April 2018 Newsletter: Asking for Referrals

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney


From the time I started working in the real estate industry until today, referrals have always been my number one source of new customers… Period! In my experience, getting referrals from satisfied customers is the best way to build a business. It makes new customers feel secure to know that they are using someone that someone else used and was happy with. In my real estate and speaking career I depend mainly on referrals to increase my customer base.

No matter what industry you are in, your current and past customers can refer you to people who need what you can offer them. What’s the best way to get referrals? Ask for them. Let your current and past customers know that you are interested in reaching out to new customers. If you don’t ask for referrals, people might get the impression that you are not interested in helping more customers.

The purpose of every business is to create a customer who creates new customers


Asking for a referral is not the same as asking for a sale; it’s softer and easier. Here’s a typical scenario: I get a brand new listing, and instead of calling people up and asking them if they would like to buy a new home, I call people to ask if they know of anyone who is looking for a home like this one. Then I offer to email them a link to the listing so they can share it with friends or family members who might be interested in looking at this home.

When you make a phone call to one of your current or past customers to ask for a referral, you are accomplishing two things: (1) you are asking them to refer you, and (2) you are keeping in touch with them so they won’t forget you. This type of contact is no different from calling a friend, and the purpose is the same: to maintain or build your relationship with this person.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos


Asking for a referral might sound like this: “Mike, you and your referrals are very important to me. If you know anyone who wants the best service possible when buying or selling a home, my family and I would be very grateful if you referred me.” I think it is important to mention your family when asking for referrals because your family also will benefit if you have more customers. In my opinion, saying “my family and I would be grateful” sounds better than focusing on yourself.

One of the best ways to motivate people to refer you is to be helpful to them. For example, someone might be looking for a person who provides a service that you don’t offer. Be resourceful and help them in every way possible. Use your connections and experience to offer names and contact information. They will see how sincere and willing you are to be of service to them, and they will never forget how you helped them. And in the process of being helpful, you are also giving a fellow business person a referral! They will remember that you helped them by sending them a potential customer, and they will be more likely to do the same thing for you in the future.


Van Deeb is a coach, speaker, and author who is recognized as an authority on helping people reach their goals, create a written plan, build confidence, and live a more productive and fulfilled life. His proven methods helped Van build one of the largest real estate companies in the country, growing his business from just himself to an agency with 350 associates. Invite Van to present a workshop, keynote, or event at your company. Contact Van at his direct line: 402-680-8448, through email:, or on the Web at

What People in the Audience are Saying…

With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"

—George Akers // President, First Mortgage Corp.

I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”

—Justin Pauls // Realtor, Tampa, Florida

We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”

—Tracey Fortina // Omaha Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”

—Dustin Talacko // Realtor, Omaha, Nebraska

Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”

—Linda Reismeiler // Student at Randall School of Real Estate, Omaha, Nebraska

Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”

—Todd Andrews, Anchor and Producer, KETV Omaha

Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!

This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”

—Carolyn Summerton // First Mortgage Company of Idaho

I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”

—Scott Asbill, CDPE // Associate Broker, Realtor