How to Write Engaging Referral Emails: 6 Free Ready to Use Templates Included

New,Email,Alert,On,Laptop,,Communication,Connection,Message,To,GlobalAs agents, working hard for your clients pays off in numerous ways, your connection doesn’t stop when you close your deal. Building a strong relationship with your clients can significantly help grow your network by generating referrals.

There is an art to politely asking for referrals, and the referral email is a powerful marketing tool that can give your business an impactful boost.  

In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of referrals, share tips and best practices, discuss ways to stand out, suggest when to send referral emails, provide design tools for your brand, and offer outside-the-box ideas.

We’ve also provided you with 6 ready to use templates for you to use throughout your calendar year!  

Why Referrals Are Good for Your Business

Real Estate is an industry built off of trust. High dollar business that is also personal , requires a deep level of trust between agents and clients. Which is why referrals are the lifeblood of any successful real estate agent. 

Clients that are referred to you come with a built-in trust factor, which makes it easier to establish your connection with them. 

In the nature of good business practices you want to be mindful that you are treating referred clients very well. You don’t only have your reputation to consider, but that of your former clients… good business, gets more good business. 

It’s important to note that referrals often result in higher conversion rates. Check out these stats from that illustrate the importance of your referral client:

  • The typical agent earns 42% of their business from repeat clients and referrals from past clients.
  • 82% of all real estate transactions come from repeat and referral business.
  • 21% of agents get more than 50% of their business from referrals from past clients.

Tips & Best Practices for Writing Effective and Engaging Emails


Personalize Your Emails: This is a must in all of your email marketing. Tailor your emails to each client, mentioning specific details about your relationship or shared experiences. Ask questions in your follow up to see how their new property is going, and offer any continued help. 

Express Gratitude: Begin your email by expressing gratitude for doing business with your clients. Feel free to include specific moments that you were proud of in helping/working with them. 

Highlight Success Stories: Share other success stories or testimonials from you’ve recently worked with to further build credibility, and set yourself up to ask for referrals.

Provide A Clear Call-to-Action: This is the tricky part, but it’s just simply part of the business so you have to find unique ways to make a direct and politely ask for referrals. You can do this by asking to schedule a call, and include your reason why. Perhaps you have a new listing? 


Avoid Generic Messages: A big pitfall to avoid is the one-size-fits-all emails. Referral emails are a pretty big ask… if you ask me. So, personalization is key. You want to take the time to show that you have put in thought and care about your clients. 

Don’t Be Pushy: While you want to encourage referrals, avoid being overly aggressive or pushy in your emails. The way to kill a sale is to come across salesy. Nobody likes that, or at least it’s rare if they do, because ultimately it damages trust – the focus should be what will best benefit your client.

Steer Clear of Lengthy Emails: Keep your emails concise and to the point. You want to make sure your key points stand out, and that they don’t get skipped over. 

Ways to Help Your Emails Stand Out

Business,Woman,Hand,Using,Laptop,Pc,With,Email,Icon,,EmailIn the deluge of emails we all receive daily, standing out is crucial. Here are some ways to make your referral emails memorable:

Creative Subject Lines: Craft engaging and creative subject lines that entice recipients to open your emails. You want to keep them less than 7 words, and if you can incorporate numbers or a question, that will be helpful.

Visual Appeal: Use visually appealing elements such as high-quality images, or design templates that stay within your brand. Be mindful that the visuals don’t distract from your content, but help support it. 

When to Send Your Referral Emails:

My personal recommendation is to send them quarterly, so you know you’re not emailing too often and your ask remains relevant. 

Establishing a routine for sending referral emails is essential. Sending them quarterly provides a balance between maintaining regular communication and avoiding overwhelming your contacts. 

Consistency is key to staying top-of-mind without becoming intrusive. A good practice to incorporate is creating client lists along with your scheduling to be sure you are not overly asking for referrals. 

Design Tools to Help Establish Your Brand in Emails

Email,Marketing,Concept,,Person,Reading,E-mail,On,Smartphone,,Receive,NewConsistency in your voice, tone, and image is key to help you become an easily recognizable agent that will stand out. 

There are some great design tools you can incorporate into your email marketing that will help you establish your brand at a glance.  

Canva, Flodesk, and Mailchimp are tools that allow you to create visually appealing and branded email templates effortlessly. I also came across, which I haven’t used, but would consider using their design elements. Feel free to check out a few more!

Incorporating Social Media

As you know, social media is a powerful tool. So, beyond your emails, using a site like Canva to help you design posts will help you take your referral strategy to the next level by incorporating social media. 

Share client testimonials on platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn, and encourage your network to tag friends who might be in need of real estate services. This not only expands your reach but also adds a dynamic and personal touch to your referral efforts.

 6 Ready to Use Templates for Your Calendar Year

Okay, now for the really important part… the anatomy of your content. You can use these to help get you started generating ideas and customize to fit the market you work in. 

Hand,Of,Businessman,Using,Smartphone,For,Email,With,Notification,Alert,Template 1: New Year Kickoff

Subject: Happy New Year & Your New Home!

Hi [Client’s Name],

As we enter the new year, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your trust in helping you find your new home. It’s been a true pleasure working with you. 

The journey continues, and I look forward to continuing to provide insights and guidance  to work together to find your dream home in [20XX]!

This market can be difficult to navigate without a trusted agent, and I’d also like to ask if you could consider anyone in your network who might benefit from my services. Whether they are looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate, your referral means the world to me.

Feel free to connect us, and let’s make their real estate dreams a reality along with yours. As a token of appreciation, you’ll enjoy exclusive benefits for each successful referral. Would you be able to schedule a call this week to discuss further?

Looking forward to another year of success and achievements!

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]


man checking email on phoneTemplate 2: Spring Market Update

Subject: Your Spring Update is Here!

Hello [Client’s Name],

How are you? With spring in full bloom, I hope you are getting the chance to enjoy all that your new neighborhood has to offer! I also wanted to provide you with an exciting update on the current real estate market trends and opportunities. Your continued support has been instrumental in my success, and I appreciate it greatly.

If you know anyone thinking about making a move this spring, whether it’s buying or selling, now is the perfect time to connect. As you know, I am here to ensure a seamless and rewarding experience for them.

Your referral means so much to me; I would appreciate the chance to create another success story together. Looking forward to hearing from you! 

Warm regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]


Online,Business,Communication,Symbols,Of,Telephone,,Email,And,Mail,AddressTemplate 3: Summer Referral Boost

Subject: Refer a Friend, Earn Exclusive Benefits!

Hi [Client’s Name],

Hope you’re enjoying the sunny summer days! As a token of my appreciation for your ongoing support, I’ve prepared a special summer “hotlist” featuring the latest real estate opportunities, and wanted to offer you some exclusive benefits. Please see attached!

If you or anyone in your network is considering a move, I’d love to assist. I loved working with you, and your referrals are not only warmly welcomed.

I’d genuinely appreciate the opportunity to help make this summer memorable by helping your friends also find their perfect homes. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or introductions anytime. 

Cheers to a fantastic summer!

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]


Business,Process,Photo.,Account,Manager,Using,Mobile,Phone.,Typing,ContemporaryTemplate 4: Fall Appreciation

Subject: Full of Gratitude – Thank You!

Hello [Client’s Name],

The Fall season is upon us, and I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for your continued support. Your trust in my services has been the foundation of my success.

As we approach the end of the year, if you or anyone you know is considering a real estate move, I’m here to provide expert guidance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable transition. Your referrals are the greatest compliment, and I ensure a dedicated and rewarding experience for each one.

Thank you for being an integral part of my journey as an agent. Looking forward to assisting you with any future real estate needs and those of your friends.

Warm regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]


Businesswoman,Hand,Working,With,Laptop,Computer,,Tablet,And,Smart,PhoneTemplate 5: Holiday Cheer and Referrals

Subject: ‘Tis the Season to Spread Joy!

Hi [Client’s Name],

Wishing you joy and warmth this holiday season! I wanted to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your continued trust and support throughout the years.

As we celebrate the holidays, if you or anyone in your circle is considering a real estate move, I’m here to help make the experience extra special. Your referral not only brings joy but also exclusive benefits for both you and your friends.

Here’s to creating new beginnings and finding the perfect homes. Feel free to reach out with any questions or introductions. I’d love to know how you are doing, and can provide any updates about the market you may be interested in!

Happy holidays!

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]


person-holding-black-smartphoneTemplate 6: Year-End Reflection

Subject: Reflecting on a Year of Success!

Hello [Client’s Name],

As we reflect on the achievements of the past year, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude in sharing the experience of finding your new home with you and your family. 

Your trust and continued support throughout the year has been a driving force behind my success, and I am truly grateful. 

As we look ahead to the coming year, I am curious if you would consider connecting me to  anyone in your network who may benefit from my real estate services? Your referrals are greatly appreciated, and would like to share some special benefits with you.

Thank you for being an essential part of my journey. Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a prosperous new year! Please feel free to reach out anytime. 

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]

In Summary

As I mentioned, crafting an engaging referral email without coming across salesly is a powerful skill for real estate agents. 

By understanding the importance of referrals, following best practices, and utilizing creative strategies, you can build a strong referral network that propels your business to new heights.

Please feel free to use the provided templates as a starting point and customize them to fit your unique brand and style. Happy emailing!

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 2/14/2024