Are you Getting Enough Referrals? Try This.

Real Estate Agent with Serving Mentor, and all of Lake County, Ohio

It seems that a week doesn't go by without someone on Active Rain coming up with some whiz-bang idea for getting referrals. 

Is the answer Meet-Ups?

Some fancy restaurant, perhaps?  Maybe a group of five, or ten, or more.  Lots of pictures... lots of food.

Everyone is just jabbering with whomever they can get to listen about how they "love referrals."  Some folks even have little heart-shaped stickers that say "I Love Referrals."

As Brian Buffini once said at one of his seminars... "I love potatoes, too... but nobody has ever stopped me on the street and given me a potato."

I know... that was pretty silly-sounding, but it's really true.

So... is getting together with a small group of five or ten folks best?

Here's an idea.  An OLD idea.  How about a group of ONE?

Just yourself and one person.  He or She can be a previous customer, a member of your current Sphere of Influence, or Sphere of Relationships.  Or, someone you bumped into at the grocery store yesterday.

One... On... One.

Nothing fancy.  No huge meal.  No getting stuffed... OR getting bored.  Just meet "one-on-one."  Just about anywhere will do.  What comes to mind is places like Panera Bread, Corner Bakery, La Madeleine, or even good ol' Starbucks.

Just think.  If you, (or I, for that matter) could get-together with just one other person three mornings or afternoons a week... for the next fifty-two weeks... just think about how many personal referrals that could bring you.

You might say... "Heck... one full year?  That's an awful long time.  How am I gonna do that?"

Well... just think.  If you had started getting together with just one person for coffee or tea every few days... for the last fifty-two weeks... right now you would have more personal referrals coming your way than you could possibly handle.

Just think about it.

Now:  Are you Getting Enough Referrals?

Comments (22)

Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

somewhat large gatherings can be a waste of time but pick a past client or otherwise and spend some time with them. Try to make sure they have a job with a ton of fellow employees or other connections. Then use this strategy.

Jul 31, 2013 06:35 AM
Karen Deis - Minneapolis, MN
When In-house training is not enough!

Wow, that would be 156 people in one year. 

Most people don't meet one-on-one with that many people in 3 years!

thanks for sharing.

Jul 31, 2013 06:36 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I ran the largest network of dermatology and plastic surgery centers in the the proverbial end of the day, 85% of new patients came from referral....

Jul 31, 2013 06:39 AM
Debra Hight
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Houston, TX
Debra Hight

Great suggestion Carolyn.  You're a mentor in Mentor. I'm sure you've heard that so many times it makes you sick, but I couldn't resist. I have a firm grasp of the obvious.

Jul 31, 2013 06:42 AM
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

That's a really good idea. Small enough to remember and implement, large enough to work if done consistently.

Jul 31, 2013 07:40 AM
Debbie Waitley

As usual, the best ideas are often the simple ones. I think that it is a great, cost effective idea and I plan to implement it.  Thank you!

Jul 31, 2013 08:28 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

A great plan for anyone with a local business to promote. 

Jul 31, 2013 09:05 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!
Carolyn - thanks for illustrating that our business is all about relationships. It seems so simple to get together a few times per week but most of us (me included) somehow convince ourselves we're too busy or "just didn't get around to it". Great wake-up call!
Jul 31, 2013 09:15 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Carolyn, this is a good tip and reminder of how much fun it is to meet up with friends, acquaintances and past clients one on one.

Jul 31, 2013 10:01 AM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

So simple and such a great idea. Really, thank you!

Jul 31, 2013 10:02 AM
Elizabeth Y. Foulds
Long & Foster Real Estate - Saint Michaels, MD
Your St Michaels Realtor

Carolyn, great post.  Our business is truly relationships. Today, I took my car to the garage and saw a client whose home I sold 10 years ago.  We arranged to meet for lunch and gave her my card.  The gent sitting beside her also asked me for me card.  Then the sales representative who had been very helpful also asked for my card (he is planning to sell!!).  Of course, he gave me his card in case I decided to purchase a new car.  After leaving the garage, I visited WalMart and met up with another acquaintance and we agreed to have lunch together.  I love going for lunch and this system works well for me.  I did the Buffini System when I was a new agent and it was extremely helpful getting started in the business.

Jul 31, 2013 11:17 AM
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

This is a great tip Carolyn.  It is so simple and easy to try out.  Even if it doesn't work for some, they are only out a few dollars, as opposed to, many hundreds on a marketing piece that may not work.  I'm a fan of the 'belly to belly' style of interaction. Thank you for the advice, which I will now make a priority.

Jul 31, 2013 11:24 AM
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner
Travis Realty - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

I've read to do that, but just have a really hard time. It's just my personal idiosyncrasy. Need to work on it!

Jul 31, 2013 12:20 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Carolyn:  Very smart message.  Each of us could use that nudge to pick up the phone by simply connecting with past clients.  You just never know!

Jul 31, 2013 02:05 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

We combine our "touches" on one...which may or may not include a well as groups, mailings, etc. Picking up the phone....any connection enhances top of mind awareness of who we are and what we do.

Jul 31, 2013 08:13 PM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Carolyn we love the post, but how do we get long distance referrals since most of our buyers are not in Florida?

Aug 01, 2013 04:36 AM
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

What a great idea - so simple and cost effective.  The personal touch is still the one that counts the most when it comes to your sphere.

Aug 04, 2013 05:46 AM
Christine Sutherland
The Lifeworks Group Pty Ltd - Copake Falls, NY

Absolutely love this Carolyn - it only ever happens one on one, so all those folk who stalk networking events and swap business cards are really fooling themselves big time.

Bob Miller from the Ruiz/Miller Team, you actually have a lot of options. You can bet that people who have already bought into Florida will have friends and family who'd love very much to join them.

So you can begin asking "who might you know who lives out of State but would love to come and live in Florida to be near friends and family?" (For example.)

You can do this one-on-one live in Florida, and you can do it via phone or Skype with people long distance.

It's firstly about the relationship, and then about the skill/knowledge behind the questions.

Aug 05, 2013 06:49 PM
Nancy Hankin
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants - Palm Springs, CA

I was reading the responses to Carolyn's Blog and I just did a double take, actually it was a triple take. Has Dr. Paddy Deighan become a Realtor? From Plastic Surgery to Real Estate.......very interesting! LOL

Aug 06, 2013 02:07 PM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

One on one is the best. You have to commit the time, but it pays off.

Jan 12, 2014 12:27 AM