The Best Ways to Ask For Real Estate Client Referrals

How To Ask For Referrals in Real Estate: Scripts, Sources, Lead Generation

The Best Ways to Ask For Real Estate Client Referrals

As a real estate agent, you need to understand how to ask for real estate referrals. Top producers in real estate not only provide excellent service when buying or selling real estate, but they also leverage people in their network to grow their business and stay top of mind. There are several sources of referrals in real estate, whether that be friends and family, your sphere of influence, past clients, other real estate agents, or business owners.

In this post, you will learn how you can generate leads using strategic scripts to use when asking for real estate referrals.


Did you know that according to the referral pro, Bill Cates, only 20% of satisfied of clients will refer you while upwards of 98% of engaged clients will refer you? This means we need to figure out how to engage real estate buyers and sellers. An engaged client is a person who isn’t just happy with their service; you are also top of mind with them.

This can be because you recently completed a transaction with this client, or you have been so great at staying in touch over time.

Why We Don’t Ask for Referrals:

As REATORs, there are a few reasons why we don’t ask for referrals from our sphere of influence or our past clients. These are the main reasons

-          We Don’t Know When To Ask

-          We Don’t Know How To Ask

-          We Don’t Want to Appear Salesy or Desperate

All these problems can be solved with proper planning.

First off, we should be asking clients when they are happy. Happy clients are more likely to refer us, but how do we know when the clients are happy? One of the easiest ways to tell if a client is happy with the service is when they simply say, “thank you.”

Therefore, we can ask for a referral at various times throughout the transaction. We don’t need to wait for possession day. Potentially they say, “thank you” after a long day of showings, or when an offer has been accepted. Alternatively, even when you have followed up with them after a year in their home! Just look for times when they say thank you and know that this is a time you can ask!

How To Prepare To Ask:

There are two very important parts to preparing to ask for a referral. Without this preparation, you run the risk of an awkward ask or you may come across as insincere.

First, make sure you understand your value as a real estate agent. For REALTORs that have been in the business for several years, this may be easy, but for newer agents, this can be a challenge. Newer agents are still building their skills and confidence, so knowing your value should be the first place to start.

Hack: Understand that you are providing top-level service to your clients, and you need you. It’s best to focus on knowing that because your level of service is so high, it is your responsibility to let them know you are here to help other people that they may know.

Second is being confident in your ask. Avoid using filler words, and be clear when you ask. Avoid, “maybe, if it isn’t too much trouble, etc.” Going back to the first part, their network needs to know about you because you offer such a high level of service.

Whom Should They Ask:

Part of asking for a referral in real estate is coaching the client to understand who they should be thinking of when it comes to a referral. Due to the time real estate agents spend with their clients, you get to know your buyers and sellers over time. As your relationship grows, you will probably begin to hear more about their life and people that could be needing a REALTOR soon.

In your conversation with your clients, keep an ear out for people whom they know that have changes in their life.

Hack: Here are nine reasons people could be moving in the future

Pay attention to life changes as these people are likely going to be moving soon. Even if they don’t know they are! 

Referral Tips

Here are a few tips to help you leverage your referrals.

1)      Fear of Referrals – Know that you will have a part of you that will be scared when you ask for a referral. It can take approximately nine asks before you become more comfortable asking for referrals.

2)      Magic Words – Below, you will learn the exact scripts, but when asking for referrals, try to use the word “introduction” over “referral.” Asking for an introduction gives them more direction. If they are going to introduce you, then they know that they will be the one making the connection.

3)      Lost Touch – If you have lost touch with someone that you wish to ask for a referral from, don’t make your first contact an ask for a referral. Instead, reengage the person with general conversation or an item of value before you ask.

4)      Who To Ask – In order, ask people that already really like you (close friends, family, etc), then ask those that have referred you in the past, and then ask people that came to you as a referral. After you have asked these groups, you can move on to other groups of past clients and your sphere of influence.

5)      Social Media – Use social media to both ask for referrals and send referrals. People that see you sending referrals will naturally send referrals your way as well.


This script is focused on trying to make the person you are asking comfortable. Asking and being asked for a referral can be uncomfortable but it is necessary in real estate. This script will provide additional comfort for everyone.

“Hi _______, there is something I want to run past you quick. Many of our clients like to introduce our services to others. I just thought if that opportunity ever presented itself to you, I would let you know how we handle that so you feel comfortable. First off, everything is confidential and we handle these situations with great care. For example, we don’t like to call people out of the blue, so to make everyone comfortable, we prefer introductions. How that looks is if you identify someone we should chat with about real estate, feel free to pass on our name and introduce us by email or phone.”

This script is focused on creating some humor in the process. Humor can help people become so much more comfortable.

“Hi ________, it’s been such a pleasure working with you. Now, do you know anyone that you would want as a neighbor? If so, feel free to let me know and I can chat with them about their real estate needs!

If you would prefer to ask online or through social media. You can grab a quick email template in the post below!

How To Ask for a Referral on Social Media and Email


In wrapping up, it’s important to know that asking for a referral may be slightly uncomfortable the first few times but it gets easier with time. Using a strategic approach to asking for real estate referrals from clients goes a long way. This is one of the main drivers behind becoming a top producer and getting a steady stream of buyer and seller real estate leads.


Michael Montgomery