Maximizing Your Referral and Repeat Business.-Part 1

Industry Observer

When you meet a new client, it's highly advisable to sit down with them and go over a list of qualifying and segmenting questions. Having a form prepared for such purposes, will save you a lot of running around and questioning down the road. It will also allow you to channel them into a select group for actions that meet their current needs. 

The following is a list of the basic questions we should all be addressing as an initiatory step when beginning to work with a new client/customer :

  • Name and Address
  • Telephone number (s), fax number and email
  • Selling or Buying ?
  • Time frame (eg. 0-3 months,0-6 months,  6-12 months, 12 months+)
  • How do they prefer that you communicate with them? eg. by phone, email, etc
  • Are they presently working with a REALTOR® ? (this should be one of your very first questions at initial contact with any new prospective client)
  • Have you worked with a REALTOR® before and how was your experience?
  • How they found out about you eg. referral, website, etc
  • Are they familiar with the buying/selling process?
  • Are there any other parties that will be involved with the decision making process eg. parents, partner, etc.
  • Price range
  • Have they been pre-qualified through a lender?
  • Property search criteria
  • Reasons for selling/buying.

Prepare a standard form that categorizes each question above and have it filled out at the beginning of each new client relationship you embark on. File it in the appropriate group (eg. 0-3 months, 0-6 months, etc) both in your computer files as well as including a hard copy in a group binder format.
The form, if created in WORD format ,  may be emailed to your prospects if they live too far to come in for an introductory meeting.
They are then able to fill it out via their computer and email it back to you.

Once you have determined if the prospect is a serious buyer/seller or not, you can then proceed to a more detailed 'client profile' form.

The more detailed client profile form should contain the following sections to be filled out by your new client:

  • Home phone, work phone, cell phone
  • employer
  • job title
  • neighbourhoods /areas preferred
  • types of  property that will be considered (eg. detached, condo, etc)
  • #bedrooms required
  • #bathrooms required
  • square footage desired
  • list of features desired/required (eg. A/C, Fireplace, Garage, etc)
  • Lot size preferred and amenities desired (eg. treed, fenced, etc)
  • Pet's name
  • Chidren's names and ages
  • List of Interests and Hobbies with checkmarks for each that apply  (eg. movies, travel, nature, gardening, sports, etc)~useful for closing gifts, marketing pieces, etc.
  • At the bottom of the form there should be an area for you, the sales representative, to fill out the closing date on the property they buy/sell through you , their new address and their new phone number.

The above steps, that you take at the beginning of working with a new client/customer, will alleviate the expenditure of time, money and energy during the process of assisting them in buying/selling property and keep you organized, efficient and better able to focus on the job at hand. Your client will also experience a more smooth and easy transaction process and have greater confidence and trust in you due to your  attention to detail and organizational skills.

Important Update Regarding Privacy Legislation in Canada and Requirements of Real Estate Sales Representatives Before Collecting Information: Please Read the following two comments taken from Below~


"When you get to that more detailed client profile, don't forget that in Canada you must have the client's permission to collect and keep their detailed personal information. Also you are also responsible that it's kept secure. This applies not only to your records at the office, but also to any client's records you keep at home.

For more see:"

11/23/2007 by Larry Estabrooks, Independent Agent, REALTOR®

Good morning, Larry ...  Thanks for stopping by and for your excellent reminder! 

You're completely correct about  the requirement to discuss privacy legislation with our clients here in Canada. I begin each new client relationship by telling my prospect that the information they are giving me will be used strictly for the task at hand and will not be sold or given away to anyone for any purposes. I explain to them why it is important for them to be aware of it (ie. Canada's privacy laws) and then I give them one of my company's Privacy Brochures:

before I proceed to ask the questions on the form.







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There You ARE!  I've Been Waiting For You!!!
Let's Get to Know One-Another:

Comments (77)

David Yeoman
Mortgage Intelligence Inc. (David Yeoman) - Barrie, ON
I have a PIEDA FORM signed on each and every transaction.  In fact a copy of the form in located on each member of my Team's profile page, part of our Team's website which the client must download, sign and fax to the Consultant before we can proceed with their transaction.
Nov 29, 2007 02:47 AM
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe - Birmingham, AL
Jo, this is some great information. We realized here recently that we had neglected to do the second form with all of our SOI and past clients so we have decided to "update our files" and gather this information. Knowing that second set of information really helps you bond with someone and does increase your referrability.
Nov 29, 2007 04:09 AM
Tom Plant - Murrieta, CA
Jo - This is simply a wonderful tool. Thanks for the time you invested in this.
Nov 29, 2007 08:46 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Dave,   
The PIEDA form being a part of the webpage sounds like a great idea. Having it filled out in advance directly by the client is also an excellent business practice.  Thanks for stopping by ,


Nov 29, 2007 10:21 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hello Stephen,
That's a great idea to go to your past clients and fill out the second you another reason to contact them too.
Relationships are all about connecting and knowing things about people. Gathering these basic facts on people certainly will show a greater interest in who they are and that you care.

Thanks for your appreciative comment and for visiting this post,



Nov 29, 2007 10:24 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Tom P.,

Thanks for stopping by and for your appreciative comment.
These forms are one of the things I've been taught to do over the years through various in-house training and Royal Lepage courses.   It's a great idea for brand new agents to take up right from the start.


Nov 29, 2007 09:17 PM
Sheila Goulart Siegel
Synergy Financial Group, Inc. - Mission Viejo, CA
Great post and information Jo-Anne!
Nov 30, 2007 08:34 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Sheila,

Thanks so much for your appreciation and for stopping by this post,



Dec 01, 2007 08:18 AM
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Jo-Anne..Thanks for your post, I need to update my office systems, and add to my list like yours.

Thanks,, have an awesome day!

Dec 02, 2007 06:48 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Fred !

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad to hear you're able to get some use out of this post .  So you have snow out your way....WoW !!

Have a great and successful week,


Dec 02, 2007 08:54 AM
David Tapley
Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties - Mountain Brook, AL

Great information, Jo.  Having all of the information in one place will make the accumulation of the data easier.  One of the items I also attempt to get is the mortgage company contact information.  Sometimes the customers/clients forget to tell you that they are pre-approved with the seller paying all of the closing costs or some other "gotcha" that can be a financing deal breaker if not known before making an offer!!

 I've moved the info into a word file and will begin using it immediately.

 Thanks and keep up the great work on ActiveRain.

Dec 04, 2007 12:05 PM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Good morning David,

Thank you for visiting this post and for your very nice comment.  ((-:

Also, thank you for telling me about this ...I always have the contact info for the lenders of my buyers, however I had never thought before that being pre-approved could be contingent on the seller paying the closing costs...I've never heard of that being done around here.
Is this a common practice in your area?



Dec 05, 2007 01:43 AM
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
Jo-Anne, I have similar forms I've used for several years.  Couldn't do without them  Great post.
Dec 05, 2007 12:02 PM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Good morning Kay,

Thanks for visiting this post and for your appreciative comment; I hope your week is going along smoothly and successfully,


Dec 05, 2007 11:09 PM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Terry,

Thanks so much for stopping by this post and for your appreciative comment,


Dec 10, 2007 12:07 PM
Josh and Jenn McKnight Team
Keller Williams Real Estate - Horsham, PA
Thanks for the great information
Dec 17, 2007 01:35 PM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this info will come in handy for you,


Dec 18, 2007 02:11 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Thanks for the great list. It will help me get organized.
Dec 20, 2007 06:31 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Wayne !

Thanks so kindly for dropping by and for your nice comment. I'm glad to hear this list will be of some use to you,


Dec 20, 2007 11:39 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Steven !

Thanks for stopping by and for your appreciative comment. Best to you in your office downtown and I'll keep you in mind for Toronto referrals.


Dec 26, 2007 06:20 AM