Referrals 101-How to Ask your Friends and Family for Referrals

Referrals 101: How to Ask Your Friends and Family for Referrals

Published by Kartik Subramaniam

Reading Time : 4 minutes

Referrals 101 how to ask your friends

One of the best and most rewarding ways to grow your real estate business is through referrals. Real estate referrals allow your family and friends to tell other people what a great agent you are, and they carry quite a bit of weight with new potential customers. Yet asking for referrals from family and friends often feels awkward. Having a script in your back pocket that you can use to request referrals will help you overcome this feeling of awkwardness and get you those valuable referrals.

Tips for Asking for Referrals

Before delving into specific scripts to use, first consider these important tips.

1. Ask in Person

If you are going to ask a friend or relative for a referral, ask in person. You are more likely to get a “yes” response when you are talking face-to-face with someone than if you ask via text or over email, which is much easier to ignore.

2. Request a Favor

Ask for the referral as a favor to you. This tactic makes the person feel like they are your hero, and this positive feeling increases the chances they will do it.

3. Don’t Make It About You

When having a conversation asking for a referral, make it about the person you’re talking to. Tell them were wonderful as a client or as a support to your growing business. Be genuine but supportive because this will help them want to help you out.

4. Leave Your Inner Salesperson Behind

As a real estate agent you probably have a bit of salesmanship inside. This is not the place to let it out. Keep the conversation personable and natural.

5. Look for an In

When asking for referrals from family and friends, you may not be working directly with a past client. These individuals can still give you referrals, but you need to find a way to ask. Watch for opportunists, such as questions like:

How’s the business going?

What’s the market like?

Any big sales lately?

After answering the question, ask for the favor of referrals. You’ll have the chance to show your knowledge and then turn the conversation around toward what you need.

6. Keep It Short

Don’t linger over the referral request. People will zone out, and you won’t get any referrals. Keep it simple and short.

7. Give Them an Out

A phrase like “no pressure” or “if you want” gives someone an out. No one wants to feel pressured into a referral they aren’t comfortable delivering.

Real Estate Referral Program Scripts


So just how do you ask for the referral. As you get more comfortable, the asking will get more natural, but while you’re learning, consider one of these scripts for in-person conversations:

“Hey _____! It was great catching up today. Hey, you know I’ve been growing my
real estate business. Could I ask a favor? If you know someone who is looking for an agent, give them my name. I’d really appreciate it!”

“By the way, most of my business comes from word of mouth. I love how personal it is. If you know someone who could use my help, pass my name along. Thanks!”

“By the way, do you know I sell real estate ? I’ve been doing it for ___ years, and I’ve been wondering if you have talked to anyone lately who’s thinking about buying or selling? If you do, would you keep me in mind? Thanks!”

You should also have a script for social media contacts. Use social media posts to
share a story, then request referrals:

“Check out this recent sale! The Johnson family is so thrilled with their new home. Take a look at those walk-in closets! Do you know someone looking to buy? I can help!” — Make this post about the story of the sale, then tag on the ask at the end.

“Did you know? 75% of my work comes from referrals from people like you. I couldn’t do it without you!” — This is effective because it makes it all about the reader, and you don't even ask! Yet if someone reading it needs real estate help, they’ll know you want a referral.

Remember to tweak the script to make it personal to the conversation, and don’t linger on it. While you won’t get a referral every time, you will get some, and that will help your real estate business to grow.

Remember to Follow Up

Follow-up is key when looking for referrals, but it can feel very sales-y. Try to weave conversation about your real estate business into your conversations about life. It's a big part of your life, so it should be fairly easy to do this.

Start Growing Your Network

Finally, start growing your network of people you know in the local community. Get out and involved in community events and charity work. Add people to your social media pages when you meet them and take a genuine interest in them and their lives. This will help you grow a network that will eventually lead to more referrals.

The key to making a successful request for a referral is to keep things personal. Take a genuine interest in the person you’re talking to, then weave the conversation around to your goal. This will help you appear less like a salesperson and more approachable, which will generate a better number of referrals for your business.



Kartik Subramaniam

Founder, Adhi Schools

Kartik Subramaniam is the Founder and CEO of ADHI Real Estate Schools, a leader in real estate education throughout California. Holding a degree from Cal Poly University, Subramaniam brings a wealth of experience in real estate sales, property management, and investment transactions. He is the author of nine books on real estate and countless real estate articles. With a track record of successfully completing hundreds of real estate transactions, he has equipped countless professionals to thrive in the industry.

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