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The No. 1 strategy for growing your real estate business is in the series of choices you make to take care of your clients. Playing the long game with clients—those you’ve created a great rapport with—will help build your business far more than anything. So how do long-term relationships generate growth? Through referral marketing.

Once you do the math and understand how much a single client is actually worth, you’ll see how the long game pays off. For instance, during a single transaction, you may pocket anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. Let’s take the low end and assume that you sell a home and make $5,000. Is that it? Of course not.

Statistically speaking, we know that people move every five to seven years. If you’re honest and ethical in your business and you follow-up consistently with that client, is it realistic that five years from now you’ll list that home again? If so, add another $5,000 to their value. Add an additional $5,000 if you’ll be helping them purchase their next home, and that client is now worth $15,000. As a career real estate agent, this cycle can occur at least one more time, which means that you’ll list their second home and help them buy their third.

The math shows that five-by-five sides equal $25,000—and we’re not even talking about referrals. While the average person knows over 200 people, the goal is to get one customer referral per year from each client. Each of those referrals is potentially worth $25,000, putting the value of a client well over $175,000. This means that your business could be booming if you create genuine, long-lasting relationships with your clients that lead to word-of-mouth business.

The best way to get raving fans is to intentionally create exceptional experiences. This begins with a desire to make a difference in people’s lives.

Make a list of the top 50 people you believe are willing to give you at least one referral per year and work the Top 50 system by reaching out to them with a face-to-face meeting or phone call every month.  If you work harder on those 50 than any other marketing or lead generation system, the results will be staggering. Tammy Slay, a Workman Success client in Dallas, closed 74 transactions last year by working the Top 50 system. For a free copy of the system and the tracker, email me at

When your team members call through their Top 50 each month, simply ask what you can do to help. Focus on relationships and always have something interesting to share about how to win in today’s market. It’s proven, effective and, most importantly, it’s free.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Contact him at, or visit to learn more.