Referrals are essential for real estate agents. They’re how you expand your client list, get new business and leverage your sphere of influence to be more productive.

But sometimes asking clients for referrals feels awkward, and the buildup can lead to a myriad of questions:

  • When/how often should I broach the subject?
  • Will my clients take my asking for a referral as intrusive?
  • What’s the best way to begin the conversation?

Asking for referrals doesn’t have to be burdensome. It’s really quite simple, especially if you’re asking satisfied clients.

Here are some insights we came across on asking clients for referrals at various points during the home buying/selling process:

During the Listing Interview

There’s nothing wrong with planting the seed early. While selling yourself and why you’re the best agent for the job, paint a clear picture of your expectations for the selling process and how you’ll help your clients reach their goals.

Impress with your market knowledge and display a passion for getting the most value out of their property, while making sure they realize they’re more than just a client to you.

What to say: “I don’t make my living just off of one sale. I make it by making you so happy you refer me to your friends. If you are pleased with my services, will you recommend me to others?”

During the Sales Process

Keep in regular contact with your clients during this time and demonstrate your concern for helping them, even over the little things; make them feel like they are your most important client.

People who are buying or selling homes typically socialize with others at a similar point in their lives, so if you deliver a great experience for them, you’ll be at the top of their mind when their friends are discussing plans to move or buy another property.

What to say: “Congrats on getting your loan approved today! I was wondering, now that we’ve worked together and you’ve seen how I do business, do you know anyone else who can benefit from my services?”

At Closing

This is the easiest time to ask for a referral. You did your job, you did it well and the client is happy.

What to say: “Working with you was a pleasure and I’m very happy we got to know each other during this process. Referrals to friends and family are a key part of my business and I wanted to ask if you would be kind enough to recommend me to any friends looking to buy or sell a property?”

Follow Up

Prove to former clients you’re there for them even after you receive your commission check. After closing, stop by to drop off a closing gift and to see how the move went. Offer your expertise in recommending painters, landscapers or other handymen.

And remember: the connection shouldn’t stop once all the boxes are unpacked. Follow them on social media, include them on your newsletter list if you send one, wish them a happy birthday or periodically share a recipe or article that displays your appreciation of the relationship cultivated during your time working together.

All these little touches show great personal service and reinforce your commitment to your clients so you will remain on their minds should anyone ever ask if they know a real estate agent worth recommending.


Do you spend too much of your day scheduling and confirming showing appointments? Learn how the ShowingTime Appointment Center helps free up your time to focus on other tasks to grow your business.

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