Building Referrals from Your Professional Network

Building Your Referral NetworkDo you have a vendor network? A list of business professionals that you refer clients to and that send referrals your way?

For most top producing agents, their professional network of trusted service providers is the most lucrative referral source. So, if you aren’t actively growing & strengthening your professional network – here’s how to do it.

Why Does it Matter?

Business owners understand the importance of referrals. They know referrals are the backbone of any successful business,  and they’re willing AND wanting to find referral partners. Better still, they understand the difference between a qualified and unqualified lead – and will send you  more profitable, easy-to-close referrals than referrals from past clients.

How to Get Started

To get referrals from professional service providers, start by making a list of industries. Don’t limit yourself to ones you already have contacts in – think outside of who you already know and do business with.  And don’t just stick to industries that are directly involved in the real estate transaction. Plumbers, contractors, florists, car dealers, even local restaurants can all be great partners. Remember – the point is to expand your network to find potential clients that you otherwise wouldn’t meet.

Find Partners

Now, in each industry – list a potential business owner/contact that could be your referral partner. Don’t know anyone in the industry? Ask clients who they currently use and trust, ask over social media, or do a quick search on Yelp for a highly rated business in the category.

Make Contact

Call up these potential partners and introduce yourself (if you don’t already know them). Explain that as a real estate agent, you’re often asked by clients for referrals for great businesses and that your building out your list of recommendations. Ask if you can meet to discuss potential opportunities and learn more about their business.

Build Rapport, Build Relationships

Remember, real estate is about relationship. Build rapport with these service providers & business owners – learn about what they do, their business history, who they work with. By understanding their business, you can send better referrals their way and they’ll send better referrals to you. If you want to build a lasting relationship where they’re actively referring their clients t0 you – it isn’t just about exchanging a business card.


Just like all of your leads, you should track your referrals. Keep a tally of the referrals you receive, who sent them, time to close, and the purchase price. This way you can evaluate who your best referral sources are, and how you can better foster these relationships.

Don’t Let it Slide

Building and fostering relationships with trusted service providers & local businesses is not a one time thing. Follow up with your contacts on the referrals you’ve exchanged, invite them to your client appreciation events, send a holiday card, go for lunch. Looking to find new referral partners?? Call up the landscaper your last client was raving about or the new florist that opened down the street.

Have you built out your network of service providers? Who are your most trusted referral partners? 

Strengthening Your Professional Network

Any successful real estate agent knows that their job goes beyond processing a transaction – it’s guiding clients through the entire buying & selling cycle. A real estate agent must answer complicated legal questions, give advice on schools, ensure clients get pre-approved, arrange home appraisals, bring in contractors and even make move in day stress free. This long list of responsibilities impacts a client’s experience, and ultimately an agent’s success rate.


The truth is that buying or selling a home is a team effort. Real estate agents have an intricate web of business connections that they work with – like lawyers, mortgage brokers, appraisers and moving companies.  Ultimately, the value of these service providers impacts client satisfaction and gets agents to the closing table. The real estate agent is the connection between each service provider and the client – they’re the center of the relationship and the driving force that ensures buyers and sellers are successful.


For real estate agents, this means that strengthening your professional referral network is critical for becoming a top producer.


Now, imagine you’re a buyers agent. You’ve just met Jenny & Jon – a recently married couple looking to buy their first home.


First things first – they haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage. You refer them to Ben – your trusted mortgage broker that specializes in working with first-time buyers. Before you can even start to help Jenny & Jon find a home, your referral to Ben ensures your clients can afford a home and that you’re looking in the right price range.


Ben gets back to you – they’ve been pre-approved. Great! The first house you show them is a modern 4 bedroom. It mainly fits their wish list, but Jon & Jenny don’t love the location. Next, you tour a house that’s in their desired area but needs significant work. To get a better idea of the reno costs, you recommend touring the house with your trusted contractor.  After he discusses the work that’s needed, Jenny & Jon decide it’s too much.


You then find a home that you think might be just right for Jenny & Jon – it has good commuter routes and only needs a few small repairs. Jenny & Jon love it. Time to make an offer! You refer Jenny & Jon to your home inspector and put them in touch with a real estate lawyer. The house passes the inspection and Jenny & Jon’s offer is accepted! With the stress of buying a home, they really appreciate you guiding them every step of the way. Turns out, they hire the contractor that you introduced them to to renovate the basement on their new home.



As the story of Jenny & Jon shows, a strong professional network enhances any client’s experience and supports your job as a real estate agent. It’s these relationships that get you to the closing table, ensure every aspect of the real estate transaction is taken care of and leads to more referrals. How do you manage referrals with your vendor network??


Networking 101 – 7 Steps to Grow Your Contact List

networking 2

Let’s face it – meeting people face to face is a huge part of growing your client list. Whether you’re a real estate agent, mortgage broker or lender, your ability to network is paramount to generating leads and growing sales. SO, if you’re looking to become a great networker or brush up your skills, here’s some of our best networking advice.


1. Make a Plan

Growing your professional network won’t happen by luck. If you want to drastically improve prospecting, make a strategic plan for networking. First outline your goals, then create your plan. This could include a list of events to attend, organizations to join, types of business contacts you’d like to meet, specific people to meet, etc.


2. Prep Before Events

Always RSVP to networking events. If there’s an event on Facebook or group on LinkedIn- join it. Connect with the event host to thank them for inviting you and let them know you’re excited to attend. Most importantly, do a bit of research on who’s attending and consider reaching out to those that you especially want to meet with.


3. Remember your Etiquette

Don’t be glued to your Smartphone at events – while you’re responding to voice mails, the people you wanted to meet are talking to your competitors.


4. Focus on New Connections – Not the Ones You Already Have

If you want to grow your professional network, don’t spend all of your time at networking events talking to people you already know. Yes it’s great to catch up with friends and reconnect with current contacts, but the first priority of a networking event is to grow your network.


5. Quality, not Quantity

Collecting 100 business cards during an event isn’t useful if you didn’t actually have meaningful conversations with those people. Remember, networking is about relationships – not self promotion.


6. Keep Track

After you meet new people, make sure to update your contact lists. Enter names, contact info, where & when you met, what you discussed, who introduced you and any details of the conversation that you remember. Keeping track means you can follow up and keep building the relationship.


7. Follow Through

Have a plan for how you’ll communicate with new contacts after you meet. Maybe it’s connecting on LinkedIn with a personalized message and inviting them to sign up for your newsletter. If you had a longer conversation, maybe it’s an invite for lunch. Make sure to follow up quickly, so they remember who you are and what you discussed – marketing to them early will help to turn them into new clients or business contacts that send you referrals.


So while networking can seem intimidating, these 7 steps can improve your skills and grow your network. What are some of your favorite networking tips?



New Networking Tools are Here!

This week, we’re excited to announce that the QuickLinkt Networking Tools have been released! These features make it easy for businesses to grow their professional referral network and promote referral programs to clients. They’re key for engaging with referral sources and ensuring referral program success.


The networking tools allow businesses to invite professional contacts to join their Referral Network. Businesses simply enter the email address of contacts they’d like to invite and then QuickLinkt sends a personalized email asking them to create a QuickLinkt account and join the business’s network. Once they select to create an account, either through the Smartphone App or web interface, they’re automatically added to the business’s network and ready to send referrals. We’ve seen our beta users increase referrals 2-4X by inviting professional contacts – so it’s definitely a simple step with dramatic results.


The new networking tools also allow businesses to promote referral reward programs to their customers/clients. These tools include posting to Facebook & Twitter, email templates, links for email signatures, and adding website Referral forms. By publicizing rewards across marketing platforms, businesses can ensure their customers/clients learn about the referral program and are incentivized to participate.


These features are now available to all businesses using QuickLinkt. When logging in to the Web Manager, you’ll see the Networking Tools in the Settings menu. You can then choose either Grow Network or Promote Program depending on if you’re focused on referrals from professional contacts or customers, or choose to use both. For example, we’re seeing Mortgage Brokers use the  professional networking tools for connecting with real estate agents & financial advisers, and the promotion tools for increasing referrals from past clients.


As always, we’re excited to be helping businesses grow referrals and increase loyalty. If you’re a business using QuickLinkt, feel free to email  or visit our Help Desk to learn more about these new features.



How to Grow Your Referral Network: The Real Estate Edition

Any real estate agent has likely heard of their Sphere of Influence. Your Sphere of Influence is also your Referral Network – the personal and business connections that send you referrals and connect you with new clients ready to buy or sell. It’s the most powerful tool for decreasing advertising costs and minimizing your time to close –  the golden ticket for new agents to get their feet on the ground and veterans to stay competitive.

So, if you’re a Real Estate agent looking to increase your SOI and grow referrals, think about the following groups.


Family, Friends & Personal Connections
Your personal connections are usually the simplest place to start. Your friends and family should know you’re a Realtor (pretty obvious), but make sure they also know your brokerage/brand, specialties, clientele, closing rates, community outreach, etc. This is especially important for new agents – let personal connections know that you’ve made a career change and why you’re passionate about real estate.

Current Clients
Current real estate clients are an easy source of referrals. While you may feel awkward asking clients you’re actively working with, it’s actually relatively easy. The clients you’re representing have real estate on their mind – they’re discussing real estate with friends and family, and I guarantee your name has come up in these conversations.

Past Clients
Your past clients understand your specialties and the excellent customer service you provide. Your most recent clients provide the best opportunities because they’re still buzzing about how great you are, but make sure to foster these referral sources with follow up after the sale.

Community Connections
Are you active in your PTA? Running Club? Church group? Local charity? These groups are sources for new clients and referrals. Being active in community organizations is a simple way to connect with your clientele. For example, if you sell family homes in residential areas,  participating in your children’s school fundraisers is a great way to grow your network while giving back to the community.

Business Connections
Do you work with mortgage brokers, contractors, home decorators, property managers, lawyers, landscapers? Of course you do -as a real estate agent you have an intricate web of business connections that can connect you with qualified leads. For business connections, the best way to drive referrals is to be generous. (No I’m not saying to reduce your commission). Send referrals to your trusted service providers, and watch the favor be returned.


While this list might sound daunting, getting high quality referrals from your SOI is much easier than cold calls. And knowing that customers trust recommendations from family and friends more than any form of advertising, growing your referral network should be a top priority for any agent.