Nelson Notes: The Referral of a Lifetime

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

Nelson Notes: The Referral of a Lifetime



Nelson Notes


Thomas J. Nelson Realtor


Welcome to my notebook, where I share the highlights from the books I read and notes taken while in live trainings & on webinars. I feature a lot of the books I’ve read and that I recommend as worth your while to read. Givers gain, so I’m sharing the good stuff, that it may impact and improve your life in some way. It’s A Good Life!



The Referral Of A Lifetime

By Tim Templeton

Originally Penned: 11/07/2007, Updated 7/7/2018


The Referral of a Lifetime

I have read this book at least once per year since I discovered it back in 2003. It’s a wonderful story told as a simple modern-day parable and it just sucks you in. Well, if you work relationally it does. If you are given to working transactionally, (then you need this more) but likely it won’t appeal.


This is a system and essentially you need to adopt it and put your personal brand on it when you deliver it. You need to be authentically you, while executing on the principles of this simple, but effective system. It builds a lifetime value of “buyer”-loyalty through relationships and avoids the “shoppers” associated with transactional behavior i.e. cold calling or buying leads.



This book begs the inwardly focused questions:

  • Do you like yourself?
  • Do you want to become more of you, refining the gifts you’ve been given?            (Become a better, genuine YOU).
  • Do you believe in your product/service and business?
  • Are you willing to stay the course? Never quit?


“If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.”-Unknown

Have a plan. Plan for success so you are ready when it arrives. It rarely warns you it’s coming, so be ready. Planning when it arrives is too late!

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


“Success is a goal with a deadline.” 


referral of a lifetime



The Right Combination for Success:

1. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you, in fact it’s beyond that, it’s who your clients (and strategic partners) know.

2. Build your sphere (database/CRM). Sort and Qualify it often. Focus on them, what they do and what they need. It’s not about you and your agenda.

How do you focus your limited time then, when you know so many people; have so many clients and networking partners? You Sort & qualify your database e.g. Your CRM.


(Since Tim was a former partner and co-founder of Providence Systems with Brian Buffini, which he left over 20 years ago and Brian went on to form Buffini & Company I'll add some notes not in the book : A+ = advocates, people who refer you a lot)
A-clients people who do refer you and have done business with you.

B-clients would refer you given the chance to and when taught how to (by you).
C-clients, new to the database, need a chance to grow the relationship.
D-DELETE these people, because they will never refer you, they do not even remember you when you call, or they are simply toxic personalities.

(not in the book but we include D = Do Not Market as people that we want in our CRM, but do not spend money on as far as marketing them e.g. a great tradesman that you want your clients to use, but he’s married to a Realtor and will never refer you a client over his wife).

3. “Just let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.”
This is a state of mind, not a script. You must mean it. Be prepared to do it.
Put the relationship first! Your relationship with your clients and strategic partners
are more important than your product/service. You are not a hit n run, you are a resource for a lifetime. Find out how your clients want to be served. Explain how you
work and how you will bring value to them through regular, tangible
action…performed without fail.

4 Keep in touch! On a regular basis and personally. Personal notes, phone calls, pop-by’s and emails.


What is a referral? It’s somebody putting their name and reputation to you! It’s when others brag (advocate) about you and your product or service. They educate others about you, so you do not have to.

You in turn uphold the trust they’ve put into you, the trust that brings you together with their database.

You must keep in touch with your clients for this to happen, or they will not only neglect to do this for you, they will forget about you. Stay in touch by putting the relationship first and living and working within the Golden Rule.



“It’s not what you say about yourself that people believe, it’s what others say about you that they believe.” -Tim Templeton


One of my Takeaways from this book: Trust & Exercise Your Gifts, They Are Enough!


“I’m in the business of being comfortable with who I am, so I’m able to help others achieve what they want/need to get or get to where they need to go.”

This is about running your business from the High Ground, because it takes the High Road to get there through habits, competence and character. Habits make us who we are. The require a plan, discipline and consistency of execution to deliver success.


BONUS: 3 Magic Questions for breaking the Ice with new contacts.

  1. What is it you do? (Tell me more)
  2. What do you enjoy most about doing it? (Tell me more)
  3. If you could start over, knowing what you know now, what would your day look like? (Tell me more)


Tim Templeton is chairman and CEO of MasterTrack International Inc., a training and specialty publishing organization based in San Diego, California. MasterTrack specializes in training, supporting, and coaching corporate and independent instructors, as well as individuals and companies in its High Ground Business Principles and System. Tim is a founder of Always Positive, a company that provides sales training and sales and marketing tools dedicated to making measurable differences for their clients. Little known fact: he was a founding partner of Brian Buffini’s Providence Systems in Carlsbad, Ca. over 20 years ago; no longer affiliated.

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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds 07/23/2018 05:00 AM
Real Estate Best Practices
sales training
san diego
brian buffini
real estate
the referral of a lifetime
thomas j nelson realtor
networking and business tips
ken blanchard series
tim templeton

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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Thomas. This description makes the book sound very appealing.

Jul 08, 2018 09:34 AM #1
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great advice on becoming a better you!!!

Have a plan. Plan for success so you are ready when it arrives. It rarely warns you it’s coming, so be ready. Planning when it arrives is too late!

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.




“Success is a goal with a deadline.” 

Jul 08, 2018 09:37 AM #2
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Hello Thomas J. Nelson,

I love a good book summary! I had not heard of this one before.  Thanks for the insight.

Jul 08, 2018 09:45 AM #3
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Thomas - I am putting this book on my reading list.  I love the theme.

Jul 08, 2018 10:01 AM #4
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Hi Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D 

I will have to order this book on Amazon. My favorite is "Who Moved the Cheese"

Jul 08, 2018 12:06 PM #5
PropertyMinder (AccelerAgent)
PropertyMinder, Inc. - San Jose, CA
Modern Tools for the Modern Agent

Nelson Notes is not only a catchy, succinct marketing undertaking to educate and empower folks, it is very generous of you to share the wealth of knowledge you acquire doing your research and readings. Congratulations to you, Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D! I look forward to more of your epic notes! You rock. - Tim

Jul 12, 2018 06:59 PM #6
PropertyMinder (AccelerAgent)
PropertyMinder, Inc. - San Jose, CA
Modern Tools for the Modern Agent

Very nice, Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D! Looking forward to reading more. - Tim 

Jul 13, 2018 10:27 AM #7
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I had no idea you had these Notes. I knew you were talented and now I know a deeper you.

Jul 14, 2018 04:56 PM #8
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

You made me smile. I am going to reblog this.

Jul 22, 2018 02:37 PM #9
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Wise words and a great addition to any agent's library !

Jul 23, 2018 06:19 AM #10
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D - I can see why you get inspired every time you read "The Referral of a Lifetime". It sounds like a wonderful reboot to enhance your path. 

Jul 23, 2018 07:22 AM #11
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Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets

& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast
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