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How to ask clients for referrals


How to ask clients for referrals

Ask any experienced real estate agent where their best source of business comes from and they will most likely reply 'referrals'. A few clients will do this unprompted but unfortunately for a majority it won’t cross their mind, even if they are very pleased with your service.

When it comes to generating referral business you have to take matters into your own hands and make the most of your existing and past clients. After all, what better advertisement is there than a satisfied client spreading the word about their positive experience with you and your business?

The prospect of asking clients to refer business to you can seem daunting at first or just a little bit awkward. We’ve come up with some simple strategies to help you learn to successfully build up your referral business and ultimately generate more leads for the future.

handshake referral

Knowing what to say and when to say it

It’s never a bad time to ask a client if they know anyone looking to sell or buy. You shouldn’t be afraid to request referrals before, during or after working with a satisfied client.

According to the highest rate of referrals comes from fostering ongoing working relationships with clients that are in the process of moving.

Similar to the phenomenon when you are looking to buy a new car and you see the same model you are considering everywhere you go, when a seller is moving they also generally have a heightened awareness of other people that are looking to do the same. So it’s a good idea to ask clients to keep an ear out during conversations with family, friends and co-workers for people in need of your services and expertise.

Most agents shy away from scripts because they can sound too pushy, contrived and sales pitchy. But reported top-producing real estate practitioners learn to use scripts to effectively generate new referral business.

A crucial factor in successfully asking clients for referral business is to become familiar with a few tried and tested real estate scripts that you are comfortable and confident using. This will come down to you and your sales style as an individual. Over time through trial and error you’ll become increasingly at ease and familiar with certain lines and phrases that work well for you.

Some simple example scripts to try:

During initial meetings-

“My goal is that at the end of the marketing and selling process, you will be delighted with our service and the price you received. We want you to become an advocate of ours by sending us referrals. That’s how our business grows. We will work hard to make sure you are delighted with the process, and we have no doubt you will send us referrals.”

“I don’t make a living off any one transaction. I make my living off of your referral business. I don’t get that unless you are happy. If you’re pleased with my service, will you refer me to your friends and family?”

Short and simple: “Who else do you know that needs to move right now?”

During the sales process-

“Congratulations your loan was approved today. Now you can get ready to move. By the way, can I ask you something? You know that I have been doing a good job for you, and now that you understand how I work and the processes we use, we could use your help in referring us to other people who want to buy or sell a home. Do you know of anyone that may be in need of my services?”

“As you are in the process of moving, you will overhear a lot of conversations from different people looking to move when you’re out and about. When you do, would you mind giving them my phone number and ask them to call me?”

Generate more referrals from a referral: “It’s been really great working with you thus far, and I feel grateful to John for introducing us. I just wanted to take the time to ask you if you know anyone else that is looking to buy of sell a home, and if you would feel comfortable introducing them to me?”

After closing the deal-

“You have been so great to work with and I find that people tend to hang around similar people. I would love to work with more people like you, do you know anyone looking to move in the near future?”

“I appreciated your business, and I look forward to doing business with you again. I also would like to help any of your friends or acquaintances who may be coming onto the market or people in your neighbourhood who might be selling.”

“I want to work with more with clients like you, and I find that people looking to move know others in the same position. How would you feel about referring my services to them?”

“Working with you was a pleasure, and it’s important to me to make sure you have been happy with my service. I have built my business on customer satisfaction. How would you rate my service to you? If you have friends, relatives, or associates who need real estate assistance, would you feel comfortable referring me? Do you know of anyone I should be talking to right now?”

Strategies to boost your referral business

Building a strong referral business is very important for sourcing new leads and can sometimes be a sorely neglected form of prospecting. Good agents should be constantly looking to expand their business and referral base by having a system in place for staying in contact with valuable satisfied customers. Try building up your referral business by:

  • Adding a call for referrals to your marketing collateral. Something along the lines of “the highest compliment our customers can give us is to recommend us to a friend. We appreciate your referrals!” on your email signature, quarterly newsletter, business cards, website and brochures can work well.
referrals. businesscard
  • Staying in touch and thank people for their referrals. People love to feel needed and appreciated, so when someone sends you a referral make sure you call and thank them and keep them updated throughout the sale. If you continue to show interest in past clients that send you business they’ll send you even more simply because you show that you care. You could even reward people who regularly refer you business with a small financial incentive, a house warming gift, a bottle of wine or by buying them a nice dinner.
thankyou referrals
  • Following up clients after the sale. Following up clients after your job is complete shows that you are willing to go the extra mile and will make it a lot easier to ask for referrals later on. Try calling them two to three weeks after closing and say “Hi Neil, how did the move go? Are you settling in OK? Is there anything I can do to help you? If not, I’ll call again in a month to check in”. Then a month later call back and make the request for referrals, “I know we did a great job for you and I’m hoping you will refer your neighbours and acquaintances to us. Do you know of anyone planning to buy or sell a home?”.


Remember if you don’t ask you won’t receive. You have to train satisfied clients to work for you and refer business your way by regularly reminding them to do so throughout your sales relationship. Are there any tactics or phrases you've used in the past to sucessfully build your referral business? Please share them below.


Happy selling!

From the Homely Team


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Six essential elements to sell a multi-million dollar property

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Six essential elements to sell a multi-million dollar property

When you receive a listing there are a number of typical steps you go through in the process of marketing and selling that home. Such as organising photography, posting a sign out the front, advertising the home online and having an open for inspection.

When you receive a multi-million dollar listing the way you go about making the sale requires a different set of tactics. A sign in the front yard and an ad in the local newspaper simply won’t cut it in these special cases.

What are the essentials when selling a multi-million dollar property?

We’ve come up with six essential elements you should contemplate when selling a multi-million dollar property.  

1. Networking

More often than not luxury homebuyers will be working with an agent who specialises in high-end real estate. So the best way to tap into this segment is to make sure your property is exposed to high-end agents and luxury agencies that already have relationships with high-end buyers.

You can foster your professional network by hosting private open houses for agents, advertising your listing in agent only newsletters, even arranging private viewings with individual agents to get their feedback on what will drive enquiry for that particular property.

2. Presentation is key

Street appeal and interior staging is more important than ever when selling a multi-million dollar home. Luxury homebuyers are especially visual, so having a clean, organised and visually pleasing home is vital to help them to envision themselves living there.

To ensure the home is ready for showings you may need to advise the seller of minor changes they can make to increase the value of the property and make it more likely to sell. For instance, you could recommend a fresh coat of paint, window cleaning, to restain stairs and decking, pressure cleaning of paths and driveways, de-cluttering of spaces, rearranging or hiring furniture, to replace old carpeting and enhance the landscaping if need be. It’s also a good idea to remove any valuable or rare items (i.e. art or collectables) to allow the home to shine.

A gleaming example of an immaculately presented and beautifully styled luxury home is 81 Alfred Street, Kew, VIC


 3. Profile potential buyers

What type of professional, entrepreneur, international investor, large extended family or film star may be interested in your listing? It can be tricky to predict who your likely buyer will be, but we recommend considering as many potential candidates as you can before planning your marketing strategy.

Think about who your potential buyers are, where they currently live, what they care about most, what they read, watch, hear and are exposed to. You can then go on to tailor your advertising to the marketing channels that will be most effective in reaching and connecting with your buyers.

4. Exclusive events

A perfect way to attract high-end buyers is to host VIP invite-only events. Some agents go as far as getting luxury brands on board to sponsor their open house parties. Raymond Bolduc, founding realtor of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty and ultra-luxury property specialist, is well known for hosting lavish parties when he wants to close a deal. To sell a home on North Bay Road in Miami Beach, Florida, Bolduc hosted a gala at the house for 500 people, complete with yachts and Rolls Royces.

Exclusive events can also be a great way to bring in potential buyers you wouldn’t normally have access to. The sponsorship from a luxury brand or real estate agency allows you to access an extra contact list to spread the word about the event and more importantly your high-end listing.

5. Set realistic goals

Prior to setting an asking price you should check the listings of similar properties in the area, both online and in person. This will allow you to gauge the quality of your property with an honest and impartial eye and lead to setting a reasonable asking price.

Viewing properties in person also helps to get into your buyer’s mindset, as they will be shopping around and making the same comparisons between your listing and comparable homes on the market. Pay attention to what is going on in that particular suburb. See if similar houses are selling and what they have gone for in the past before setting your price.

6. Multi-channel marketing

To effectively promote a multi-million dollar property you need to utilise a range of channels. Think print, online and social media. Professional photography, a virtual tour and floor plans are must haves when advertising the property online. Distinctive signage, multiple web site listings and print advertisements (locally, nationally and internationally), first-rate direct mail and even editorial media type coverage are essential to bringing in qualified buyers.

Some fantastic international real estate websites to use include:

There are a few more considerations to make when targeting overseas buyers. Ensure your website is accessible on overseas search engines and utilise international real estate sites to promote your listing. It is vital to create a high quality virtual tour video of the home’s interior and exterior to include in your online listings. This allows potential buyers, no matter where they are in the world, to view the best features of the home, and get a feel for the lay out and size of the property.

158 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, NSW is a great example of a well executed virtual tour video and gallery. 


Networking, staging, profiling, exclusive showings, realistic pricing and multi-channel marketing are the six essentials you need to cover to successfully sell a multi-million dollar property. Are there other tactics you've had success with in the past? Feel free to contribute below.


Happy selling!

From the Homely Team


We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at



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