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Added: December 7, 2009
Article rating: 4.25 (of 5) - 8 votes

How to Get Real Estate Referrals

[ by Joe Stumpf ]
What would it be like for you if every time you listed a property, the seller gave you a list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of the 20 people they know, like, and trust the most? Pretty amazing, huh? This ideal scenario is more attainable than you might think. You just have to know the magic words that encourage sellers to share their valuable information. Try the following dialogue to encourage your sellers to gladly give you their list of most trusted friends and family.

Step One: Asking

Now that you've chosen me to market your home, you want me to use every possible marketing

vehicle I can, don't you? Here's a unique, advanced marketing method that can help you quickly find a great buyer

for the house, and because you want me to quickly find you a qualified buyer, you may be very interested in doing this and you may not. Experience shows that sellers who've used this method have been very pleased with the outcome. Let me explain it to you and then you tell me if you want to use this more advanced marketing method to assist you in getting your home sold. The NAR - National Association of REALTORS - has discovered through research that 11% of all homes are sold through direct and indirect referrals. What that means is, when someone finds out that your home is for sale, they tell another person who's interested in living in your neighborhood about your home. And it also might happen that someone drives by, sees your sign, and tells a brother or sister or cousin or friend at work about your home. Then that person contacts me or their agent and 11% of the time, that's how your home gets sold. So what I would like to do is unleash our full, 100% marketing effort to get your home sold using both my direct and indirect marketing strategies.

Here's how it works.

In your life you know several hundred people. Now imagine that you are planning a wedding and you're thinking of the close friends, family members, and business colleagues you want to invite. What I'd like you to do is give me a list of just 20 of those people. This list can include your close neighbors, family members and friends. When we have that list, we'll send them a letter to let them know you're moving because they may know someone who might know someone, who in turn might know someone interested in buying your home. That's why I call this my "indirect marketing strategy."

I'll write the letter as if it's coming from you, put a feature sheet inside, pay for the postage and do the whole mailing to the 20 people on your list. A few days after I mail the letter, I'll make a follow-up telephone call to each person and invite them to a special Open House at your home. I'll take care of all the details, including light refreshments, and I'll encourage them to bring along anyone they think might be interested in seeing your home. The good thing about this is, we are now doing everything we can to expose your house to the greatest number of people who would be most likely to either refer others or buy it themselves. So, let's give this a try. What date would be good for us to hold a special Open House?

Now imagine walking out the door of the seller's home with a list of 20 or more names, addresses and telephone numbers of people they like, know and trust.

Step Two: Implementation

After you have their list, you'll need to craft and send a letter followed by a telephone call to each person. Remember to treat their list with the reverence and respect your client expects from you. Compose the letter as if it is coming from the seller. Here's a tested and proven sample letter you can use. Adjust the names, dates and details to match your situation.

First, create a letterhead with the seller's name on it and envelopes with the return address of the seller. It's important that the letter's content is appropriately customized for each addressee.

With the seller's permission, call each person on the list and use the following magic words dialogue:

"Hi, my name is Joe Stumpf. Recently you received a letter from your friend(s) and my client(s), Mindy and Luke Evans. In the letter, they mentioned I was going to give you a quick call and let you know when we'll be holding a special Open House for their friends and other people they know. And of course, you are welcome to bring any of your friends who would enjoy seeing their home. This Open House will be on Saturday, June 12th from 1 to 2:30pm. We will be serving a light lunch, so do bring your appetite! We look forward to seeing you there."

Answer any questions they have about the home or special Open House.

If they attend your Open House, get permission to add them to your mailing list (database) so you can send them infrequent, informal communications. If they don't show up at the Open House, follow up with a personalized, handwritten note like the one above. This "Indirect Seller Referral System" is a powerful strategy. It takes guts and courage to ask for the list, but if you don't get it before they move out of the area, you lose that potential referral base and you're back to marketing to new people all the time.


About the author: For more than 20 years Joe Stumpf has trained and coached the most successful real estate and mortgage professionals in North America on the systems and strategies for building a highly profitable referral-based business. Joe Stumpf's By Referral Only provides you with expert coaching, turn-key business systems and revenue generating marketing strategies so you can absolutely dominate your market.


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Current rating: 4.25 (of 5) - 8 votes
  • NetReal Admin December 11, 2009
    Dear John, The sample letter is given in the Implementation section, in the following paragraphs. You can find there an example: "Hi, my name is Joe Stumpf...". We are very glad you like the article. Best regards.
  • John Gibson December 10, 2009
    Great article and I don't want to be greedy, but in Step Two: Implementation, the last sentence of the first paragraph mentions a tested and proven sample letter that could be used. However, the sample letter is not given anywhere in the article. Yes, I can create my own, but this is an ommission in the article that otherwise is perfect. Please advise as to where the sample letter can be found. Thank You!
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