All posts by John Paul Narowski

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Putting the Karma in karmaCRM: Our Commitment to Giving Back

We launched karmaCRM on April 12th, 2010. Over the years we’ve built cool stuff, had wonderful interactions with our customers, and helped companies grow. It’s been an incredible journey, but something has been missing – the soul of karmaCRM.

I picked our name for a reason. 2016 is the year to start living up to it. Let’s walk through the history of how the company came to be, and where we’re headed.

Where it all started

In 2008, I cofounded a web development consultancy – MetaSpring. I handled the sales, and we were growing. So, I hired my first salesperson to help out. Hurray, right?

Well, not so fast. Bring on the growing pains.

Within a few weeks of hiring Joe, we had a textbook need for CRM. We were accidentally both calling the same people, leads were slipping through the cracks, and, worst of all, we were keeping way too much in our heads.

A call from Jeff (a big prospect of ours at the time) was the final nail in the coffin. He asked about the status of the proposal Joe and I were working on. I provided outdated information, with the wrong estimate … oops. He knew.

I felt ashamed. I got off the phone flustered, a true hot mess.

In just 4 short weeks, we had:

  • Lost leads we’d spent good money on
  • Provided clients with bad information, making us look bad
  • Gotten into sales gladiator “telepathy” fights – we both expected the other person to know what was in our heads
  • Lost sight of what to focus on, what the priorities were. We used our inboxes to tell us what to do next. And let me tell you, the inbox doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Dang you, Gmail…

Cocktail napkins, spreadsheets, and sheer willpower weren’t going to cut it. Not if we wanted to grow. We needed CRM.

Over the next 6 months, we tried every tool under the sun. It was a glorious battle filled with hundreds of hours of support calls. And it was a battle we … lost. With the products I tried, I felt like I was being forced to use a jet engine to drive to the grocery store.

I felt like Goldilocks. The available sales tools were either too big or too small. Never just right. My salesperson kept going back to spreadsheets, and I was on the verge of busting a vein.

The search dragged on, meaning I lost valuable prospecting time. I needed something simple, lightweight, and fast to implement.

So, I did what every developer wants to do. I built my own.

I spent a weekend on the initial prototype, and within a few weeks of us using it, we were already fixing some of our past mistakes. We started to communicate better, the watercooler battles were reduced, and, best of all, our company was growing again.

Over the next 3 months, this tool became a part of my DNA. I used it daily, identified bottlenecks, and made rapid and continuous changes. I poured love into the vision of an affordable, simple CRM for people like me.

I decided to sell my ownership in MetaSpring and focus on building karmaCRM full time. Since this was my third company, I knew the world of small business well. I had personally experienced the workflow issues and I knew I could help. Being a salesperson and a developer meant I could straddle both sides of the line and make sure nothing slipped through the cracks.

I had my focus.

Built for small businesses

How often do you see that when you’re looking for a CRM. “We’re built for small business – only a $1,000 setup fee, then $200 a month per user.”


That might fit your idea of what a small business can afford … if you consider Chrysler a small business.

I built karmaCRM for myself and people like me – the small guys. We don’t need fancy charts and graphs, we just need help knowing what to do next, staying on top of things, and keeping in touch with our customers regularly. Plenty of enterprise CRMs say they cater to the small business market, but you can’t just retrofit a double decker bus to behave like a zippy motorcycle.

I wanted to build a tool for small businesses from the ground up. The local scrappy startup type of small business, not the 500-employee car company type of small business. We’re never going to focus on enterprise. Our vision is the help small businesses grow and we want to stay aligned and laser focused on that vision, even if the enterprise clients come a-knocking.

We’re for the small guys, the solopreneurs, the 3-5 person teams – with a packed-to-the-brim schedule.

I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 16. I never worked in, or understood, the enterprise world. Convert a lead to an opportunity, to a deal, to a … what? I’m lost. Lost, Lost, Lost.  

I do business with people, humans. I just wanted to keep track of that. My number one goal was to build better relationships, not brag about a pipeline full of an arbitrary 76% closing probability.

I set out to craft system that put simplicity and relationships first.

My focus was:

  1. To be able to easily see what my team was doing and who they were interacting with.
  2. To create a single source of truth for communication with my contacts.
  3. To have light, but well-crafted, customizations. My tool needed to speak my language, instead of requiring me to translate between CRM lingo and my sales lingo.
  4. To focus on relationships instead of transactions. Quality over quantity.

Bam. I had my vision for the product. Now I needed a name.

Why karmaCRM?

I believe that building a strong, vibrant business starts with the why. I could have built karmaCRM to be a soulless, CRM monster, but that wouldn’t have been fulfilling. I wanted a company rooted in something bigger, something that could become my life’s mission.

I wanted to find a way to give back. The concept of karma always resonated with me. I took a long look at the business people I respected most, and I realized that they were all people who embodied the idea of karma by giving back, by constantly adding value, and by generally improving the lives of people around them. You’d think this would be a public service, right? Nope, they’re also the most financially successful people in their fields – it goes hand in hand.

(PS: A wonderful byproduct of giving is it also makes you happier.)

I chose the name karmaCRM because I believe that the landscape in sales is shifting. Sales isn’t about taking; it’s about giving. We’re moving from highly transactional and impersonal to highly human and deeply personal. The more you care about the person and add value to their life, the more likely you are to establish a deep connection.

What does it mean to add value? Here are a few examples:

  • Help someone get hired
  • Share an article you think someone would like
  • Make a useful introduction
  • Help someone find a service contractor
  • Show someone you care
  • Send someone a gift

This idea of providing value through sales isn’t original. There’s an incredible movement behind it, outlined in the book The Go-Giver.

Now I had the product and the name, but, honestly, I didn’t grasp the true ramifications of what the name would mean until now. That’s why I’m writing this post.

We created massive shoes to fill. Now it’s time to fill them.  

What does the future hold?

We’re committing, today, to shift the meaning of karma in karmaCRM from abstract to actionable. We want to be the CRM that gives back and helps others do the same.

We’re committing to giving back to our customers in three ways.

  • Providing the tools you need to provide value to your customers

While we’re fundamentally a customer relationship manager, we want to add the philosophy of giving to how it functions. This means we’ll give you tools to learn your customers better, identify their needs, make effective introductions, and add value to your network –  every single day.

  • Donating on your behalf

Every month we’ll look at our most engaged users’ activity, and will donate to charities of their choice. The more tasks you complete and deals you close – the more we donate on your behalf.

  • Creating an ecosystem of success to provide empowerment and education

One of the major flaws in many CRMs is they operate on the assumption that your business is already thriving. That you have all the leads you need, and you just need to organize them.

From running a small business ourselves, we know this isn’t generally the case.

We want to be a direct support system to help you grow.

We operate under the assumption that you need more leads, that you could use help.

The more successful you are, the more successful we are. So, we’ll be investing in coaches, trainers, webinars, content, and strategies that help you grow. We’ll give away elite business coach hours, provide resources to help you to optimize your marketing, and even provide you with leads.

While karmaCRM has been around since 2010, our quest to live up to our name has just begun.

The lip service of giving ends today. Today we commit to better.

We’ll be publishing regularly about how this vision is becoming a reality, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about how we’re doing.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

How to nurture long-term relationships with clients

Finding clients is only the first part of the equation to becoming a successful real estate agent. Once you find clients, you need to keep them engaged through the entire home-buying or selling process, so that they ultimately end up buying or selling with you. After closing, continuing to nurture those relationships ensures that they become a source of ongoing referrals after their transaction with you is over.

Keeping clients engaged from the time they begin working with you through closing and for years beyond is they to making sure they continue to think of you whenever they or someone they know has a need to buy or sell a home, and provide those referrals that will be the bread and butter of your business.

This is about developing relationships that last. How do you make it happen?

Communicate In-process. One of the biggest determining factors of whether your relationships are going to last over the long term is the service and communication you provide to your clients while you’re in process with them. Deciding when and how to communicate can be a challenge, because each client may differ, in terms of what and how often they want to hear from you. Our suggestion is to develop a regular follow-up strategy for each client. This would involve valuable communication delivered at predictable intervals, agreed upon beforehand with the client so that they can know what to expect. The strategy we recommend includes:

  • Automated listing updates. Set up your active buyer clients to receive daily updates about new and reduced-price listings that are of interest to them. Make sure you review these. Extra-special opportunities? Homes you think will sell quickly? Follow up with a phone call! Sellers should also receive new listings, but for them, a roundup of weekly listings is probably more valuable, since they don’t need to hurry out to see the listings.

  • Weekly email updates. Send a brief update with any important market news or information that your buyers and sellers might need to know. This could include links to news stories about changes in mortgage rates, bought/sold information for the week in their target areas, or other news or information that might be of interest. The most important thing is that this information goes out regularly. You can set up these emails through your Karma CRM application, using a general template that goes to all clients, but personalized with a few thoughts for each specific client.

  • Follow-up calls in process. While your buyers and sellers are in process, you should incorporate regular follow-up calls to discuss how you each perceive things are going. Sometimes as a buyer searches for a home, they may find that some of their criteria have changed, or they decide to look in a different neighborhood. Listing clients may need to hear feedback that has been provided from showings and open houses. Regular calls and discussions go a long way toward making sure that you and your clients remain on the same page throughout the process.

Listen. One of the most critical skills you can develop as a real estate agent is the ability to listen well and incorporate feedback from clients. During the buying and selling process, there will be many times that client feedback can help you improve the service you provide. So when challenges arise, rather than defending how you do things, simply listen and assess whether there might be an opportunity to improve. Sometimes clients want daily communication, other times they may be sick of hearing from you, or they may feel you’re not communicating the information they need to know. Or maybe they feel that you’re not doing enough to help them find or sell their home. Whatever the case, listening well can help to defuse these kinds of concerns so that you avoid losing a client.

Be the go-to person. We’ve said before that one of the most important tools in your success is the market knowledge you bring to each client. This includes your network of referrals and resources that clients may need to access, either during the transaction or afterwards. Remind clients and referral resources that if they have a need for anything related to real estate, whether it’s a reasonably priced repair person or an attorney to help with legal matters, you’re the person to ask.

Keep in touch after closing. After the transaction closes, many agents move on to the next sale. Even if their service was great before closing, clients will soon forget you if you forget them. How can you prevent this?

  • Monthly newsletter. Your past clients should receive the monthly newsletter that goes to all prospects. Make sure it’s packed with useful information about real estate that isn’t just oriented towards buying or selling. Market information that shows how their real estate investment may be performing is always of interest, as well as information about how to care for their home throughout the year. Again, this can be scheduled through your KarmaCRM application to make keeping in touch easy.

  • Personal notes and phone calls. In this day and age of automated marketing, people still love the personal touch of a handwritten card or a phone call instead of a text. A birthday card, a note with an article or picture that reminded you of the client, or even just a call to check in and ask about FORD (Family, Occupation, Recreation, or Dreams) and learn what is new are important ways to keep in touch with clients over the long term.

  • Social media. Interacting with past clients on social media is a simple and easy way to stay in touch for years after the sale. Of course, your follow-up after the sale shouldn’t be limited to social media, but it is one way to stay in touch. One of the most effective ways to use social media is to check in on big dates in your clients’ lives and follow up with an in-person phone call or email message through your KarmaCRM app.

Treat every client like your most important client. This is possibly the most important piece of advice, because sometimes it’s easy to forget. Those renters down the street who walked into your open house might be buyers in a year or two. First-time buyers may be looking at a small condo today, but in twenty years they could be selling a million-dollar mansion. That elderly couple downsizing may not buy again … but their children and grandchildren might. Treat every client like they are your most important client. Give them all the same level of follow-up and service; you’ll find that they’ll reward you with loyalty and referrals for as long as you’re still in the business.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

How to Get Real Estate Leads on Facebook

Facebook has become the most popular social network on the planet. It would be a mistake to ignore as a lead-generation source, but it’s easy to get lost or intimidated. This guide will help you focus on free tactics that are proven to work. Getting free leads on Facebook boils down to one thing: “Content Marketing.” There are a lot of strategies out there – you may have tried boosting posts, or getting friends and family to like your page.

I’ve got news for you: 50 likes from prospects is better than 2,000 likes from people who aren’t your targets.

Stop focusing on Likes

While these “likes” might boost your ego, they’re not helping you generate valuable leads. If you want to use tools that help analyze your Facebook page likes, you’re going to get people who aren’t in your target market, and not interested in buying or selling real estate.

Stop talking about yourself

No one wants to see 5 posts a day about your listings. Keep the chatter about yourself to a minimum, and limited to no more than once per day. Invest time and energy thinking about how you can add value. There is an exception to this, if you’re writing high quality (non promotional) content on your own blog and want to share it on Facebook (see below).

Stop boosting posts

This can be a useful tactic, but be careful to ensure you have the right strategy and a way to measure success. Many people use this tactic as a shotgun approach to get visits and likes. Chances are, if you’re not a Facebook marketer, you might want to save your money.

Instead, you could consider running some ads on Facebook that directly target the leads you’re interested in.

Start sharing relevant content and adding value

This is the key. Share good content 3-5 times a day. Add value with every post. Think about the things your leads are interested in / concerned with and post that type of content.

Content Sharing Ideas:

Neighborhood information – new developments, restaurants, etc. The more of an expert you are in the neighborhoods you service, the more help you can be to your clients.

Real estate how-tos – targeting the consumer. Give them lots of ideas and insight to make the process easier for them.

Reasons to buy, reasons to sell – plant the thought to create customers. Maybe someone isn’t considering buying or selling – but if they see a compelling reason, they might consider it.

Start blogging

By adding value on your blog, you can also share on your Facebook page and drive traffic back to your website. Ultimately driving traffic from Facebook to your blog is the entire goal of this post. Blogging is something to consider, and one that has come highly recommended by top real estate agents – but it’s not for everyone. You can still grow your Facebook page and build leads without blogging, but this allows you to share your own content on your page, driving traffic back to your own site (and email capture system).

So you’re adding value, posting solid content, and driving qualified traffic to your website. Now what?

Start capturing emails

Once you drive people back to your site, make sure you capture their email address. It just so happens to be the entire point of this operation, so don’t skip this part. Make sure you have email marketing software like Mailchimp or Autopilot set up and ready!

By the way, email marketing software will help you stay in touch with all these leads, without having to email each one individually. These platforms aren’t real estate-specific, but pretty affordable – and easy to use!

As a bonus, check out Sumome – they have some pretty (and effective) methods of email capture that install right on your site.

Other ways to get leads on Facebook

While we believe that effective content marketing is the best way to grow traffic and leads, there are a few other options, if you’re willing to shell out the dough.

Promote posts

Facebook’s Promoted posts are another successful way to drive relevant, interested traffic to your website from Facebook. Here’s a video on the strategy.

Join groups

Find Facebook groups on real estate in your area, and become a part of the community. By engaging and adding value there, too, you could come out with some leads or partnerships with other agents.


Use this content marketing strategy on Facebook to drive traffic to your website and capture their email address. Being successful at this tactic boils down to adding value and genuinely caring about your prospects. The more helpful you are, the more people will be drawn to this content.

How do you get leads on Facebook? Is Facebook even a viable source for you, or do you have an alternative source to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

The 3 Professionals Who Will Help You Generate Referrals and How You Can Engage Them

For many agents, referrals are at the heart of their lead-generation strategy. All too often, though, agents think in terms of getting referrals from people in their personal sphere of influence. This is a great tactic, since you are known and trusted by those people; for agents whose sphere may not be so large, it can be limiting.

A good rule of thumb is that if you have fewer than 50 people in your sphere of influence – defined as people who know you well, trust you, and would advocate for you to the people they come into contact with – then it will be important for the success of your business to increase your referral base.

One of the best ways to do this is by developing your professional network. This is a strategy that has worked well for many real estate professionals. One of the reasons it works is that you are creating mutually beneficial relationships. The ideal referral relationship is one where each person benefits from the relationship – where referrals can flow both directions. This kind of mutual benefit opens doors; getting in front of these people is fairly easy, since they will be just as interested in developing a relationship with you, as you are with them.

So what kinds of professionals should you be seeking out to develop a referral relationship with, and how do you approach them? Read on to learn how this strategy works!

Real Estate-Related Professionals

In every real estate transaction, there are a number of professionals and business owners who will be involved in making the transaction happen. These include mortgage brokers, home inspectors, repair people and handymen, escrow professionals, and more. You’ll be referring business to these people with every transaction.

Referrals can also flow your way if you select the right people to be your partners.

Who are the right partners? Not necessarily the most experienced professionals with the highest volume of business. Remember, the real estate industry has a very high burnout rate, and more established professionals may see a newer agent or someone they don’t know well as a risk. They’ll be happy to take referrals from you, but may not be willing to reciprocate.

A better idea, when you are a new agent, is to team up with others who are newer to the business, and help each other. A new mortgage broker will be more likely to reciprocate, and is unlikely to have already selected a real estate agent to whom they will refer the majority of their business. As you become more established, it will be easier to develop relationships with more established professionals.

It’s also important to remember that the way these professionals conduct their business will reflect on you, so make sure to find partners who are trustworthy and will do a good job with your clients.

Attorneys, Accountants, and Financial Professionals

In your real estate business, you will be dealing with all kinds of real estate buyers and sellers, from first time buyers, to investors, to retirees looking to downsize. Each of these people will likely have questions that are outside your area of expertise. That’s why it’s important to develop relationships with the people who can answer your clients’ questions. But don’t stop there – cultivating relationships with these types of professionals can also result in referrals in your direction.

Think about the different specialties within the broad categories of law and accounting, and how they might refer business to you:

  • Divorce attorneys often have clients who need to liquidate their home. Those clients might also buy two new homes (although it’s unlikely you would be working with both parties, since divorces can be quite acrimonious).
  • Probate attorneys may need to refer clients to a real estate agent to sell a home, so that the deceased’s heirs can split the proceeds.
  • Accountants may advise clients to invest in real estate as a tax shelter, or they may be working with a property investor to perform a 1041 exchange, where an investment property must be sold, and a new property purchased within a set timeframe.
  • Wealth managers may advise a client to move some of their assets out of stocks and bonds and into real estate for better returns, or vice versa.

Keep in mind that the transactions you’ll be dealing with from these kinds of professionals are likely to be more complex. Make sure you understand how these transactions work, as well as the needs of each client, before you take these referrals, as mistakes can cost you future business. It’s also important, before you refer to these professionals, that you understand and are comfortable with how they conduct their business. Both of your reputations are on the line with every referral.

Other Real Estate Agents

Real estate is a very broad profession, and there are a number of ways that you can go with your business focus. Some agents specialize in commercial, residential, or new construction. Others might specialize in working with investors, or condominiums, or build a practice focused on one specific neighborhood.

Never was the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” more true than in the real estate business. One of the biggest secrets of the most successful agents is that they develop a specialty and focus their business on that. When it comes to business that isn’t in their area of expertise, they’ll often refer it to another agent for a negotiable referral fee.

Use this knowledge to your advantage, by working hard to develop positive relationships with other agents and setting up mutually beneficial referral relationships with them. If your specialty is first-time buyers in neighborhood A, establish a relationship with an agent who specializes in neighborhood B, or who works mainly with luxury home buyers, and you’ll each be able to build your business and collect referral fees for each referred transaction that closes, while retaining your focus on the clients you really want to work with.

How To Engage Your Professionals

If you select the right kinds of professionals to target, engaging them is easy. Simply call them up and offer to buy them a cup of coffee so you can get to know each other and see if there is a way to work together to help each of you be more successful. Most business owners are on the lookout for relationships that can help them generate referrals, so they will be happy to talk to you.

If cold calling isn’t in your comfort zone, another option is to meet these professionals through a networking organization, such as your local Chamber of Commerce or Le Tip. This allows you to meet more casually and get to know each other, before attempting to meet and establish a referral relationship.

Finally, it’s important to remember that how you conduct yourself in your relationship with these professionals will reflect on your business ethics. So make sure that your follow-up is impeccable. Using your KarmaCRM, make it a regular part of your business to meet with two new professional referral sources each week, and follow up with two others, so that you are always building new relationships and maintaining your existing ones. This keeps the relationship fresh and the referrals flowing.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

9 Creative Ways to Jumpstart Your Referral LeadGen Engine

When you first start out in the real estate business, you won’t have any clients. You might not even have any leads. You need to build your pipeline with business opportunities quickly – but doing so can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are new to the sales profession.

These challenges are behind the statistic that says 87% of real estate agents will last less than five years in the business. Simply put, there is only so long you can stay in business when you are not closing business and depositing commission checks.

To beat these odds, you need to learn how to generate leads by referral. Referrals are the least expensive way to find new business; for new agents, they are a critical way to overcome some of the disadvantages and inexperience that you will be struggling with as a new agent. Referrals can also serve as an important reminder that no one becomes successful alone. Lasting success comes from supporting and being supported by others.

So how do you go about getting those referrals flowing? Read on to find out.

  1. Build your database. One of the most important tools for success in real estate is to have a strong database. Your database is everyone you know or have worked with; all these names should be managed in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system so that you can track conversations and contacts by phone, email or postcard. Some members of your database are part of your sphere of influence – advocates with whom you will be in frequent, personal contact. Others might be acquaintances. However you divide them up, a good system for keeping track of them will be the foundation of your success.

  2. Make a big announcement. One of the biggest obstacles to being a successful real estate agent is remaining a “secret agent.” A secret agent is one who doesn’t tell anyone that they’re in the real estate business. So, after you put your database together, your very next step should be to notify everyone in your database that you’ve gone into real estate. Some offices provide postcards to help you spread the news; you could also send an email announcement right from KarmaCRM. You could even put a press release in the local paper. The main thing is to make sure you spread the word, personally if at all possible. This is called “warming the leads” and will set the stage for the next step – getting in contact with your sphere.

  3. Meet with everyone in your Sphere of Influence. Your Sphere is made up of people who are your biggest advocates and want to see you be successful. They might be friends, family, past co-workers, or people from your church. They are people with whom you can be honest and who will be honest with you. Your goal for your first month or two in business is to meet personally, face-to-face, with every single one of these people and make them part of your success. That first in-person meeting can open doors to talk about how your business is going and let them know how they can help you succeed by referring people who need help buying or selling real estate to you.

  4. Stick to the script. One of the biggest challenges many agents have about getting business by referral is that they don’t feel comfortable asking. Your long-term success in real estate depends on getting over this discomfort. The best way to get comfortable is to develop a referral script and to make it a part of every conversation. Many people in your Sphere may have questions about your business, so consider what you want to say to them in advance. You could talk about your business goals and the kinds of clients you’d like to attract, and then simply ask if they know anyone who fits that description. This is basically what developing a script is all about: anticipating questions with thoughtful answers.

  5. Talk about FORD with your Sphere of Influence. No, we’re not advocating talking about American-made muscle cars (although they are an awesome topic if that is what you or your contacts want to discuss). FORD in this case stands for “Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams.” Asking your prospects about these topics is how you learn what matters to, and motivates, your Sphere. It also opens up the conversation to talking about your own FORD; these conversations can naturally turn toward referrals. Maybe your Sphere member tells you about the big promotion they’re trying to earn; you, in turn, might tell them that your goal for your first year in business is to earn “Rookie agent of the year” for your office. The goal of FORD conversations is to look for opportunities to help each other be successful – asking for referrals can be a natural part of this.

  6. Remember you have to give to get. Of course, asking for referrals without being obnoxious is an art that takes a while to master. That’s why it’s important to remember the old adage, “you have to give to get.” Think about how you can help others and learn what is important to them. What are their goals? What challenges do they face? Talking about FORD, you’ll learn the answers to these questions and be positioned to offer help in the form of advice, referrals or just a listening ear. This kind of giving is a great way to earn the right to ask for referrals when you haven’t yet earned your stripes as an agent.

  7. Build a referral list. Continuing on with the idea of giving to get, one of the most powerful tools you can leverage as a new agent is your ability to develop a list of fellow business owners in your database and sphere, to whom you can provide referrals. Think about it: everybody needs something. In your conversations, you’ll learn a lot about what people need, both in real estate and in other aspects of their life. Listen carefully and help with referrals to people you know and trust. If someone is looking for a plumber and you give them a name, it makes the conversation a lot more natural when it turns to asking if they or anyone they know is planning to buy or sell a home. It’s also important that whenever possible, you also should work with the people on your list. If a member of your sphere sells life insurance, try to utilize his or her services yourself if possible.

  8. Expand your network. Through your conversations with people in your network, you will find that you know many people, and you’re a valuable resource to help them find each other. However, there will likely be needs you can’t fill with your existing database, so it’s important to continue expanding your network – become a more valuable resource for the people in your sphere. Ultimately, your goal is to be the go-to person anytime someone has a question about anything even remotely related to real estate, whether it’s a plumber or carpet cleaner, to an insurance dealer or mortgage broker. To do this, it’s important to always be meeting new people and to think about how to connect each person with others in your database.

  9. Be a person of value. Albert Einstein once said, “Strive not to be a man of success. Rather, strive to be a person of value.” Referrals come when you are in positive relationships with people; positive relationships happen when you provide value. Always consider how you can add value to your relationships and help others to meet their goals, and you will usually find that others help you reach yours in return.

Being successful at generating referrals depends to a large degree on leveraging an important part of human nature – our innate desire to help others. Scientists and anthropologists have found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, humans are altruistic. We want to see members of our “tribe” succeed. Use this human tendency to your advantage by helping others whenever you can, and giving people the opportunity to help you generate leads by referral.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Keys to Becoming a Successful Real Estate Agent

It’s no secret that 20% of agents pull in 80% of the revenue. Being a realtor isn’t a hobby, it’s a business, and requires focus, determination, and strategy. By developing a good plan and committing to its execution, you’ll put yourself ahead of the fly-by-their-pants pack of realtors who treat real estate sales like a hobby, not a business.

Read on if you’re looking for ways to take your real estate business to the next level.

Get organized

Becoming a top performer is unlike any other profession; you’re selling a product, but you’re also selling yourself, your skills, and your abilities. You are your own product, right along with the houses you sell. So, think of yourself as a product – smart business people know they need to put the best product on the market that they can.

In your case, being the best at your job means making an divestment in yourself, your processes, and your network. Getting organized is just the kind of investment that will grow as you do, helping you to achieve your goals even as your business expands. Once you have your leads flowing properly and a good system for nurturing your network, you can focus on scaling that and increasing the reach of your sphere.

Be committed

The first step to being successful in any self-driven profession is to commit to success. Real estate is a business, and you are in a profession where you are dealing with the purchase and sale of what is, for most people, their single biggest financial asset. So take it seriously: Set regular hours for yourself and practice good self-care routines. It all starts with you. Taking the profession seriously is one of your most important steps toward getting serious results.

Hire tools to help

Turning leads into a sold sign in the yard is no easy feat. It means having a good system in place for managing all the conversations and tasks you will be having with leads, prospects, past customers and other important people in your network.

The most efficient way to do this is by investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The right CRM will be at the heart of your entire real estate operation, telling you who to contact, when, and why – and can help automate some of the more mundane tasks, like sending scheduled email. From follow-up to referral generation – a well-oiled CRM will help keep you organized, focused, and on top.

You can use CRM to help you with all of the following

  • Letting no leads slip through the cracks
  • Keeping on top of your follow-ups
  • Nurturing your network
  • Making introductions and adding value
  • Staying organized

Set measurable goals

Decide what your goals are, and then find a way to measure them. If your goal is to grow your network and referrals, a good measurable goal would be making 5 coffee appointments a week. Measuring the outcome of these coffee appointments will give you a clear understanding of how to grow your business and increase sales.

Grow your sphere of influence

Referrals are a real estate agent’s best friend. If you focus on adding value, being a connector, and forming partnerships, referrals will be a natural byproduct of this investment.

Be a giver

Position yourself at the center of your network,and always be thinking of how you can add value to the people you come into contact with. As you connect one person to another, you become the center of their discussion, and much more, in their hearts and minds.

Partner with other realtors

Real estate is a very broad profession; one of the most important keys to success is to focus on what you do well, and let others focus on what they do well. If you don’t sell 30-million-dollar homes or commercial real estate? No problem! Find other realtors who do, and send leads their way. It’s much better than trying to take something on that you can’t handle, and this way you can focus on what you do best. Typically you can work out a referral commision – and sometimes these arrangements can even lead to future opportunities when the person you referred to sends business that is a better fit for you, back your way.

The lesson? Have a large slice of the watermelon, instead of the whole grape.

Follow up!

Poor (or no) follow-up is the demise of many real estate agents. CRM can be a huge help in this department. Don’t rely on that so called “steel trap” of a mind to always remind you who to follow up with and when: use tools like CRM to create automatic reminders for follow-up.

Ponder for a second, how expensive it is to lose a sale by not following up … painful, isn’t it?


Follow-up isn’t just for active leads. You should be engaging your entire network, past clients, friends, and relatives regularly. You don’t need to just say “hey, checking in” – instead, you could share an article you know they’d like, or a quote that had an impact on you. Nurturing your network is certainly a full-time job, but will pay off greatly when you’re the first person they think of at the time they’re buying or selling a home!

Make it your business to “know”

Part of being able to add value to your network is having a robust and well-vetted group of companies and individuals at your fingertips. If someone asks you if you know someone who can help with (x), don’t say “I don’t know.” Instead, say “Sure, let me get back to you on that!”

Then, find a good person to recommend.

Every time you make an introduction, you’re adding tremendous value for both parties. You can bet they both won’t forget it. Just make sure the people you’re recommending are in fact, quality. Nothing sours things with your prospects quite like making an intro to a Shady-Steve plumbing operation.

Invest in yourself

Hire a real estate coach

Once you’ve mastered follow-up and network nurturing, you might consider hiring a Real Estate Coach to help push you to the next level. It’s not for everyone, but can be very helpful to have someone to hold you accountable, and push you to achieve more.

Always be studying

As a real estate agent, you must be a student of multiple disciplines. You have to be a negotiator, a salesman, a connector, and a friend. Spend time daily reading about sales, relationship-building, or housing trends to keep your tools sharp.

Take care of yourself

Running a real estate business takes a lot of energy, focus, and discipline. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it will be hard to rise to the top of the industry. Yet, one of the things that many people don’t realize about real estate is that it isn’t always easy to take care of yourself; clients often want to meet on weekends and in the evening, which can interfere with a fitness routine and lead to eating on the run. These factors can lead to unhealthy habits, so successful agents will need to actively find ways to keep in shape and stay balanced.

Unlike other jobs where a manager might be helping to keep you motivated to succeed and where you will receive support from an employer, most of the motivation for success in real estate comes from within you. You’ll need plenty of discipline and the ability to listen to your body in order to serve your clients without burning yourself out.

It will be up to you to make a place in your life for self-care, so that you can stay energized, disciplined, and focused. You might even try meditating before that next open house, to clear your mind and give you maximum composure and focus.

Additional reading & resources

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

10 Reasons to Use CRM to Manage Your Real Estate Database

We talked in our previous article Referral leads not closing? Here’s how you can increase your referral lead quality. about how important it is for real estate agents to leverage your database to maximize referrals.

Today, we’re going to talk about why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications are such an effective tool for doing that.

Many agents still use Excel spreadsheets or a simple contact manager (like the one in Outlook or Gmail) to manage their database. They simply think of their database as a list of names and numbers. They are missing out on the power of automating the processes around developing and maintaining relationships with the people in their database.

What’s the difference between a CRM and Excel or a contact manager?

A CRM system isn’t just a list of names and contact information. It’s integrated with email, so that you can contact people directly from your CRM; a dashboard and calendar that tells you who to contact each day; and a tracking system that tells you where each person is in the sales cycle. CRM also lets you automate much of your marketing, including sending email drip campaigns.

Here are ten reasons why real estate agents should use CRM to manage their database:

1) CRM makes it easy to develop a “Daily Five” routine – Do you have a “Daily Five” routine? If not, you’re missing out on one of the most effective business growth hacks in the real estate playbook. Daily Five adds discipline to the process of contacting the people in your database. Simply call and check in with five people a day, for five minutes each, five days a week throughout the year. Each week, you’ll contact 25 people. Each day you’ll spend just 25 minutes talking to them. But by implementing your “Daily Five” religiously, by year’s end you’ll have made a whopping 1,250 calls! Assuming you have 300 names in your database, you’ll have spoken to all of them at least four times that year. And if even five percent of those calls result in a referral or business opportunity? You could be looking at 62 transaction sides in a year – think about the impact that could have on your business.

2) CRM helps you focus your follow-up efforts – According to Seattle-area real estate agent Michelle Hamshaw, “the most common reason for a referral to not turn into actual business is lack of follow up.” Referrals are the lifeblood of a thriving real estate practice; the challenge for many agents is figuring out with whom, when, and by what method to follow up. When you manage your real estate database with CRM, you’ll know as soon as you log in who is on your list, and whether to call, send an email, or touch base on social media.

3) CRM lets you automate your digital marketing – Gone are the days when real estate marketing was all about the postcards. Today, it’s about automated email and online lead generation. Whether you’re setting up a landing page to collect leads in exchange for your custom market reports, linking your listing postcards to online lead generation, or sending a monthly email newsletter to everyone in your database, CRM’s ability to drive your digital and offline marketing campaigns, and to make your marketing campaigns more trackable, makes it an important success tool for the modern agent.

4) CRM helps you stay in touch with past clients – It happens to everybody, eventually. You get so focused on today’s business, that you neglect what made you successful in the first place: your relationships with past clients. If you’re using CRM effectively, this won’t happen. Each time you close a transaction with a new client, or get a new lead, simply assign them to a follow-up plan that includes personal contact and automated marketing to ensure you stay top of mind.

5) CRM helps you develop stronger relationships – One of the most important aspects of developing strong relationships is being reliable. Yet when we get busy, it’s easy to let important calls and emails fall by the wayside. Your CRM provides accountability and tracking, so that when you tell a potential or past client you’ll call them on Monday, they’ll know they can trust you to call on Monday. It also helps you keep notes of previous conversations, so that every time you talk to a current or past client or prospect, you can always pick up right where you left off.

6) CRM lets you give, not just get referrals – Want to be the go-to person for referrals for all the people in your database? Well, it’s just as important to give as it is to get. Your CRM includes not just the names of all your past clients and current prospects – it’s also a handy database of all kinds of business owners and professionals. Got a client that needs a mortgage lender, carpet cleaner or pest control service? Tap into your CRM to get names and contact information. Send an email through your CRM to let the person you’re referring know to expect a call, and schedule a task in your CRM to follow up and see how things went.

7) CRM lets you use social media more productively – If you’re like most agents, you use social media to keep in touch with friends and family, but you might not be as effective at using it to help your business. Yet anecdotal evidence and studies show that younger generations prefer social media and text to being contacted by email or phone. By linking your social media accounts like LinkedIn and Twitter to your CRM, you can actually use social media to find reasons to keep in touch (birthdays, work anniversaries, interesting posts) with the growing number of past clients, prospects and other contacts who prefer social media. Keep track of your social media contacts in CRM, and you’ll be able to develop stronger relationships over time.

8) CRM can help you manage your closings – As your real estate practice gets busier, it gets more difficult to juggle all the activities that need to happen to bring your transactions to a successful closing. Your CRM is a great place to keep track of all these tasks, from mortgage application deadlines to inspection and signing appointments, as well as other important dates. Set a series of appointments for all important dates and milestones for clients and others involved in the transaction, so that you can provide automated follow-up reminders, encouragement, and referrals as needed.

9) CRM keeps you competitive – Did you know that more than 70% of agents use CRM to manage their database? Did you also know that the majority of real estate agents and brokers in a recent survey felt that CRM made them more productive than agents who didn’t use CRM?

10) Real estate agents who use CRM more, earn more – Don’t take our word for it: a recent Active Rain survey showed that top-earning agents (those earning $100,000 per year or more) spent 22% more on their CRM solution than agents who earned less than $35,000. Think they might be on to something?

There are so many ways that CRM can help you manage your database – in fact, it’s an important tool for managing your entire business. The key with getting the most out of CRM is to be disciplined about using it. Every time you speak with a contact, enter notes about what you discussed, and schedule your next contact. Every time you generate a lead, assign them to a follow-up plan. Over time, you’ll find that your relationships are stronger, your pipeline fuller, and your business growing faster than ever.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Referral leads not closing? Here’s how you can increase your referral lead quality

In businesses – like real estate – where people typically work by referral, many agents focus on bringing in a high quantity of referral leads. The idea is that if you have more referrals, you’ll automatically be doing more business, right?

Not necessarily.

You have to close those leads – turn them into loyal clients first. To do that, you need the right kind of leads: serious buyers and sellers who are eager to work with you. According to Seattle area real estate broker and business coach with The Success Perspective Nicole Mangina, quality matters just as much as quantity.

“Some referral sources – such as online lead aggregators and sometimes even other agents – provide low quality leads that require a lot of tail chasing,” states Mangina. “But referrals from people you know are the easiest, most cost-effective and most fun way to do business. Saying that it’s easy doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work to get the referrals and turn them into clients, but it does make that work a lot more enjoyable.”

So how do you get more of the prospects you really want to work with all the way: referral and initial contact to closing? By putting your focus on developing “referral-worthy” relationships, diligently planting and pruning your database, and developing good follow-up systems to bring more referrals to closing.

Be “Referral-Worthy” – Manage Your Relationships

The best referrals come from people you are in relationship with: current or past clients, friends, family or colleagues. According to Mangina, if an agent is not getting referral leads, or is having trouble closing them, it usually comes down to a relationship problem.

She states, “People need to know you care about them more than you care about the check. Never underestimate the value of live communication whether it’s on the phone or face to face. Email and texting will only get you so far.”

The quality of the service you provide is also critically important. Referrals entail risk on the giver’s part, so they are less likely to come from people who aren’t comfortable with your ability to deliver high-quality service. Quality referrals must always be earned, by providing awesome service and investing time into your relationships.

To make sure you are referral-worthy, ask yourself: Are you doing a good job of maintaining regular communication with contacts and clients, even when you don’t want anything from them? Are you providing exceptional service to every client, every time?

If the answer to either of these is no, this could be standing in the way of receiving higher quality referral leads.

Be a Good Farmer: Plant and Prune Your Database

Most new agents learn about farming: marketing to specific neighborhoods and working with the people in their sphere of influence. These people make up your “farm,” or database.

There is a temptation to think that the bigger the farm, the bigger the harvest. However, the real estate business is like farming in an important way – you can’t just harvest, you also have to plant and prune. Planting seeds means putting your focus on developing new relationships, as well as managing the ones you have.

A common estimate in the real estate business is that one in five people moves every year; in 2014, the US Census estimated this number at around twelve percent. That means between ten and twenty percent of people in your database may leave the area in any given year, making them no longer a great referral source for you. To keep things stable, you need to replace these numbers with new relationships and new referral sources.

A good farmer also knows that some seeds never sprout; in real estate, it’s a reality that some people simply won’t or can’t do business with you. Successful agents learn to spot these folks and act accordingly. When you put your focus on your best prospects and strongest relationships, and prune away the weaker, it actually strengthens your whole business. Pruning allows you to put more of your time into the relationships that are most likely to bear fruit.

Be Organized: Create a good follow-up system

Focusing on the areas above will help improve the quality of referral leads; now it is time to get them from referral to close. Setting up a referral follow-up system will help to ensure that your best referrals become clients that eventually buy or sell with you.

According to Mangina, “If the client isn’t going to buy or sell for 6 months, real estate agents who don’t have a good follow up plan tend to lose them. Just because it’s a referral doesn’t mean that you don’t have to bring your A game. When agents get lazy clients go elsewhere.”

How do you create a good follow-up system? This is where using some type of CRM application can really make a difference for you.

Your first step is to gather contact information from the person who provided the referral, and enter everything you learn into your CRM database.

Next, set up a time to call the referral as soon as possible – usually within a day is best, especially if your referral source told them to expect your call. In most cases, your initial contact will be a phone call, but if your referral source told you the person prefers social media, text, or email, these can also be good options.

During first contact, let the referral prospect know that you were referred to them by a friend, and identify by whom. Your first call is your chance to establish rapport and ask qualifying questions to determine what their needs are. Some great questions to ask:

  • Will you be buying or selling a home, or both?
  • Will it be a personal residence or investment?
  • What is your timeframe for making your move?
  • What kind of home are you seeking?
  • Why are you moving?
  • Have you started working with a lender?
  • How often and by what methods do you prefer to hear from me?

(In the future, we’ll be providing some great scripts for you to use in your qualifying conversations, right here on the KarmaCRM blog.)

Learn as much as you can, and enter notes into your CRM database so that the information is handy whenever you contact the prospect. This information will drive your follow-up plan.

Prospects whose timeframe is longer, say 6 to 12 months, might appreciate auto-prospecting from your MLS or personal website so that they can stay on top of what is happening in the market.

Adding every prospect to your monthly email list is another must – make sure your monthly emails provide helpful tips for where they are in the buying or selling process.

Automated contacts are great, but it’s also important to schedule prospects for regular personal contact from you. For prospects who are looking to move right away, you might follow up every few days. Prospects who will be moving in the next three months might get a weekly check-in call; if they are looking further out than that, monthly follow up may be fine. When in doubt, ask the prospect how often they like to be contacted.

Just remember to keep the client’s needs in mind, and add value every time you call. Look for opportunities to deliver helpful advice and service, whether it’s putting them in touch with other service providers like movers or home repair people, giving them the inside scoop on what you’re seeing in the market, or letting them know of any events happening in the area.

Finally, remember that not every referral is going to pan out. But if you focus on these areas, you will soon find that both the quantity and quality of your referrals is likely to improve.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

The Best Time to Ask For Referrals

Have you ever been to one of those zoo exhibits – ahem – I mean networking events? People lurk about, conducting drive-by glances at your nametag.

Before it’s too late, you have Jerry Spinklestien vigorously shaking your hand and pleading for referrals.

For the love of monkeys, do you know anyone that needs [insert-service-here]?

This tactless, shotgun approach is the wrong way to get referrals. No trust is built. You don’t even know if Jerry is a good dude. He certainly hasn’t added any value to your life, so why should you dig deep into your network coffers to help him out?

Referrals can be the primary growth drivers for many businesses, but they require tact and a commitment to adding value. “For a good referral, value must be given and recognized” says Bill Cates from LifeHealthPro.

Why Should You Care?

It’s no secret that referrals can have a huge impact on business. provides the following thought-provoking survey results, “Referrals convert two times better than websites or social media”.

Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007, according to a study by Nielsen.
Ok—so can we agree that referrals are great?


…but it can be a bit scary to ask. I feel all salesy, and it makes me want to hide in the dark watching Mad Men reruns.

There are a few things you can do to ensure it’s less risky—even better, that your prospects WANT to give you referrals.

Timing Is Everything

So let’s get right down to it. When do you pop “the big question”?

Can you ask for a referral in your first meeting? Absolutely, but be careful. Build trust and ask insightful questions. If you can quickly add value—and show that you genuinely care—you might be able to pull it off. It’s risky, as it can come off as pushy or premature.

Earn the right to ask.

So you might be a #supersalesdude and successfully bang out the “referral ask” right away, but what about the rest of us?

Here are a few key moments when it’s a good time to pose the question.

When to Ask

Once you get positive feedback

This is a perfect time to ask for referrals, when people tell you they are happy with your product or service. This one is pretty obvious, but still easy to miss out if you’re not committed.

Once the job is finished

Once you deliver your product or service, it’s a great time to review, and ask if there is anyone else you can serve.

Once you’ve added value

If you notice any positive signs in the relationship—you feel closer, you’ve made a successful introduction, or shared an article they love. Be a Go-Giver and add value. The more value you add, the easier it is to ask for a referral.

Once you ask for advice

Put yourself out there, and share a bit about your current growth strategy. Tell them who you’re targeting and ask their opinion. People love sharing their opinion, and you could potentially dovetail the question into an “ask for intros” based on how they respond.

These cover a few better moments to ask, but don’t confuse them for the only moments. Most referrals are missed not because you asked at the wrong time, but because you didn’t ask at all.
We’ll be covering “how” to ask for referrals in later posts, but wanted to make it clear that there is rarely a “perfect moment.” People are usually happy to help! It even brings some people joy and happiness to add value to your life in the form of an introduction.

Don’t rob them of that joy.

Go Forth and Ask Away!

I challenge you to revisit your network and identify 5 people who fit the above criteria. People are more than willing to help if you ask them!

One thing is for sure.

“If you don’t ask for a referral, you’ll never know.”

What do you look for? How can you tell if a referral is ripe for the plucking?

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

Generating Referral Sales Starts with Doing Great Business

Can you guess the #1 source of business for real estate agents? Check out these stats for a hint:

65% of new business comes from referrals – New York Times

92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew – Nielsen

People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend – Nielsen

 As you probably already knew, referrals are king not only for real estate agents, but small businesses and other professional service businesses. Even though it’s no surprise to us that referrals are the lifeblood of our lead generation engine, many of us just aren’t asking our clients, for fear of a potentially awkward conversation.

Fortunately, you can avoid an awkward conversation, and have your clients rushing to refer you, by being a rockstar agent. We’re going to share a few quick tips to help you drive referral leads by delivering excellent work.



The first step in being a great rockstar agent is great communication. A good rule of thumb when dealing with clients, especially your more difficult clients, is to over-communicate rather than under-communicate. This means clear communication that lets your client know exactly what they need to know, and timely communication that gets your client the information they need when they need it. In our experience, lack of communication is the very first sign that a client relationship isn’t going to be fruitful.

Having a consistent schedule of communication with all of your clients is often the best way to ensure you are keeping up with necessary communication. That said,  without a system to track when you need to communicate with a user or client, you are doomed to forget. That’s where a CRM like karmaCRM comes in: This vital tool  allows you to set, manage, and be reminded of follow-ups via text message or email.


Often times, disrupting how a client goes about their business can be the thing that sets you apart in their mind, when they get an opportunity to refer you. As a real estate agent or a service professional, this doesn’t mean insulting or tearing down your clients’ homes,  ideas, or businesses! Instead, you’ll present them with new information that may challenge the way they are thinking, and help them accomplish their goals

By putting the most relevant and educational information in front of our users, we challenge them to take the insights they have gained and apply them to help them achieve their goals.

At karmaCRM we recently challenged a user who steadfastly believed none of his clients would be willing to refer him to their network. We showed him a Texas Tech report stating that 83% of satisfied customers would be willing to refer a product or service to their network. He decided to give this idea — asking clients for referrals — a shot and was able to gather eight leads, and eventually three additional clients, in about an hour’s worth of time spent.

That user has since become a karmaCRM power user, and has referred us countless times. Disrupting his mindset and challenging him to be a better business owner made karmaCRM stand out as the most memorable CRM in his experience. From there, we simply asked him to keep us in mind when asked about his CRM of choice.

Plant the Seed

All too often, I see professionals who are incredibly hesitant to ask for referrals. In order to make asking significantly easier, you can plant a seed regarding referrals long before the engagement actually ends, so that your client can already be thinking about referrals they might be able to make. You can do this by simply showing how open you are to more business, and how eager you are to work.

When you working with your client, ensure you’re showing a real passion for what you’re doing, and communicate that what you do isn’t just for a paycheck. Also, make sure to communicate that you are in fact available for new clients. This means, take the word “busy” out of your vocabulary, at least while you’re with clients!

Make the ask!

We are continually asked by people in our network, and karmaCRM users, how they can improve their business, and who they should be talking to in order to get the advice they need. Luckily, karmaCRM is a great platform for business coaches, giving us countless business coaches that we can refer.

When we refer someone in our network to a karmaCRM customer, we make sure we send either an introduction email or a friendly note letting the business consultant or coach know that we have referred them. Not only do we love doing this for our users, but they are VERY likely to make sure to return the favor and refer karmaCRM.

Gaining referral sales comes down to building relationships, by going above and beyond your user’s, client’s, or customer’s expectations. Whether you are challenging your client with valuable information, or referring them to someone in your network, always remember to go above and beyond.

Next week, we’ll be diving into how to make the ask, and dissecting the different ways you can request referrals from your users and clients. In the meantime, we’re interested to hear from you guys! How do you position your clients so you can ask them for referrals? Let us know in the comments below!

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.