If you ask most agents, they’ll tell you a large percentage of their business comes from past clients or referrals.

That does, in fact, seem to be the case, according to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

  • 89 percent of buyers said they would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others
  • 85 percent of sellers said they would definitely or probably recommend their agent
  • 64 percent of sellers used an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor or relative, or one they had previously used
  • 42 percent of buyers used an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor or relative
  • The typical seller has recommended their agent twice since selling their home, while 33 percent have recommended their agent three or more times

Experienced agents typically have a tried-and true-method on how to ask clients for referrals, but for new agents or ones looking for more ideas, here are six proven tips to help keep clients coming back for more.

1. Be Kind the First Time Around

The single best piece of advice to get a second round of business is to do a great job the first time. A survey conducted by Massachusetts Real Estate News showed the biggest complaint from recent buyers about their realtor is the lack of communication.

There are things you can do to really stand out during the home-buying process and to keep yourself organized so you always return a voicemail and always get to appointments on time.

Software is available that allows agents and brokers to share information and the paperwork processes directly with clients. Keeping them in the loop alleviates their stress and they’ll remember this relief when it’s time to buy another property.

2. Phone Home

Try to personally contact each of your past clients every 90 days to ensure you stay fresh in their minds. If you have a massive client base, try to at least contact the top 50 in a timely manner. Many agents will check in via email or through social media and while this can be effective, a phone call is much more intimate.

3. Reach Out and Touch Someone

Reach out to your satisfied customers and ask them for information about friends, family or business associates in need of a quality agent. This will have a snowball effect on your lead generation; more satisfied clients will produce a higher quantity of leads funneling into your business.

4. Happy Anniversary

Remembering birthdays and special dates is important in our personal lives, and the same applies to the real estate business. Send anniversary cards or small gifts to clients on the anniversary date of their home purchase. Even small gestures go a long way in the client’s mind and your name will pop up when somebody asks for a referral.

RELATED: Three ideas to stay on a clients’ mind and get referrals >

5. Utilize Social Media

All of us are on social media in one capacity or another, and sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest should be used as a platform to regularly interact with clients on a daily basis.

Make sure to “friend” or “follow” current and past clients. Post local news, market trends and informative articles directly to your social media base. If you are consistent and professional, you can start building a base of return customers and referrals.

6. Make House Calls

Just because doctors stopped doing business in homes doesn’t mean the practice won’t be effective for your real estate business. Try to arrange a friendly home visit with top clients at least once a year.

Some successful agents make follow-up visits a few days after the buyers move into their new home to see how they’re handling the new transition. Putting that little bit of effort to be personable will keep you in their minds when it’s time to buy their next home.


Are you looking for tools that will help you win more clients? Learn more about how ShowingTime products can help you ease your burden, save you time and enhance your business.