Ten Tips to Being a Good Refer-ee (that is - one who receives referrals from other real estate agents)

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I've been doing a lot of referring these days. Both of my own leads to other Denver-area agents, and also coordinating agent-to-agent referrals around the country (see below if you wanna play, too!).

I'm seeing some distinct differences in how my referrals are handled by the refer-ee, and I tell ya, the ones who handle them better are far more likely to see more from me than those who don't!Referral

Remember that the refering agent probably has some concerns about you. He's worried that you'll forget you owe him a referral fee. That you'll make him look bad by treating the client poorly. That you'll drop the ball with the client and cost the refer-er his referral fee. That you'll resent paying the referral fee when all is said and done. Stuff like that. Reasonable? Maybe not, but I promise you, it's going thru his head.

So, if you'd like to ensure that your first referral from an agent isn't your last - here are some tips...

1.  Be appreciative! I mean, sincerely, enthusiastically, over-the-top appreciative. As if this referral is the most generous thing anyone's ever done for you.

2.  On the other hand, if you aren't the right (wo)man for the job, disclose that upfront, and offer the name of someone who is. Your helpfulness will be remembered.

3.  Contact the client right away - duh!

4.  LET THE REFER-ER KNOW YOU CONTACTED THE CLIENT (right away) and share all the juicy details of the conversation (within proper privacy limits, of course).

5.  Tell the refer-er how much you enjoyed talking with the client and thank him or her again for the referral.

6.  Keep the refer-er updated on your activities with the client. Let him know when your listing appointment is scheduled or your first showing takes place. As you make progress toward the closing table, let the refer-er know. Be sure to contact the refer-er as soon as the transaction closes.

7.  DO NOT complain about the client or imply in any way that you're working harder than you usually do for her (which might be interpreted as the beginnings of referral-fee-resentment).

8.  If it turns out the the client isn't ready to buy or sell right now, don't fuss about wasting your time and stay in touch with her, and the refer-ee.

9.  Sign and return the referral agreement immediately. No excuses.

10. And of course, knock yourself out impressing the sox off this referred client. Not only will this bring you future business and referrals from the client, but also from the refer-er.


Refer with Confidence~

Speaking of referrals, I just fired up my SWS Referral Network, which is an agent-to-agent referral resource for those who have bought into the Sell with Soul philosophies. It's been live for a few weeks now and we've already placed a dozen or so referrals.

What, exactly, is a "Sell with Soul philosophy"? Ahhhh, glad you asked. Here's an excerpt of the announcement that went out to my mailing list that should give you an idea:

"The SWS message is getting around. That's sweeeeet. Not only for me (yeah, I'm an ego-maniac), but also for those who believe in that message. That real estate agents should be respectful of their clients instead of insulting to their intelligence. That real estate agents should take care of their current clients before pursuing new ones. That real estate agents should <gasp> know a thing or two about selling real estate before they pursue and accept payment for doing so. 

And, to cap it all off, if real estate agents respect their clients, serve them well and know what the heck they're doing, they'll be rewarded with plenty of business for years to come.  

I've created a directory of SWS'ers so y'all can happily refer to each other and keep the karma flowing. If you're interested in being a member of the SWS Referral Network, go here to read more. It's not a slam-dunk-fill-in-your-name-and-contact-information and you're in. No, I feel pretty strongly about keeping the network honest, populated only by true SWS'ers who have drunk the Kool-Aid. Yeah, I can discriminate - it's my network. That doesn't mean you have to agree with everything I say, just the most important stuff!

And, while I can't force it on you ;-] it's helpful if you've read my book(s). (which, by the way, are all 50% off this weekend - see below)  

Can I guarantee you a steady stream of business if you join the Network? Nope. You may never see a dime from your participation. So, I'm not charging upfront to join. However, in keeping with our industry's contingency-based compensation model, I am asking for a 5% piece of the action if an SWS-inspired referral goes to closing. Hope that's cool with you.   If so, please go ahead and check out the details!"


p.s. I'm having a huge sale at my bookstore this weekend that will not be repeated or extended. If you're interested in picking up some SWS stuff at a steep discount, shoot me an email and ask for the SECRET CODE. The sale starts today (Friday) and goes through next Wednesday.


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob Murphy 09/04/2009 11:52 AM
More Referrals: Strategies & Tips on Getting More Referrals
Rookies Turning Pro
Selling Soulfully
Art of Professional Salesmanship
Real Estate Professionals
referral network
sphere of influence
all blogs

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Naoma Doriguzzi
Virginia Beach - Virginia Beach, VA
New Media Director

Great tips! As a mortgage professional I refer alot of business too and it is good to know what the status is even if it doesn't turn into a deal.

Sep 04, 2009 01:13 AM #1
Dick and Dixie Sells
Sells Real Estate, LLC - Trinity, FL
Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale

Hi Jennifer, we just signed up with the network. Thanks for the opportunity.

Dick and Dixie Sells

Sep 04, 2009 01:24 AM #2
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Naoma - I can't tell you how appreciative I am when my refer-ee contacts me with updates without my having to ask!

Dick & Dixie - Nice to have you on board!!!

Sep 04, 2009 01:25 AM #3
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

Good morning, Jennifer. I just subscribed to your blog yesterday. Count me in; I'm on my way to sign up. Having been screwed out of a referral fee, I know how maddening and frustrating it feels when it's done wrong, so I go out of my way to do it right. I was grateful for a referral last week from an agent in California; the customer felt that this are was too rural for her so it didn't turn into a sale but I covered all ten of your points above!

Sep 04, 2009 01:56 AM #4
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

A great "top 10" list!  My pet peeve is not hearing from the referee! I probably lean too much the other way, LOL, with updates, but I want to know what is going on when I send out a referral.  Not so I can "track the money" but because I want to know what ultimately happened with the client.

When I refer out and then don't hear another word, I say "next" and move on to the next agent on my list.  You are dead on!

Sep 04, 2009 02:17 AM #5
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent


Great post.  Those are definitely great tips for handling a referral.

Thanks for sharing,


Sep 04, 2009 02:32 AM #7
Monica Bourgeau
New Phase Business Coaching - Portland, OR
Business Coaching

Jennifer -thanks for the tips, I wish everyone handled our referrals that way! We've made some great connections here on ActiveRain though for referrals.

Sep 04, 2009 04:48 AM #8
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

We are doing a lot of referals now too, thankfully, and what you are saying makes a ton of sense. I use the example here of a referal we passed on andh eard nothing. My agents know how that makes us feel . So we try not to duplicate this bad service to the other agent.

Sep 04, 2009 07:18 AM #9
Sherry Siegel, Managing Broker, EcoBroker, ABR
BrokersGroup, serving Sequim and Port Angeles - Sequim, WA

Very-nice-and-to-the-point POST. I did receive a referral from an agent on AR. We got the paperwork done as soon as I could verify the agent's location (in transit from one branch to another). Per the clients, kept advice and discussion to a minimum until they were ready to fly up and find a property. I put together notebooks of the various properties we would tour, including associated documents if available online, county information, selling history of the property. Clients were impressed. They decided not to buy at this time due to family reasons. I will keep in touch with them, as it may take a few years. I notified the referrer. Have never heard back from that agent. Now, about that link to your books...

Sep 04, 2009 06:53 PM #10
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Jennifer - I am hoping to get more and more referrals out of Active Rain.  So far, I have just referred a seller to another agent.  It worked out great, and I can't wait to do it again.  Would prefer to get a referral next time though.

Sep 04, 2009 08:28 PM #11
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Sherry - just send me an email - jennifer@jenniferallan.net - and I'll give you the SECRET CODE for my 50% off sale.

It's funny, as I read thru my ten tips, I realize I'm not always perfect, either (oh my!). What's hardest for me is remembering to keep the refer-er in the loop as the transaction progresses. But, being on the other side of referrals, I now see how important it is to how I feel about the person I referred to, especially in the beginning.

Sep 05, 2009 12:03 AM #12
Nancy Kent
RE/MAX Hill & Valley - Granby, MA
RE/MAX Hill & Valley, Western Mass

Great tips Jennifer! On my way to SWS Referral Network to learn more! Thanks!

Sep 05, 2009 04:09 PM #13
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

11. Send them a copy of the HUD 1 form.
That's why they call it Tuesday,


Sep 07, 2009 10:53 PM #14
Sharon Senger
tcDocs - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator


This is great advice not only for real estate agents but for anyone who receives a referral.  We all love to receive a referral but not everyone knows how to handle them, now they do.


Sep 09, 2009 02:51 AM #15
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Great tips. It's frustrating when you send someone a referral and all they do is complain about the customer.  OK so they ended up buying something that got you half the commission you were hoping for - that's what this business is all about and you suck it up, do a good job....

Nov 22, 2009 10:40 PM #16
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