Do you want more reviews or more referrals from your client base? 

Say you know without a doubt that you consistently overdeliver for your clients and leave them more than satisfied with the work you’ve done for them. 

But you’re not getting any reviews or referrals from them. What are you doing wrong? Or what could you do to get more reviews and referrals? 

I’ve got a three-point plan, covering three very different areas, that will help you do both. 

The plan I’m talking about here will help you get more referrals and more reviews from your client base, from your network and from the people you know. 

Let’s start with point number one. 

#1—Do a really great job during the transaction.

Chris Smith, a brilliant real estate mind and the co-founder of Curaytor, posted a Tweet with what I think is a fantastic point to keep in mind. 

“People don’t refer out real estate agents because they kept in touch; they refer them out because they did a great job.” 

So, if you do a great job—meaning you explain everything properly, you avoid hiccups when possible, you are transparent, you over-communicate, you negotiate—all the things we are trained to do, and you do them at a high level—guess what’s going to happen. 

You become a very referrable agent, and you are very likely to get reviews from your clients. 

We are in a review-based economy, so you want those reviews out there. I recommend posting them on Google specifically because that’s where people search for real estate agents. 

Think about your buyer consult, your listing presentation, and your follow-up. If you’re doing a great job on all that—as well as everything you do from your earliest touchpoints all the way through closing and beyond—the good news is people are going to make you more referable. 

And they’re going to be more likely to leave you reviews. 

We know that real estate has a very high failure rate. And a lot of agents don’t know how to do their job. That’s all the more reason to get into an environment where they show you, “Here’s how to do a really great job helping someone buy or sell a home.” 

Do your job at a high level. This may sound simple and obvious, but it cannot be overstated. 

#2—Ask when the timing is right

A well-timed ask works for reviews and referrals. When it comes to timing, you want to consider high points in the transactions. 

Say you’re doing a great job. You’re hitting all the deadlines. You’re making sure things move on time. Think about the high points in the transaction: 

  • You’ve just negotiated the inspection and you know the deal’s moving ahead. 
  • You’ve just finished the pre-settlement walkthrough. 

You want to ask before the settlement, before the closing. Because, let’s face it, moving is stressful and your client may not want to talk to you anymore—not because they don’t like you but because they’ve got to deal with movers, getting the house painted, getting all the work done, getting all the vendors in, transferring utilities, and making sure everything happens on time. All these things are going on. 

The best time to ask is after a high point in the transaction—when you’ve just had a big win, and things are moving ahead in your client’s favor. That’s the most natural time to have a conversation about reviews and referrals. 

“Hey, just one more thing before we hang up. I have a quick favor to ask. If you could do me a favor, would you be open-minded to writing a quick review? It only takes about five seconds and here’s the link.” 

By the way, we’re going to channel our inner Phil Jones. When someone says “Thank you,” that’s when you want to ask them for a favor. 

It’s as simple as— 

“Hey, you know, really appreciate everything. Thanks, Tom, for doing a great job!” 

“You know what? You’re welcome. And I just have a quick favor to ask you. I know it’s stressful when you’re buying and selling a home, and we tried to really take the stress out of that, and our business really relies heavily on referrals. So who do you know that is thinking about buying or selling a home in the next six to 12 months that might need some service just like I delivered you?” 

#3—Stay in touch to stay top of mind

Point number three is to stay in touch with people after the transaction is complete. 

I was joking around a little bit about the Chris Smith tweet. I agree 100% that you’ve got to serve your clients well the first time. If you leave them with a sour aftertaste, they’re not likely to recommend you to someone else. 

But I also think it’s very smart to stay in touch with your clients after their transaction is settled. 

You still get referrals by staying top of mind. You still get reviews by staying top of mind. 

For example, say you’re calling someone to congratulate them on the anniversary of their home purchase, and they didn’t write a review before then: 

“Hey, Wendy, it would be really great if you could just take a couple seconds to write a review after all the kind words you just gave to me there. It’d be a huge favor. I’d really appreciate it.” 

Remember: ask for things after people say thank you. If they’re feeling appreciative of everything you did for them, that’s the perfect time to ask. 

Or, for another example, say you’re calling to ask them how work is going: 

“So, hey, Brian, how’s the work environment been for you since we last spoke?” 

Invariably, when they answer that question, they’re going to ask you back—

“Hey, how’s your work environment? How’s business?” 

And that’s when you have an opportunity to say, 

“You know what? It’s been really interesting. We’re seeing all these things happen right now. Rates are settling in, inventory’s up…” 

Remember, you want to deliver value in these answers. Tell them what’s going on. 

“…And hey, just out of curiosity, who do you know that’s thinking about moving in the next six to 12 months? We’d love to help them just like we helped you.”

Keeping in touch gives you more opportunities to deliver value—giving your clients more reasons to be glad they chose you as your real estate agent. 

That, in turn, gives you more opportunities to incentivize them to leave a review and refer you to other potential buyers and sellers. 

Obviously, if you didn’t serve them well the first time, staying in touch afterward probably won’t do you much good. You need all three:

  1. Do a great job the first time.
  2. Ask when the timing is right.
  3. Stay in touch and keep delivering value. 

Be consistent with all three, and you’ll see a noticeable uptick in your reviews and referrals.