Outside the Box Referral Sources

When an agent has a system that brings them referrals, that's when their business runs the smoothest.

Referrals bring leads that almost are guaranteed to list while being the most enjoyable owners you can work with.

The key to a system that brings referrals is business partners.

There are a lot of different types of them that you're not thinking of. And most of them will be willing to work with you in this regard.

Client referrals are the most important referral’s that you can earn. The average conversion rate is an extremely high 70%.

Getting referrals from your past clients is one thing, but partners can consistently refer owners to you.

Here are some outside the box referral sources.

Local Schools

These school's faculty members and parents could each bring you referrals.

Leave your card or some type of logo with your number on it. Smart Agents members can leave their books that have their face on the cover.

Sponsoring events, fundraisers or even a team for a school is how you open the door to that.

If you sponsor a youth team since their parents will be watching, it increases your presence with them a lot.

Then when your materials are around the school, they'll already recognize you. And the faculty will be more than willing to nudge parents in your direction.

Provide dinner for a night PTA meeting or something along those lines.

Get to know the parents when you are serving or passing out the food. Talk to them about how important it is for you to see the school succeed.

Work with Banks or Credit Unions

This is something we've seen other agents do before, but never one of our members with their books.

Contact the banks REO department. A lot of the bigger chains of banks will have a designated agent that works with the properties they're involved with.

Call all the banks and credit unions in your area. Then ask to speak with the representative that handles that side of their business.

If you can set yourself up with them, then the bank will reach out to you for help selling those foreclosures.

If you don't get them or win their partnership, send the REO department your marketing material in the mail.

Even if they have an agent who works with their bank already, it never hurts to send them material trying to prove why you could be the better agent.


There are a few niches you can attempt to work with attorneys for.

Inherited homes and divorced homes. So the lawyers you want to work with need to be practicing in family law.

If an attorney recommends you to clients as the specialist who will sell the home, you have a high chance of winning that listing. 

Call these lawyers and offer to be their partner. You can exchange goods or services with them as well.

We've seen members trade ad space on their website for this with attorneys. Do the same thing with attorneys when you ask them for inherited leads.

Or even probate attorneys or divorce lenders. Even if they don't want to send clients your way, there are still ways you can work with them.

See if you can leave material in their office. Our members would leave their books.

Then when a couple goes into one of these offices, they'll see the material and that you specialize in homes with this.

If a family member goes in for inherited homes, they'll see the material you left there for them.

Sometimes if a lawyer doesn't want to refer people,  they'll still be more than happy to keep your information lying around their office.

Nursing and Retirement Homes

When the elderly go into a home, they usually leave behind a home of their own.

And they usually go with their family and look at the home to check out the amenities much earlier then they are ready to move into there.

Call up these places and see if you can leave your books or whatever material you use around the place - preferably in the office.

We had a member do this. He called 20 homes, and four of them said they would hand out his books to old folks who needed to sell their home.

Offer to trade out something for this or straight up pay them. Or you could pay them a small percentage of your commission if you get any listings from their referral.

Doctors or Dentist Offices (Anyone with a Waiting Room)

This is the same concept as the last few ideas. Call these offices and see if you can place some material in their waiting rooms.

This is what one of our members, Lorena, did successfully.

"Yes, the first set of books that I got, I gave it to the people that serve me, like my dentist, my hairdresser, my nail lady, all the people I knew had magazines laying around. Someone called me from the books and asked if I was the one with my book at this dentist office” I said, “Yes, I do.” “Well, I have a house for sale, so why don’t you come over to my house?” So we made an appointment for about three or four days later."

Again, you don't need to be a Smart Agent member to market yourself in these places. All you need is something a little valuable to put in these offices.

Approach all these business and people with the idea of becoming long-term partners with them.

Make sure that they know this as the intention as well. Quickly tell them that you want this to benefit both sides.

Almost all the time they'll be more than willing to work with you.

Once you have a system that is rolling, it gains more and more momentum.

Check out this training that we’ll do with you about mastering all aspects of expired listings.

This is what you’ll learn:

  • How to position yourself above your competition so the Expired can’t help but choose you to sell their home.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to build an expired listing marketing package.
  • How to avoid the fatal mistake that most agents make with Expireds. If you’re wondering why sellers don’t treat you with respect, then this will be an eye opener!
  • How to stand out from everyone else so Expireds call you instead of your competition. 
  • What to do to cause sellers to drive to YOUR office and meet you to sign the listing contract instead of you having to go to them.  
  • How to implement everything quickly and easily so you can start taking listings fast. 

Click the link below to sign up. 


avatar_joe Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here

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