How to Build a Real Estate Agent Referral Network from Scratch
Wonder how a real estate agent might be able to help on your real estate investing journey? You can use it to build a network of referrals. In this blog, we're going to recap Paul Myers' step-by-step blueprint for building an agent referral network from scratch. Without further ado let's dive right in.
Background on Paul
Paul has built a 7-figure real estate investing business in less than 2 years, primarily through building relationships with real estate agents in his local market of Augusta, Georgia.
Last year, he did over $600k in revenue, but the vast majority came from marketing directly to sellers. He wanted to increase profits and repeat business, so he set an audacious goal to 10x his business.
The strategy he implemented was building an agent referral network through systematic outreach and relationship building. This allowed him to generate over $400k in referral fees from agents last year with zero marketing costs.
Why Focus on Agents?
There were two main reasons Paul decided to focus on agents:
- Potential for repeat business - When you buy from a seller, it's typically a one-time transaction. But agents can continue referring deals.
- No marketing costs - Marketing directly to sellers has high costs. Agent referrals have no acquisition costs, so they become mostly profit.
He broke his business into two divisions:
- Direct-to-seller marketing
- Listings & agent referrals
His goal was to keep scaling his marketing but also add $375k from agent referrals.
How It Performed
In reality, the listed properties division didn’t pan out as expected. But he generated over $400k from agent referrals!
Here is the business breakdown:
- $412k - Agent referrals
- $630k - Direct to seller
- $270k - Other (foreclosures, tax liens, etc.)
So in one year he more than doubled his business from $615k to $1.32 million, primarily through the agent referral network.
Now let’s get into the step-by-step blueprint...
20 Steps to Building an Agent Referral Network
Here are the steps Paul took to generate over $400k in referral fees from agents:
1. Hire an Acquisitions Manager (optional)
Paul hired an acquisitions manager who had a real estate license and experience as an agent. This helped him understand and relate to agents.
2. Build a List of Agents in Your Market
He got a list of all 2200 agents in his MLS and ranked them by production. Focus on top producers first.
3. Add Agents to Your Phone
Paul adds each agent's name, number, and brokerage to his cell phone. This way any callbacks show up identified.
4. Call to Introduce Yourself
They called every agent on the list over 6 months. The script explains what you do, offers to connect on social, and asks about potential deals.
5. Add to CRM
After calling an agent, Paul adds them to his CRM and tags them as "real estate agent".
6. Send Connection Requests on Social Media
To avoid seeming like a stalker, Paul offers to connect on Facebook/LinkedIn during the call. This helps with:
- Facial recognition
- Staying top of mind by posting content
7. Follow Up via Text and Email
He follows up via text and email to provide his contact info and a flyer with his buying criteria.
8. Send a Credibility Packet
Paul also emails each agent a “credibility packet” that explains his business and credentials. This establishes him as a serious investor.
9. Post on Social Media
He regularly posts real estate and agent-focused content on social media. When he does a deal with an agent, he will post about it and tag the agent.
10. Call VIP Agents Monthly
Agents who have closed a deal or referred a deal get tagged as VIPs. He calls these agents monthly to stay top of mind.
11. Send a Monthly Newsletter
Paul sends a monthly newsletter to his entire agent list. When he does a deal with an agent, he features the story in the newsletter.
12. Offer 24-48 Hour Response Time
He commits to looking at any deal an agent refers within 24-48 hours. This is key because agents often have short timelines.
13. Explain Double Dipping and Triple Dipping
Double dip is when the agent represents both sides of the transaction to get double commission. Triple dip is when they also list the fixed-up property.
14. Build a Cash Buyer List
If an agent is an investor, Paul gets their buy criteria and adds them to his cash buyer list instead of asking for deals.
15. Go to Brokerages to Speak
He does free educational seminars at brokerages on topics like wholesaling, marketing, investing, etc.
16. Host Your Own Meetup Events
Paul also hosts his own monthly meetups and invites all agents across brokerages in his market.
17. Get Your Real Estate License
Getting his broker’s license helped Paul relate even better with agents. This is an optional step.
18. Partner with Your Local Board of Realtors
Look for opportunities to sponsor or speak at local realtor events to build relationships.
19. Teach Real Estate Licensing Courses
Paul started teaching courses at real estate schools. This exposes him to future agents.
20. Sponsor Brokerage Sales Meetings
Sponsoring meetings is a way to get in front of agents and build rapport.
The biggest takeaways from our interview with Paul were to:
- Focusing on agents in your farm area can provide endless motivated seller leads.
- It's all about staying top of mind by consistently following up and adding value.
- Getting your license can help build instant credibility and rapport.
- Sponsoring or speaking at brokerage events is powerful for exposure.
Real estate agents are that untapped and underused resource to help you get deals. Networking is a powerful tool in the real estate industry and investing is no exception. Take action and start building your real estate agent network today!
About Samantha Ankney
Samantha has been a media specialist for DealMachine for 2.5 years. She produces, edits, writes, and publishes all media that is distributed to the DealMachine and Real Estate Investing community.