How to Ask for Referrals

The Best Way to Ask for ReferralsAs a real estate agent, our success is driven by our ability to create the most value for clients in their buying or selling journey. We spend countless hours ensuring that our clients are happy – and when we’ve done our job we pat ourselves on the back and wait for the referrals to flow in.


But despite the thank yous – unsolicited referrals don’t just happen. While it’s been found that the vast majority of clients are willing to make a referral, less than 30% will actually follow through.


So how do we ask for referrals without feeling pushy? Here’s our top 3 ways.


1.Use a Client Survey

Does your office send satisfaction surveys to past clients? If so, this is a great opportunity to ask for referrals from happy clients. Include a question at the end of your survey for clients to provide the name & contact info for anyone they know looking to buy or sell – it’s a simple way to ask for a referral when your client is already reflecting on the service you provide.

2. Ask During a Follow Up Call

Follow up calls to clients after they buy or sell is a great way of showing you’re truly interested in helping them, and not just collecting your commission. After checking in with how they’re doing, be specific when you ask. Outline the type of client you like working with and be genuine with why you’re asking for the referral. For example, you could say

“I’m really glad we were able to work together to find your new home. I always enjoy helping first-time buyers explore their real estate options, and I was wondering if you know anyone in a similar position looking to buy their first home?”

3. Be a Resource

Whenever you ask for a referral, you should always be providing value at the same time. Being a resource to clients after you close is a perfect way to ask for  a referral and stay top of mind. Share with clients a list of recommended home service providers to help them with their home, offer negotiated discounts from local businesses, or share updates on local events in their new community.


When it comes to referrals, always remember that a referral is the ultimate compliment from your clients. Provide clients with great service, provide value after you close, and then watch the referrals come your way!

With ClientLinkt by QuickLinkt real estate agents & offices can share their list of trusted home service providers and local businesses with clients via their own custom-branded mobile app – helping them to increase client value, stay top of mind & drive referrals. 

Exceeding Your Sales Goals

How to Ask (2)

I recently read a pretty frightening statistic that ⅔ of all salespeople miss their quotas. It got me thinking about how reps can improve their performance – and naturally – it got me thinking about referrals.With referred clients being 4X more likely to close, salespeople can drastically improve their performance by focusing on a sell-by-referral strategy.


The reality is that we drop the ball when it comes to referrals. In fact, despite over 80% of past clients being willing to make a referral only 29% actually follow through. So what happens? We simply hope that referrals will come our way, instead of actively asking for referrals. As salespeople we often don’t ask for referrals because:

  1. We fear rejection
  2. We don’t have process in place
  3. We focus on chasing cold leads instead of following up with past clients.


So, how should we ask for referrals? A successful strategy should address these three issues.


We’ve all referred friends & family to our favorite restaurant, pediatrician or gym – so we shouldn’t think clients are uncomfortable sending referrals our way. Be confident in the service you provide, be specific when asking for referrals & make sure to follow up with quickly.


How to Write Awesome Email Newsletters


Do you stay in touch with past clients using newsletters & email marketing? Staying top of mind is so important for driving referrals, but keeping readers interested can be tall order when you’re competing with over 838 billion marketing emails that are sent each year. Here’s our top 5 tips for improving your email marketing.


1.Create to the Point Subject Lines

According to Convince and Convert, 35% of recipients open emails based on subject line alone. Make sure your subject lines are clear so readers know what it’s about.  Avoid subject lines in all caps or with words like “FREE”, “% OFF”, “SAVE $” or “FREE QUOTE”. These types of subject lines are triggers for email spam filters, meaning your newsletters end up in junk folders.


2. Segment Your Contact List

Writing relevant emails is key for increasing open rates & conversions. Segment your contact list and send separate newsletters to each group so your emails are relevant. For example, you could have different email campaigns for buyer leads, seller leads & past clients.


3. Keep it Fresh

Avoid turning email newsletters into promotional flyers…. Write content that’s relevant to your contact list to keep them interested. While some content can be sent to all of your readers – like information on community events – other topics aren’t relevant. For example, sending new listings to potential clients is a great idea, but past clients that have recently purchased a home won’t be so interested. Instead, send home maintenance tips.


4. Make Emails Mobile Friendly

Did you know that 66% of emails are opened on a mobile device??? Make sure your templates, images & videos are mobile friendly. If not, your readers will just hit delete.


5. Start Tracking

To improve email marketing campaigns, start tracking performance metrics – like delivery rates, opens & click throughs. Analytic tools provided in email marketing programs make it easy. See which emails have the best performance, then use these as your guide to increase engagement.


Leveraging Reviews to Grow Your Real Estate Business


Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews. For real estate agents, online reviews are big business: an agent’s trustworthiness, honesty and reputation are the most important factors when buyers and sellers choose an agent. As sites like Zillow, Trulia, Yelp and Redfin continue to grow in popularity, managing online reviews will only continue to be more important. So, if you want to start leveraging reviews and building your online reputation, he’s the skinny on how you can win the review game.


Increasing Reviews

Did you know that the number of online reviews you have influences where you rank in search results? And that 85% of consumers only feel satisfied that they can trust a business after reading at least 10 reviews? That means increasing your review volume is crucial for SEO and your credibility. To increase reviews, first make sure you’ve claimed your profiles on major review sites and completed your details. Include links to profiles on review sites in your email signature, website, newsletter and blog. Better yet, ask past clients to offer feedback on review sites. Whatever you do, DON’T be tempted to write fake reviews or buy reviews – review sites are cracking down and will flag your profile. For example, Yelp will post a Consumer Alert on your profile to notify potential clients that you’ve been caught posting fake reviews.consumer alert yelp


Leverage Positive Reviews

Positive online reviews are marketing gold – word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising. First, thank online reviews for their feedback – it shows genuineness and that you care about clients after the sale response

To get even more traction from positive reviews, direct potential clients to view your profiles on review sites by having links on your website, social media profiles, newsletters, email signatures and print advertising. Better yet, share positive reviews on social media to increase exposure and let these positive reviewers know that you appreciate referrals!


Mitigate Negative Reviews

Any agent, no matter how exceptional, may end up with a few negative reviews. When you read a review, first take a step back and be objective. Is there an opportunity for improvement? How would you react if your broker had given you the same feedback? While negative reviews can be embarrassing, they often can offer valuable performance feedback.

mediocre review

Consider responding to the review with tact – either publicly or in a direct message. This functionality is available on most review sites if you’ve claimed your profiles. Responding publicly shows that you respect clients and address problems, but if you feel the client is especially angry or are dealing with private info then a private message is likely the better choice. When responding publicly, try to highlight the positive, apologize for any mistakes made and invite the client to bring the conversation out of the public eye if you need to address their concerns further. For example,

Hi Jane,

I’m glad that we were able to get your home sold quickly, but I’m sorry you felt out of the loop and found the transaction process stressful. I want all of my clients to feel 100% happy after working with me, and would appreciate if you could email me any details on the particulars of what made the transaction less than ideal – I appreciate the feedback.


After responding to a negative review and working to amend the situation, the client may take the review down or update it to show that you solved the issue.


At the end of the day, you don’t need to be afraid of online reviews. While they can make any business owner weary, 66% of Yelp reviews are 4 or 5 star ratings. And better yet, 13% of agents receive 21 or more leads from online reviews. Have you used online reviews to increase referrals?



How Will You Drive Leads in 2015?

SURVEYAs 2014 winds down and planning for 2015 gets underway, is generating more referral leads part of your marketing plan? Part of your marketing budget?


Having clients, customers & professional contacts do your marketing for you is a simple way to increase leads, decrease acquisition costs and raise closing rates. But too often businesses don’t have a strategy for driving referrals and assume that they’ll just come their way. But like any marketing effort, driving leads from referrals won’t happen automatically. So if you’re spending thousands on advertising channels but not investing in a referral strategy, here’s some key steps you should take.

 1. Establish Your Goals

Like any marketing or advertising initiative, start your referral strategy with clear objectives tied to revenue. Goals such as the % of clients that refer, # of referrals per sales agent, closing rate of referred clients and average sale/purchase value of referred clients are good places to start. If you’ve never tracked referrals, this might seem like a shot in the dark, but comparing to your other marketing efforts is a good place to start.

2. Give Clients Something to Talk About

If you want to increase referrals, you’ll need to make sure your clients are more than just satisfied. Think about the difference between your promoters (clients that happily brag about you) and your passives (clients that can be wooed by your competition). A great client experience is the end-to-end journey from online research to after-sale follow up.

3. Make it Easy

Don’t make your customers & clients guess that you’d like them to send referrals or how they should send them. Create easy to use conduits, like a Referral form on your website and Facebook page.  Then promote your referral program when you meet with clients and in your other marketing efforts.

4. Track Referrals

You should track referrals the same way you’d track any other lead source and marketing effort. If your pipeline includes tracking leads from, open houses, AdWords and email marketing, you should also be tracking your referral funnel. What gets measured gets done – so start tracking!

5. Say Thank You

If referrals are an important part of your business – which I assume you want them to be – you should be letting your referral sources know your appreciation. Keep them updated as you work with the client they referred, and say thank you when the sale closes! Whether or not offering referral incentives is right for your business, a thank you can go a long way.


If you’d like to get started with a referral program for your business, visit for your 30-day Free Trial of our Referral Marketing Platform. 


The Financial Return on Referrals

If you ask any business, they’ll tell you that their best advertising comes from word of mouth. But despite this age-old wisdom, way too often referral programs become haphazard and companies chase cold leads.


One of the main reasons that businesses forget about their referral strategy is that they don’t know the value of a referred customer. While it may seem difficult to quantify word-of-mouth, a recent study from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania was able to measure the power of referrals and financial benefits of a referral program.


The study, entitled “Referral Programs and Customer Value”, set out to discover if there was a financial return on word of mouth. Researchers looked at the records of over 10,000 customers at a bank over a 3-year period. Half of the customers were acquired through the bank’s referral program and the other half through other marketing methods (direct mail, advertising, promotions, etc). The study asked:

  • If referred customers have higher profit margins
  • If referred customers are more loyal
  • If referred customers have a higher customer lifetime value.


The study found that the financial benefits of the referral program were quantifiable and significant. Referred customers generated 16% more profits than their non-referred counterparts. The researchers attributed this to better matching between the bank and the referred customer –  because the existing customer knew both the bank and the prospect, they could better assess if there was a good fit between the two. Essentially, current customers were better at finding qualified leads than the bank was.


The study also found that referred customers were 18% more likely to stay with the bank than non-referred customers. This was attributed to the fact that customers make referrals to friends and family that would truly benefit from the bank, and because people tend to have a stronger bond with organizations that their friends and family are also customers/members of.


Accounting for both the higher profits and greater loyalty of referred customers, the study found that the customer lifetime value of a referred customer can be up to 25% greater than the customer lifetime value of a non-referred customer.  Better yet, the ROI the bank earned on the investment in its referral program was 60%. Therefore, they weren’t guessing about advertising investments – they were running a highly profitable and quantifiable client acquisition strategy.


So, if your business wants to capitalize on social proof and leverage your best customers, there are clear financial benefits of a referral program. What creative ways do you use to increase referrals?




If you’re interested in starting a referral program for your business, Quicklinkt provides automated referral marketing and management tools. Visit for your 30-Day Free Trial.


Introducing Facebook Referrals

This week, we’ve released QuickLinkt Referrals for Facebook. While customers have always been able to share offers on Facebook using QuickLinkt, now businesses can also add a custom Refer-a-Friend tab to their Facebook page. The tab allows clients & customers to submit referrals right from a company’s page, and all referrals are automatically tracked through QuickLinkt. This way, we’re helping businesses encourage referrals and increasing ROI from social media.

facebook refer a friend



Creating greater integration between QuickLinkt and Facebook was an obvious fit. Since many businesses use social media as their primary channel for interacting with clients and customers, the Refer-a-Friend tab is a great way to increase referrals. Better yet, since local business pages get over 645 million page views per week, it’s a great channel for encouraging referrals.


Adding the Refer-a-Friend tab to a Facebook page is also a great way to see real ROI from social media. The Refer-a-Friend tab delivers qualified leads, and tracking sales is automatically done through the QuickLinkt platform. And since  52% of brands state that social media ROI is their greatest frustration, Facebook referrals can combat frustration and take social media marketing beyond Likes & Shares.


Businesses using QuickLinkt can add the referral form to their Facebook page in under a minute by logging into their account and selecting the Facebook Tab option in the Settings Menu. Because we’ve built the Referral tab as a Facebook app, there’s no coding required to add it to a Facebook page. Better yet, this feature comes at no additional cost for users with QuickLinkt Professional accounts.


The Refer-a-Friend tab for Facebook pages makes it easier for customers to send referrals, and for businesses to see real ROI from social media. If you’d like to learn more about the full QuickLinkt platform visit or to start your free referral management plan.


Affiliates or Referrals??? What’s the Difference?

word of mouthHere at QuickLinkt, we often get asked what the difference between affiliate and referral marketing is. While referrals account for 65% of all new business, the affiliate industry is set to grow to $4.5B by 2016 – so it’s no wonder there’s confusion. While there’s similarities between the two, there’s also clear distinctions. So to clear it up, we decided to do a run down of affiliate and referral marketing – and how they differ.  


The Basic Definitions

Affiliate Marketing: Agents or partners (aka affiliates) send traffic to your website or new customers to your business.

Referral Marketing: A current client, customer or business connection recommends you to their friends and family, and often provides you with their contact information.  

So…. What’s the Difference?

Just looking at these definitions, affiliate & referral marketing may seem to be pretty much the same …. They’re both based on people sending you new customers/clients. However, here’s the BIG differences:

  • In Referral Marketing, the referred customer is known by the referral source. In Affiliate Marketing, the affiliate has no personal relationship with customers they send.
  • Affiliates are paid commission for every customer/client they send. Referral programs can include rewards for making referrals, 2-way rewards for both the referrer and referree, or have no rewards.
  • Affiliate partners are driven solely by financial gain, whereas referrals are based on personal relationships and trust.
  • Affiliate commission rates typically start at 20% and increase to as high as 60% as success rates increase. Over time, the cost per new sale increases.
  • With referrals, the cost per new sale decreases over time as the number of customers making referrals increases.

 The Extra Benefits

While affiliate marketing has its uses, referral programs have additional benefits that make them a better long term solution. First, referred customers are far easier to close than those sent from affiliates because consumers are 4X more likely to buy when referred by family or friends. Better yet, referral programs increase loyalty among your current customers. The effects of referral programs also snowball over time because every referred customer becomes a source for new referrals. So while affiliates are useful for driving web traffic, if you want a marketing solution that builds your reputation, increases loyalty and decreases advertising costs over time, a referral program is the way to go.  


If you’re interested in referral marketing for your business, check out how you can get started with QuickLinkt for free. It’s a great way to encourage, track and reward referrals – without breaking the bank.