• Brittany Gardner

Exactly When to Ask for a Real Estate Referral During Transaction Coordination

It’s no secret: Referrals and repeat customers are the cheapest leads in your funnel, and their ROI is off the charts. 📈


So it’s no wonder asking for referrals is such a high priority among top performers.


That’s also why creating a customer experience that’s worthy of a referral is oh-so-crucial.


Here’s the thing, though. If you go through all the effort of creating an unforgettable closing experience, you don’t want it to go to waste.


But if you ask for a referral at the wrong time, you’re probably not going to get the results you were hoping for.


So when is the right time to ask for a referral… and when should you definitely avoid it?


We’ll help you out. Today, we’re going to give you all the deets on when, why, and how to deliver those perfectly-timed asks that earn more referrals.


When to ask for a referral:

  • Why the transaction is the best time to generate referrals

  • 4 opportune moments for referral requests

  • Why you shouldn’t wait until after closing

  • How to leverage email templates to make the ask even easier


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When is the best time to generate referrals?


There’s a reason referrals are such a valuable resource. You’re getting a toasty-warm introduction plus a big ol’ stamp of approval.🏅


But before your clients will stake their reputation on you, they need to know you can deliver on your promises and produce results.


❌ Ask too early and you might be doomed by faint praise.


✅ Ask once you’ve proved yourself, and you’ll get a glowing recommendation while their appreciation is still fresh and strong.


According to agent Bill Bonner, the transaction is the best time to generate raving fans — and more referrals. That’s why he peppers requests throughout the closing process. In fact, he’s identified four key transaction moments that are ripe with referral opportunity.


Don’t miss these 4 perfect moments to ask for a referral


If you want to maximize your odds of getting a referral, you’ve got to ask more than once. Here are the best times from contract to close to make the ask:


  1. When the client goes under contract. Big sigh of relief = perfect moment to request a referral.

  2. After the inspection. If you get to showcase your expertise while helping your clients negotiate any contingencies, you’re in a great position to ask for a referral.

  3. When the loan is approved. Another good news opportunity you can use to your advantage.

  4. Before the walkthrough. The (relative) calm before the storm of closing and moving.


For best results, try asking for a referral right after steps 3, 4 and 8 — or just before step 9!


While it can be daunting, it’s important to remember that you’re not inconveniencing or annoying them by asking. (It’s a referral, not a kidney.)


Really, you’re just reminding them that your business is built on referrals, and that you’d love to help out any of their friends or family who are in the market.


Stay engaged in the transaction process from start to finish via our simple and intuitive chat-like platform. Check it out for free today!


Here’s why you shouldn’t wait until after closing


The end of a transaction feels like a huge win for everyone. Perfect moment to ask for a referral, right?


Not so much.


Here’s the thing. For your clients, closing is thrilling… but it also usually means it’s time for the really hard part: moving house. 😅


So yeah, they may think you’re awesome. They might be so grateful that you helped get them through the transaction…


But at this point, they’re too busy thinking about boxes and moving trucks, cleaning and transferring utilities to worry about which of their friends and family could use a rock star real estate agent.




The Rule of Reciprocity


There’s another reason you shouldn’t wait until after closing, and it’s deeply rooted in social psychology. It’s called reciprocity.


As it turns out, most of us are naturally wired to reciprocate positive actions. When someone gives us a gift or does us a favor, we feel driven and even obligated to ‘pay back’ the debt.


In real estate, reciprocity can work very much to your advantage — if you time it right.


Because real estate is such a service-driven profession, you’ll typically rack up an impressive sequence of positive actions towards your clients while they have limited opportunity to reciprocate.


So even though they logically know you’re going to be compensated, most people will subconsciously feel indebted until that transaction is complete.


And that’s precisely why you can’t afford to wait until after closing. By the time your clients have signed the check, they might just feel the thanking is done. ✌🏽




BONUS: If you missed your pre-closing shot…


If you miss your opportunity to request a referral during the transaction, there’s a chance to tip the reciprocity scales back into your favor.


A closing gift.


While there’s definitely a risk that your thoughtfulness will get lost in the shuffle of moving, closing gifts can also be a great way to enhance the client experience, reposition yourself at the top of your client’s mind, and nurture your existing relationships.


It might not earn you a referral right away, but an amazing closing gift will ensure your clients think of you the next time someone asks them, “Hey, know of any awesome Realtors around here?”


Automate the ask with personalized email templates


You know when to ask for referrals and why it’s so important to time them right.


So what about the how?


Lucky for you, we know how to make referral requests as simple as possible:


Email templates ✉️


First off, if you’re not leveraging text and email templates with clients throughout the process of listing, buying, and selling homes, you’re missing out on a massive time-saver that can also add some serious finesse to your brand.


The fact is, you probably send the same messages over and over and over again with each new client you serve. Email templates make it super simple to deliver perfectly-crafted, super on-brand messages every time.


And when you have templates for each of those big moments in a transaction, you can easily slip in a referral request. That means you don’t even have to remember to do it — it’s just built right into your system.



Preclose GO! Lets you instantly personalize your transaction coordination email templates with our super smart @ tokens. If you want to include the name of the buyer, just type in ‘@buyer’. You’ll see multiple selections pop up that you can click to add straight into the text!


Create an Outstanding Real Estate Experience


Requesting a referral is still only part of the equation. If you want to turn your business into a referral-generating machine, you’ve got to consistently deliver a 5-star experience that your clients can’t wait to tell their friends about.


Preclose can help you do that. Our platform makes the experience of buying and selling homes intuitive, collaborative, and transparent — so you can build trust and seriously wow your clients.


Try Preclose GO! for free with your real estate team and impress your clients from contract to close.