Best Client Referral Scripts for Real Estate Leads

By Johnny Sebastian • Updated: 11/30/22 • 8 min Read
Best Client Referral Scripts for Real Estate Leads

Is it too cheesy? Are straightforward, easy-to-use client referral scripts too old school?

I’ll let you be the judge. But there are entire Pinterest boards of shareable social media images advertising this popular real estate idiom, and it adorns many business cards, no doubt.

There are even giant wall stickers on Amazon for your brokerage office!

What is indisputable is that a Facebook post or email signature is no replacement for the hard work of good past client and SOI follow up.

Past clients and your friends and family are essential components of your lead generation. Every successful and mature real estate business leans heavily on these relationships, and real estate referrals represent approximately 40% of all real estate leads generated, more than any other source.

A referred customer will also be more likely to convert as a warm lead.

Reaching out to past clients shouldn’t be too hard. What can be awkward is slipping in your referral request without coming off as aggressive or salesy.

Here are some real estate scripts to get your conversations started!

Semi-Annual Past Client Calls: Client Referral Scripts

Brandon Mulrenin

Brandon has a great, follow-worthy YouTube channel for real estate agents and founder of Reverse Selling coaching programs.

It is not fair to call these “scripts.” He makes it clear you don’t need to overthink these things! These are people you know, and it should be highly conversational.

Here he does some live calls with past clients. A few of them are kinda brutal! He was making these calls during the early COVID days. It sounds like the first dude’s whole family was just laid off!

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[NAME] How’s it going?

Great! Catch you at a bad time?

Awesome. Just touching base and seeing how y’all are doing. [AD LIB! GO NATURAL]

[FORD: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams]

If you need anything, at all, as relates to your house or anything going on, just let me know.

Thanks [NAME], talk soon.


Hey [NAME] it’s [NAME]. Hey, yeah, hope all’s well. Just checking in on you guys. It’s TIME. Give me a call back when you’ve got time. Talk soon.

Brian Icenhower

Brian Icenhower runs Icenhower Coaching and The Real Estate Trainer site and YouTube.

He has a very actionable YouTube channel that I recommend following.

His script is for any interaction you have with clients. The primary substance should be value, not selling yourself. Check-in on them 30 days after closing to see how they like the home. Or during your semi-annual calls. In the end, you can drop in a gentle and flattering script here:

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Oh, by the way, I prefer to do my business by word of mouth. I like working with and a lot of my clients and I want to work with more people like you. So if you ever bump into anyone who is thinking about buying or selling, would you have any problem with referring my services to them?

Neglected Past Client Script

Mike Cerrone

Mike Cerrone is the owner of Master Mind Agent, easily one of my favorite sources of excellent, highly actionable real estate advice.

That said, I’m not a massive fan of this particular script he says he’s using from Jeff Cohn, another guy with great information. I think it’s too apologetic. I don’t think highlighting how long it’s been is good. I don’t think advertising that you intend to put them on an auto-email after ignoring them for years is good. And it goes for the kill a little too aggressively by asking if they are thinking about selling instead of letting that come up naturally.

I included it here because these are still two intelligent people who know more than I do.

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Hi, is [NAME] there?

Hey [NAME], What’s up! This is [NAME] with [BROKERAGE] and you bought a house from me # years ago and we haven’t talked since. How are things going?

Well you’ve probably moved 5 or 6 times now? Are you still at [ADDRESS]?

Hey, I’m going through and I’m updating my database. Obviously I got the right number for you. I should still have your address. Is it still [ADDRESS]?

Perfect. Then, email for you. Are you still at [EMAIL]?

Awesome, and that’s the email address that works best for you?

Cool. Well I don’t know if you know this, but when you purchased your property you spent [$]. Your property today is probably worth [$$]. [NEIGHBORHOOD UPDATE]

So I’m calling everyone in my sphere both to get everything up to date in my database and to check in to see if you’re curious about hwat your current home value is and if you have any interest in putting your home on the market in the near future?

Have you?

Well, that’s no problem at all. Back in the day, I meant to set you up on an auto-email so every time a house sold in your neighborhood it woul alert you so you could keep tabs. Would you be alright since I already have your email address if I set you up on an auto-email every time a house hits the market in your area. And then when you’re ready to put your home on the market or if you come in contact with someone who it thinking about putting their house on the market or buy a home, you have my contact information and you can just forward them to me.

Heyt, again, I’m calling my sphere and I know I’ve done a sucky ujob just keeping up. But I want to just keep doing it every three months. I want to know that I care about you and I haven’t shown that lately.

Ricky Carruth

Ricky Carruth is a coach and author of Zero to Diamond, with a prolific YouTube channel I recommend following.

These scripts don’t have to be complicated. You can see Ricky doesn’t script very much. It should be a natural conversation. If you’re struggling, remember FORD: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams. Ask them about the kids, the job, hobbies, and what they are doing next in life.

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Hey NAME, it’s NAME with BROKERAGE. How are you doing?

I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I just wanted to check on you. Is there anything in the world I can do for you?

When Meeting “New” People

Nice to see you!

I think I first read about this on Twitter. But experienced celebrities never say, “nice to meet you.”

Celebrities meet 1000s of people and then forget them all immediately. If they meet them again another day, saying “nice to meet you” to someone you’ve already met or worked with is a surefire way of making them feel like they mean absolutely nothing to you.

Instead, the celebrity hack is “nice to see you.”

Have you met them before? Is it your first time? Who cares. “Nice to see you” works either way.

Maybe that seems ridiculous. Most agents have done only 100 deals. Maybe 1000? Surely they’ll at least remember a past client’s face, if not the name and details.

Well, I’m a cautionary tale.

One of my lowest personal moments in real estate came when someone stopped me in a parking lot and started chatting me up about real estate. I had no idea who they were, and still don’t to this day, other than they were one of my past clients!

I handled it well, I think, and they didn’t catch on that I did not recognize them. But it astonished and unsettled me that it was possible I could forget a vital face and name that easily.

Tips for Engaging with Past Clients and SOI

  • Avoid Being Salesy. Especially if it’s been a while, calling someone out of the blue probably puts them on edge that you are trying to sell them something. Disarm that by calling with an ostensible purpose, like offering an updated market update or property tax appeal. That can segue naturally into the more salesy language, like asking if they know anyone interested in buying or selling real estate.
  • FORD. Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. Check-in on them in a conversational way.
  • Say Thank You.
  • Make Sure Contact Info is Correct. Folks change emails, phone numbers, etc., from time to time. Making sure you have the correct information periodically is good to ensure the relationship continues.
  • Don’t Forget Current Clients! You don’t have to wait until a deal closes to ask for referrals!

Final word

Did you like this article? Did it provide you value in contacting your past client database?

Well, the best compliment you could give me is your referrals!

Let your Realtor friends know about Unify Real Estate, the #1 information site for tech-savvy real estate agents!