


Selling and buying real estate is a continuous loop. Clients come and go, but agents stay intimately connected if they perform with the utmost professionalism and engage their clients.

ListedKit designs administrative tools to assist agents with the monotonous chores to concentrate on what’s important.

With experience and the right mobile apps and templates, asking for personal endorsements becomes effortless. If an agent is good at their job, asking may eventually evolve into a natural occurrence instead of a scripted proposal.

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