Definitive Guide to Referrals for Real Estate Agents

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If you’re looking to expand your business and tap into the power of word-of-mouth advertising, you’ve come to the right place. This ultimate guide will take you through the ins and outs of referrals for real estate agents, how to make a referral, where to find the perfect referral partner, and how to ensure you both get paid when the deal closes.

Whether you’re just becoming a real estate agent or are a seasoned professional, this guide will provide you with the know-how to advance your real estate profession. So let’s dive in and discover the power of referrals for real estate agents!

What Are Referrals in Real Estate?

In real estate, referrals refer to a real estate agent or REALTOR recommending another agent or REALTOR to a client for a specific real estate transaction. Referrals for real estate agents occur when an agent cannot assist the client due to geographical constraints, lack of specialized expertise, or any other reason.

As a business owner, any real estate agent should prioritize referrals because they offer a consistent flow of new clients and transactions that can boost income. Referrals can also help professionals establish a solid reputation in the field. A referral-based business model can benefit both the referring agent and the client. Agents can take advantage of the power of word-of-mouth marketing while clients get access to reliable agents.

One of the most significant benefits of referrals for real estate agents is that it allows agents to capitalize on the effectiveness of positive reviews. When customers are satisfied with an agent, they are more likely to tell their friends or family about them, which can bring in a consistent supply of customers.

Additionally, a referral-based business model can assist agents in developing connections with other industry experts, such as a real estate brokerage or other agents. These connections may open up opportunities for partnerships and collaborative ventures, leading to business expansion.

What Is a Real Estate Referral Agent?

A referral agent is a licensed real estate professional who plays a matchmaker between homebuyers and the most qualified agents to help them. Think of them as the dating app of the real estate world, connecting people with their perfect match.

In today’s fast-paced world, every agent should be a referral agent. All agents have clients and contacts who are relocating to places they don’t cover or might be looking for properties they don’t specialize in. Instead of turning them away, agents can connect them with the perfect REALTOR to help them locate their dream house.

Referral agents not only help their clients and contacts, but they also receive a commission if the person uses the recommended agent to purchase a home. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!

Being a referral agent is a fantastic way to build relationships and expand your network in the industry. It’s also a terrific way to guarantee that your clients and contacts receive the best service possible, even if you’re not the one doing it. Therefore, don’t be timid; embrace your role as a real estate referral agent and watch your business and reputation grow.

What Does a Referral Agent Do?

A referral agent plays a vital role in the industry by connecting real estate buyers and sellers with the right real estate professionals. They usually have a vast network of contacts, including real estate agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, home inspectors, and other professionals involved in the buying and selling process. Referral agents leverage their network to pair buyers and sellers with the right professionals who can best serve their needs.

One of the critical responsibilities of a real estate referral agent is to market their services to prospective buyers and sellers actively. They can achieve this through social media marketing, networking events, and other forms of advertising.

Referral agents also utilize tools such as CRM to keep track of their contacts, leads, and opportunities. This way, they can generate real estate leads and connect with potential clients who require an agent’s assistance.

Once a referral agent has connected with a potential client, they meet with them to understand their needs and preferences. During the meeting, they can discuss their budget, desired location, and other important factors. The agent will then utilize this data to look for homes that meet the client’s requirements.

Additionally, they provide real estate advice and guidance throughout the process, assisting the client in navigating the challenging real estate market.

How Referrals for Real Estate Agents Work

As a real estate referral agent, you act as an agent’s agent, connecting individuals with active agents. Each time a REALTOR has a client they can’t serve for whatever reason, they act as the ultimate wingman and refer this client to another agent.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re a REALTOR, and you have a client who’s moving to a new city where you currently don’t have an office. You can refer them to another agent within that area instead of turning them down. All you need to do is draw on your network of industry professionals and knowledge of the local market to match them with the best agent for their specific needs.

Once the deal closes and the client purchases a home, the referred agent will compensate you with a finder’s fee as a thank-you for your services.

Being a real estate referral agent involves more than simply earning commissions; it also entails fostering relationships and giving real estate clients and agents the best possible service. Your responsibility is to pair them up with the ideal agent and see to it that everyone enjoys the home-buying process.

So you’re interested in becoming a referral agent? Awesome! Here’s what you need to know.

Gain Referral Agent Status

First and Foremost, you’ll need to be a licensed real estate agent. To achieve this, you must complete the required education, pass your state’s real estate licensing exam, and keep up with the ongoing education requirements.

However, obtaining a real estate license is just the first step. To truly excel as a real estate referral agent, you must be thoroughly aware of the real estate industry and the local market you serve. You ought to have good experience and a strong network of contacts. A solid contact database will allow you to pair clients with the best agents for their specific needs and grow your real estate business exponentially.

Marketing and promotion are equally crucial to gain referral agent status. You will need to advertise your excellent service to clients and agents while positioning yourself as a real estate referral agent. Building a website, setting up social media accounts, and designing marketing collateral like brochures and business cards are all examples of this. Other excellent ways to market your services and raise your profile in the sector are through networking occasions, trade shows, and other marketing events.

Additionally, you’ll need a technology stack that enables you to handle your connections and clients efficiently. A good CRM is a must-have, as well as a system for tracking your referrals and commissions.

Finally, it’s crucial to have a strategy in place for your referral business. This strategy could entail making plans for your financial future and devising a plan for expanding your network of contacts.

Build Your Referral Network

Building your network is crucial to any real estate business, and your success as a referral agent boils down to networking, net weaving, and partnerships.

Networking is key. Participate in local real estate events and conferences, join trade organizations, and network with other brokers and industry experts. The larger your sphere of influence, the more potential referrals you’ll have.

Building relationships with other professions that are mutually helpful is known as net weaving. It applies to brokers, agents, house inspectors, and more. You can create a robust network of dependable professionals who will return the favor by working together and referring businesses to one another.

Creating partnerships is a terrific way to expand your network of contacts. You can reach new markets and meet new real estate clients by collaborating with other agencies, businesses, or brands.

Utilizing social media and online reviews is another strategy to expand your referral network. Use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to advertise your company and connect with potential clients. To draw in more clients, encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews of your real estate services online.

Lastly, you can use referral marketing strategies to boost your referral network. Incentivize your current clients to refer you to their family and friends by offering them referral contests.

Generate Referral Leads

Getting your name and services out there is vital to generating referrals for real estate agents. One of the best ways to achieve this is organic traffic. Content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media engagement fall under this category. Your ability to produce relevant and quality content will determine your ability to draw potential buyers who are actively looking for real estate services.

Another way to generate real estate leads is through paid traffic. Examples include direct mail campaigns and paid advertising on search engines and social media. While paid traffic can be expensive, it’s an excellent approach to reach a wider audience.

Nevertheless, don’t overlook the significance of maintaining an up-to-date client database. Keep in touch with past clients and let them know you can assist them in other situations, even if it’s out of your service area. Doing this will allow you to tap into your existing network and produce leads from people you already know and trust.

Additionally, ensure you adhere to sound sales and marketing strategies. Set up a professional website, make brochures and posters, and keep your branding consistent across all your marketing materials. From your Instagram to your business card, these things will help you create a professional image that will attract more potential clients.

Qualify Your Referral Leads

An essential phase in the referral process is qualifying referral leads. It helps you determine if the lead is a good fit for the agent you plan to refer them to.

Qualifying leads entails assessing their needs, budget, location, preferences, and timing. Taking the time to qualify leads will boost the likelihood of a successful transaction and ensure that the referral benefits the agent and the homebuyer. It also demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail. As a result, you can build trust and respect with both the lead and the agent you are referring them to.

One important aspect of qualifying referral leads is understanding their motivation for buying or selling a home. Are they looking to upgrade, downsize, or relocate for work? This information can help you match them with an agent who has specific expertise in their area of interest. For example, if a lead is looking to relocate for work, it would be beneficial to match them with an agent who has experience working with corporate relocation clients.

It’s also essential to verify the lead’s contact information and ensure they are actively searching for a home. You can do this by asking them a few questions such as when they plan to move, how they plan to finance the purchase, and whether they have a pre-approval letter. This information can help you determine if the lead is serious about buying or selling a home and if they are a good fit for the agent you plan to refer them to.

Another critical step in qualifying leads is to check their credit score and financial situation. This information can help you assess if the lead can afford a home and if they are likely to be approved for a mortgage.

Lastly, it’s essential to note any special requirements or preferences the lead might have, such as a specific location, home style, or certain amenities. It will make it easier for you to match them with an agent who has expertise in the area and can find a home that meets their needs.

Find the Right REALTOR To Refer the Person to

Another crucial step in the referral process is choosing the proper REALTOR to send a lead to. Real estate referral agents need to have a strong network of real estate experts they can rely on to treat their leads with the utmost respect.

It’s vital to consider the agent’s expertise and experience in the specific area or type of property that the lead is looking for. If a lead is looking for a luxury home, you should refer them to an agent who specializes in luxury properties and has a track record of successful transactions in that market. Similarly, if a lead is looking for property in a particular neighborhood, you should refer them to an agent with a strong presence and knowledge of that area.

An excellent approach to this is working with agents you’ve had a good experience with. You can also ask for referrals from other professionals in the field, such as attorneys, mortgage brokers, and home inspectors. These experts frequently collaborate with real estate agents and can provide valuable insight into who would be the best fit for your lead.

You can utilize various resources to ensure that you’re referring your leads to the best agent for the job. The exP Realty Agent Directory is a fantastic resource for identifying the best agent to direct your lead to. The exP Consumer Technology Team created this directory and integrated it into the exP Enterprise platform. You can use it along with other tools to locate the ideal agent for your lead because it gives you the most recent and accurate information about agents.

In addition to these resources, you should interview potential agents to evaluate their communication style, degree of competence, and track record. You can be sure you are sending your leads to an agent with the knowledge and abilities to provide them with the most outstanding service.

Manage Referrals

Managing referrals as a real estate referral agent is essential to maintaining a successful referral-based business model. Providing excellent service to referred clients is crucial for ensuring positive recommendations and maintaining a good reputation.

One way to ensure this is by tracking and organizing referrals in a CRM or other system. Keeping in touch with referred clients enables you to remain at the top of their minds for potential future business.

Communication is another key component in managing referrals as a real estate referral agent. For a transaction to be successful, you must stay in touch with the real estate clients you have referred and the agents you have recommended them to.

To do this, you have to give regular updates on the transaction’s progress and avail yourself to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. Providing excellent communication throughout the process will help you build trust with both parties leading to repeat business and positive recommendations.

Additionally, it is vital to have a clear understanding of the commission structure and compensation for real estate referrals. Before making a referral, ensure you fully comprehend and agree with the terms and conditions, as they can differ from state to state or agent to agent.

Using technology to manage referrals can also streamline the procedure and increase transparency. For example, exP Realty offers an Agent Referrals system at, which allows you to manage and track your referrals in one place.

This system offers advantages such as easy communication with the referred agent, automatic commission tracking, and the ability to view the status of your referrals in real time. You can create a solid referral-based business model and satisfy your clients by handling your recommendations well.


Here are some frequently asked questions on referrals for real estate agents.

How do real estate referrals work?

Referrals for real estate agents involve connecting homebuyers or sellers with a real estate agent through a referral agent, who earns referral fees if the transaction goes through.

How can I find agents to refer clients to if I don’t know agents in the area?

You can locate agents to recommend to clients through networking or connecting with professionals in the field on Facebook and professional groups. Alternatively, you can use the exP Agent Directory at

How can I send real estate agents referrals?

To recommend a referral to a real estate agent, draft a referral agreement and use electronic signatures to sign the document. Ask your broker for any recommendations or guidelines on this.

What are the best ways to get referrals in real estate?

The best referral marketing techniques include referral programs, expanding your sphere of influence, leveraging social media and online reviews, delivering exemplary service, and offering clients referral contests.

How do you start a real estate referral agent network?

You can start a real estate agent referral network by networking with other agents, building a contact database, and utilizing referral marketing strategies.

How do you succeed in real estate and get referrals?

You should concentrate on offering outstanding service, developing a solid reputation, and utilizing referral marketing tactics if you want to be successful in real estate and receive referrals.

What is a typical referral percentage?

The percentage of referrals for real estate agents fluctuates often and can range anywhere from 20-35%. However, this percentage can change based on the terms reached by the referring agent and the real estate agent to whom they are referring the client.

Some referral agreements may include a flat fee instead of a percentage.

How can I attract referrals?

Stay in touch with past real estate clients and offer incentives for referrals. Additionally, you can get referrals via networking with other professionals in the field and building relationships with them. You can also directly request referrals from clients and make it easy for them by giving them referral cards or an online referral form.

What are the most resourceful referral programs?

Some of the most resourceful real estate referral companies and programs for real estate agents include:

  • Cash or Gift Card Referral programs – Offer cash or gift card rewards to customers who refer new businesses.
  • Product or Service referral programs – Offer discounts or free products or services to clients who give you referrals.
  • Affiliate Referral Programs – Allow customers to earn commissions by referring new businesses to your company.
  • Loyalty Referral Programs – Reward customers who refer new businesses with points or status within a loyalty program.
  • Community Referral Programs – Encourage customers to refer friends and family within their local community.
  • Employee Referral Programs – Reward employees for referring new hires
  • Refer-a-friend Programs – Encourage customers to refer friends and family through an easy-to-use referral platform.

How do you structure a referral agreement?

A referral agreement should clearly outline the terms of the referral, including the referral fee and any other compensation. It should also outline any conditions or obligations of the parties involved.

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