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How NOT To Tony-Romo-Flub Your Future Referral-Recommendations

Don't Tony Romo Flub Your Future Referrals.  Create A Tipping Point Of Perpetual Referrals Instead.  It's easy.What’s More Happy-Dance Exciting Than Receiving A Qualified Referral-Recommendation?

It’s why we do all the bone crushing, attitude straining, heartfelt work.  We work to create confidence and trust.  When we succeed, people we know, refer people they know to us.  Sweet success!

Flash back to January 6, 2007, Qwest Field. Tony Romo was the Golden Boy, maybe he still is?  He worked his ass off all season.  He led his team to the promise land – the NFL playoffs.  Allegedly, they were contenders to win it all.  Tony and team did everything right…almost.  With 1:27 to go and 19 tiny yards from the end zone, all the Cowboys had to do was kick a no-brainer, chip-shot field goal, all Tony had to do was receive the snap and set the ball.

The ball snapped perfectly, Gramatica set up perfectly, Tony extended to receive the ball…what happened NEXT? Doh, Fail-Flub.

Tony Romo Flubbed Snap

Close Only Counts In Horseshoes and Hand Grenades - Click 2 Watch.

What’s my point?  We’re the quarterback of our businesses.  Referrals and recommendations is how we set ourselves up to score points.  If we want to score and receive perpetual referrals and recommendations, we can’t fumble and flub-up on the goal line, we need to create a Tipping Point.

Here’s How Future Referrals-Recommendations Are Flubbed.

Qualified citizen calls Agent X and sez, “Hi, we don’t know each other, but our mutual friend, Robyn Brand referred me to you.  She said you were a great agent and could help me sell my house and buy a new one”.  Agent X gets giddy and does a happy-dance, woo-whoo, sweet Jesus, life is grand. Sadly, Agent X does not call and does not send a handwritten Thank You Note thanking the referrer for the gift.

Agent X does a fantastic job.  New client is now a fan too. Yeah!  During the transaction, Agent X does not keep referrer in the loop or informed on their success. Agent X keeps their appreciation and success a secret by keeping silent.

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New client moves into their new home.  Agent X returns to work, slaving away in heroic efforts to generate referrals and recommendations.  Many times this takes the form of chasing strangers and suspects.  Agent X wishes they could attract more referral-recommendations, but alas, Agent X has flubbed-up their future flow of referrals.   Agent X isn’t nurturing, reinforcing and deepening their relationship with the Connectors and Mavens who refer them business.  Therefore, business is always a struggle,  a pattern punctuated with random happy-dances.

Here’s How Future Referrals-Recommendations Are Reinforced, Rewarded and Assured.

In Malcom Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make A Big Difference, he refers to Mavens and Connectors.  In our networks, Mavens are the people we turn to for details and advice, they study up as a hobby and know everything and what’s what.  You know people like that, right?  People turn to Mavens for advice like, “Who’s a good real estate agent?”  Connectors are the people in our network who are socially cool and influential.   People listen to them and take their advice.  Advice like you should eat there, party here and use “this” real estate agent.

Referrals and recommendations usually come from the Mavens and the Connectors.  If you want the Mavens and Connectors to keep referring you, know these two things…

Thing One: When people make a referral-recommendation they are putting their reputation and social capital on the line.

Thing Two: These people are human with human needs.  We all want a sense of significance, certainty and and improved state of being.  When we receive this referral gift, we should acknowledge, appreciate and reinforce the gift giver.  If we do that, we’ll attract prepetual referrals.

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Here’s 3 Ways To Create Referral-Recommendation Tipping Points.

  1. Call and gush appreciation all over them. They should be soaked.  Dripping wet.  Reinforce their wise decision to refer you by making a promise.  Promise that you will make them look good, smart and cool for referring and recommending you. Keep your promise (duh).
  2. Tell them you’ll keep them in the loop and do it. (Mavens and Connectors like to be in the know.)
  3. Report progress and successes throughout the transaction.  Of course don’t reveal any confidential information.  Doing this will also position you to receive additional referrals because you are having in-person, on-purpose conversation with the very Connectors and Mavens who do the majority of referring and who already like and trust you.

Isn’t this activity the most valuable and productive form of contact and connection you can have?  Nod your head.

Don’t Forget The Digital Referrals-Recommendations

It’s a new era.  Remember, when someone ReTweets, Pingbacks, Diggs, comments and or shares your digital stuff, thank them and when possible return the favor.

Super Cool.  Go Forth And Create Tipping Point Referrals-Recommendations.

It’s that easy my friends.  Just takes creating a new habit.  If you’re already doing this, sweet, rock on.  In fact, if you do other things that are working, please share you whip-smart ideas in the comments.  Everybody wins.


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Written By

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.



  1. Joe Loomer

    August 24, 2009 at 8:52 am

    On point, Ken. Great reminder of a part of our jobs that sometimes doesn’t seem to be a priority, when in fact it is probably more important than any other.

    We also make referrals to our clients for other services – be it home inspectors, pest control companies, lenders, closing attorneys (title companies), cleaning services, landscapers, and contractors. I think it’s vital to protect your own reputation when doing so – send them a fly-by night painter who fails to show up after getting a draw to buy supplies – and guess who they’ll remember referred them?

    I love the Tony Romo analogy – but then again I’m part of the Steeler Nation – any Cowboy flubbing anything would be well received.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Matt Stigliano

    August 24, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Ken – Good point about forgetting the referrer after you get the new referral. I always try and follow up with the referrer and make them feel like they did me a huge favor. When they feel like they’re a part of my business, they feel more apt to become more of a part of it. I have several clients who are proud of my successes and want to see me get even better – and they spend time encouraging that in me (which is a really interesting side effect of being involved in something so major in someone’s life). Clients can make or break you in real estate – not just during the transaction, but long after as well.

  3. Matthew Rathbun

    August 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    🙂 Seems for Romo the difference between HERO and ZERO was about 8 yards. I give him Style-Points for trying!

    I did recently talk to an agent who had a referral, but refused to give it to a mutual Twitter Fan, because she said that agent’s time on twitter reflected that he wasn’t busy enough. I don’t know that I agree with the logic, but it was evident that it does factor into some folks rationale.

  4. Brandie Young

    August 25, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Ken – great advice for any service provider! Thanks so much!

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