Real estate business

How to Create a Referral-Only Real Estate Business

  • Facebook gifts are an easy way to thank people for sending you a recommendation.
  • The higher the level of human contact with your database, the more effective it is.
  • Before you call someone in your database, check their Facebook timeline first.

If you needed a new client right now, what would you do? In our latest Agent Interview, Trey Willard talks about how he built a go-to real estate business solely through the relationships he nurtured with the more than 1,600 people in his database.

Willard can call any of those 1,600 people right now, and they’d be happy to answer his call.

Uncensored Real Estate: Sales and Marketing Training Podcast

Hosts: Greg McDaniel and Matt Johnson with guest Trey Willard

“I’m not even asking for the company. I speak about it; we leave it alone, and the dismissals – they kind of come. -Trey Willard

We started with a question about how to defend your commission. Willard and McDaniel shared their insights, including the script McDaniel recently used to handle this situation.

Next, we delved into Willard’s story, including how he joined a team and completed 36 trades his freshman year, earning him Rookie of the Year honors. Willard shared how he started compiling his database by extracting all of his contacts from his phone and putting them on an action plan in Top Producer.

A key quote Willard picked up from mega-agent Jamie Cox (also a former guest on the show) was, “Messy success is better than clean failure.” This helped Willard avoid getting caught up in trying to create the perfect drip campaign.

Willard also explained how he took over a new residential sales division in a brokerage shop and transitioned from primarily buyers to working with sellers. Willard’s real estate coach encouraged him to prospect expired and FSBOs, but Willard chose to remain a referral agent only.

You will learn how Willard:

  • Reconnected with its database
  • People trained to give him the contact details of a reference
  • Uses text messages to prepare referrals rather than calling first
  • Creation of a referral network of suppliers and service providers

Internet prospecting and lead generation works best when backed by a great database. Start with the people you know and make sure they know what you’re doing.

You don’t have to aggressively ask for references. Make simple check-in calls, provide value and make a real connection with them. References will come naturally.

Trey Willard is the senior residential agent for Donnie Jarreau Real Estate, a new division of a major local developer. Prior to starting this division, Trey was Keller Williams Rookie of the Year (2010) and Top Producer 2010-2012. Any references you have in the Baton Rouge area, please email them to Trey at

Click here to subscribe to Real Estate Uncensored on iTunes.

Matt Johnson is a marketing consultant and co-host of real estate podcasts and live video series such as Real Estate Uncensored and Lead Gen TV.

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