7 No-fail Referral Ideas

March 1, 2004

Here’s some welcome news: 44 percent of buyers choose a salesperson based on the recommendation of a friend, neighbor, or family member. To increase referrals:

  1. Give past clients two coupon books, each offering a free consultation with you about the real estate topic of their choice—adding curb appeal, sprucing up the interior before a sale, learning the top remodeling projects in your market. Ask them to pass one of the books to a family member, friend, or colleague.
  2. Raise your media profile. Write a regular column for an area newspaper, host a call-in radio show about hot real estate topics, or teach a course at a local college.
  3. Host an hors d’oeuvres-and-drinks appreciation night at a favorite restaurant. Ask your contacts to invite a friend, colleague, or relative. Give away goodie bags imprinted with your name, company, phone, e-mail, and Web address.
  4. Take up a new hobby or enroll in a course. It’s a great way to meet future clients. Possibilities: a book club, group dancing lessons, or acomputer or cooking class.
  5. Sponsor a children’s sports team. Don’t just pay for jerseys imprinted with your company name. Help coach so that you get to know the parents and the kids.
  6. Network with allied professionals. Mortgage lenders, builders, developers, architects, interior decorators, and kitchen and bath designers all are good referral sources—and they’ll appreciate referrals from you, too.
  7. Host a housewarming party for recent buyers at which you cook, serve, and clean up.

Sources: 2003 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and REALTOR® Magazine Online