Real Estate News and Recommended Articles June 11-21, 2012
Las Vegas Short Sale Training, Certifications and Networks

Create a Powerful Referral System with these 7 Action Steps

SOI/ Past Client Referral System

There are 3 basic reasons why many agents fail to conquer the most important real estate system to implement – your Sphere of Influence (SOI) and Past Client Referral System.

  1. They never decide on a contact management or software solution.
  2. If they have a solution, they don’t enter the contacts, sort and categorize them.
  3. They over-analyze or never decide what to do or send out each month – thus, ultimately doing nothing for months on end.

So, let’s break it down step-by-step, get this critical system in place and generating business and referrals immediately.  The key to implementing this system is to commit to the process and set a deadline to complete each action step, one at a time. 


Action Step 1 - Create your list of past clients and sphere of influence.  If you have started a list or have it scattered in 2 or 3 places (MLS client, Outlook, other email program, scraps of paper, transaction folders, etc) get it all together in one place.  Make sure you have all the vital information on your contacts – names, address, emails, phone numbers, social media.  

Set deadline for completion: __________

Action Step 2 - Decide on a contact management /real estate transaction system.  You can choose a program like Outlook to get started and always upgrade to a more comprehensive, real estate-specific program.  The important thing is to choose something and just get started!  When researching and deciding on the right Customer Relationship Management software for you… consider these features to compare…

  • Accessibility (Mobile access, cloud-based, desktop)
  • Ease of use
  • Price (One time cost vs. monthly subscription)
  • Import/Export capability
  • Auto drip email campaigns
  • Action plans
  • Transaction management
  • Listing management
  • Contact/Client management 

REST – Real Estate Success Tracker  ( )  ($399 for single user license)
Highly recommended. Easy to use, more intuitive, not as complicated as many programs. 
Single and multi-user options available.  You install REST on your desktop/laptop but you can also remotely access from your PDA or another computer.

REST_Assured, hosted option for $34.98/mth

Top Producer, http://www/ ($ 39.95/mth). Top Producer is a comprehensive cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and real estate transaction management system.  Multiple related products integrate with the CRM module (MArket Snapshot, Websites, IDX, Connector for MLS)

Realty Juggler   ($99/yr   Free 90 day trial) Cloud-based CRM, mobile access, real estate flyers, activity/task plans, print labels, letters, drip emails, track production, team support 

Wise Agent  ($24.95/mth  Free  30 day Trial ) Cloud-based CRM with contact manager, transaction manager, doc storage, email drip campaigns, flyers, newsletter, letters, property lists, to do lists, text and email alerts

Other CRM solutions

Real Estate Website – Your Back Office of your real estate website solution may have a CRM component

Email newsletters and email list management options:

 Research the solutions and make a decision.  Set deadline for purchase, installation and familiarization/training: _____________


Action Step 3 - Input all contact information into selected program.  Set aside a few hours and get this task done!  If you aren’t going to get to this task any time soon - hire someone to get this job done for you.  Computer-savvy people (teenagers, family members, your colleagues’ family members, agents in your office, local high school or community college students) are everywhere – find someone and hire them for this project. 

Set your deadline: ________________


Action Step 4 - Sort and categorize your database.  Optimally, complete this step simultaneously with the data entry of Step 3.  I recommend using the technique taught by Brian Buffini to sort your database:

  • A+ Multiple transactions or multiple referrals
  • A Referred at least one client
  • B Haven’t referred yet – probably will when you remind them/show them how
  • C You know them/just met them – haven’t sold them a home yet
  • D Delete - Not going to mail to them

You can also group your database by other specific categories or contact types (sellers, buyers, farm, past clients, newsletter, prospects, vendors, investors, short sale prospects, etc).


Action Step 5 - Create an Introduction or Reconnect letter with a deadline to mail out.

  • The letter should outline what the recipient can expect from this point forward; what services you provide; your client appreciation program; local market updates; annual market analysis of their property; business-to-business resources to name some possibilities.
  • If you are a New Agent, ask your broker for an endorsement letter from your Broker – company.  The concept here is the SOI member knows that the agent is new and may not have a high level of confidence in their ability or experience yet.   The letter reassures the potential client that not only do you get the agent but a team of professionals and support staff.
  • For those of you who have not done a great job staying in regular contact with your database, write a “reconnect” letter. 

Bonus Action Step:

Make a follow-up phone call after you send the letter or email. This one extra step will help you immediately sort your database and the major side benefit…you will more than likely generate business either directly or by referral from the activity of all the calls you make.

Make sure to cover these points on the call:

  • Ask them how they prefer to be contacted and updated (email, mail, texting, call)
  • Verify you have their preferred email and accurate contact info (use the Client Information Form)
  • Always ask for a referral!  “Who is the next person you know (or.. Who do you know…)  who is interested in investing in real estate?  Considering selling their home or buying anew home?

Set deadline for completion: __________


Action Step 6 - Decide on what you are going to mail or email each month.  This is the step many agents get stuck on.  They can’t decide on what to send or procrastinate about it or waste time creating their own newsletter or mailout.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.  Just pick one and do it.  You can always modify and refine later.

We recommend 30-40 connections annually.  A connection could be a call, email, mailer, text or face-to-face meeting.  Here is a sample connection plan:12 monthly newsletters

  • 12 monthly newsletters
  • 4 phone calls (call A+, A, and B contacts at least quarterly)
  • 4 personal notes (After these phone calls for sure.  And any other opportunity like when you receive a referral.)
  • 4 success mailers (quarterly just listed/just sold mailer)
  • 8 Holiday postcards, emails or flyers
  • 6-8 Seasonal postcards, emails or flyers (Time change, home maintenance, market reports)
  • Four Key Connects to include:
    • Settlement Statement (send first week of January for all closings from previous year)
    • Anniversary card, email, or call
    • Birthday card, email ,call or text
    • Annual Market Analysis
  • Current Market Data
    • Local or State REALTOR Association
      GLVAR has a Consumer Newsletter
      CAR has Client Direct – online newsletter
    • Most local Title Companies provide excellent market condition reports.  This is the information people are most interested in – what is happening in your local market.  Be the provider of that information!
    • Altos Research
    • Market Snapshot


Action Step 7Systemize it!  This is the final step and a key to the overall success of the system.  It simply means deciding on a day or week of the month that you will actually prepare and send out your monthly mailer or email.  Schedule it.  Place it on a visible calendar and make it happen.  Hire someone to get this task complete for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.



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