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Real Estate Referrals – Reward the Behavior

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3 Steps to Make Your Referrers Feel Like Gold

reward the referral behaviorSo many times I have noticed we miss the opportunity to reward the single most important behavior in business... the Referral.

When you receive a real estate referral, good or bad, how can you acknowledge and reward that behavior so it will continue in your career and people will want to continue giving them because they felt so important from your response?

Do you just say thank you?

Do you act like it was expected?

Do you just assume they know you are appreciative and thankful for the referral?

One of the most critical activities in your real estate business is to have a system for acknowledging referrals and for consistently making people know they are important to you and your business.

I strongly believe referrals truly are the key to all your business success and without them you would not be half the success you are today.

I want to share some strategies I found effective to keep the referrals coming consistently and to develop many loyal advocates for my business.



The first step is to think of how you can reward and acknowledge the initial referral.

What is your initial response when you first get the email, call or text from a client telling you to call a friend or acquaintance because they are thinking about buying or selling some real estate?

Does it matter if the referral is good or bad?


We should never worry about the quality of the referral but rather focus on "rewarding the behavior".

When I was referred, my automatic response was to take out a personal note card and write out a quick message of thanks, adding my business card and to pop in a $5 Starbucks card.

TIP - I went on to and had my gift cards personally branded with my logo in hopes they kept the card and refilled it for top of mind marketing with my clients.

Remember it isn't the gift that counts but more important the thought that counts. You took the time to write a personal hand written, thank you card, to honor their behavior and enhanced it with a small token of your appreciation for thinking of you and your business.

What do you think your continued referral stream with that client will be like if you just did nothing?



The next step in the system is to maintain communication with the person who gave you the referral.

I know when I have given a referral it would be so nice to hear if the person I refer is being well taken care of.

It is so easy to take time out of your week to make a quick call, email or text letting the referrer know we have met or we have listed the home now or we are heading out to look at homes next week.

It is rare to get an update on how your referral is going, and why is that?

How would you feel getting an update once a week or two weeks knowing the referral is being cared for?

Would you be more inclined to give them more referrals knowing the great service you the referrer is getting?

Would you feel confident your referral is being treated like gold?

Take the time to communicate and update the person that gave you the referral and let them know how the referral is progressing.



The final and most important step in the system is when the referral is finalized and paid out.

Acknowledge it again!

I would always take the time to share the love when a personal referral is closed and paid out.

A simple and powerful way of doing this is to ask an owner or manager of one of my favorite restaurants to take the time to personally phone my clients that gave me the referral and invite them to their restaurant for a time when they could come and enjoy a dining experience compliments of myself and my company in appreciation for their referral.

My clients were given the best seat in the house and treated like rock stars by the owner/manager and would always call thanking me for a great night out.

I would leave my credit card number with the restaurant and not once did they ever spend anywhere close to what I was willing to spend on their dinner.

I hope you find these ideas helpful and will always reward the referral behavior in the future.

If any of you have other creative ways in which you acknowledge your referrals and communicate how the referral is progressing, please feel free to share them below.

Strength and courage,


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