Antonio & Alexia's Blog


How to pick the best agent in AR to handle your referrals. The do's and don'ts

I joined Active Rain about 3 months ago, and I must confess that I am addicted to this group of professionals. I have learned a lot from the members of this group, there are tons of useful tips on how to handle almost anything relating to real estate. I have pick up a few marketing tips that have made a difference and I have met some wonderful people who's knowledge is so generously shared that I have nothing but admiration and respect for them.

During this time I have had two of my clients move out of the area. In the past I will look for the nearest office or look up the CRS or GRI members on that area and hand over my clients without knowing much about the individual except the number of years in the business and the professional designations, I figure if I have those designations and they do too, then, they are like me... wrong!

When I posted my first seller referral I received lots of inquiries, I particularly asked that the agent must be CRS or GRI, I screened them and found a wonderful active rain member who right now has a new $850,000 listing. This Realtor was new to AR also but had the designations I wanted and she lives 5 minutes from this listing, took action, followed up with the client and with me. Good feeling!

My second referral is an all cash buyer for about $600,000 but this time I actually went to the AR web page of the individuals and read some of their post in their blogs, looked at the inventory of homes, cheked the ability to reach them, the 800 numbers, I called them on the cellular and actually was able to pick the best Realtor I could possibly find.

Both of my clients are absolutely delighted with the individuals I found for them. But by sending buyers and sellers referrals out, I have learned that the receiving agent must meet a few requirements in order to compete for and win the referral: Numbe one: Quick response of course, a couple of hours after the posting the referral was assigned. Professional web site, if you don't have an online presence but my client does, there will be no connection! Professional designations like CRS, GRI, E-Pro at least, this will tell me how commited and updated you are in the industry. A toll free number, I will gladly pay for the call if someone is going to give me a listing, wouldn't you?

I also appreciated the brief introduction some of them had when requesting the referral. Some did ask for the referral, others just told me how wonderful they were. The better ones even gave me tips! Like: "a part of that city carry Mello Ross taxes that are high, be careful you get an agent who knows the area well..." That was great! I used that in my interview with the Realtor that ultimaltely got the referral and warned my client to keep an eye out for that.

The ones I did not care for were those whose geographical area was not what I was looking for. Or those Big Designations-long experience-leaders of a team who wanted the referral but when I asked who will handle the client, they told me their "buyers agent" who happen to be a new Realtor with just a few months of experience, ouch! That is a no-no for me! If I give you a referral based on YOUR experience and knowledge, YOU must handle the client! Please remember that the client will give me feed back and I will have no problem looking for another Realtor if you drop the ball.

The Realtors In Motion       Antonio & Alexia Cardenas   

                  "The Realtors In Motion" 

         CRS, GRI, E-Pro Certified. SFR (Short Sales, Forclosure Resource) Serving the east shores of the San Francisco Bay, Alameda county: specially the following cities: Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin.

                  Visit us on line at: or call (510) 326-4263

                     Call us, We'll come and TANGO with you!

Comment balloon 25 commentsAntonio & Alexia Cardenas • September 19 2008 07:47PM


Thanks for the insight I have been struggling with making the referrals on AR myself and I think the point you bring up are a definite concern for me too. Thanks for putting it all in a few paragraphs and showing the way

Posted by James Engel, KW Beverly Hills (Keller Williams Realty Beverly Hills) over 11 years ago

I think your dedication on the network helps, I just recently received a referral from my networking!  Feels great!


Tom Davis

World Class Delaware Realtor

Posted by Tom Davis, FREE Delaware Homes Search!, $$ Save $$ - Find Homes! Delaware Realtor (Harrington ERA,DE Homes For Sale, $$ Save $$ Buy Today !) over 11 years ago

I followed you all the way to the toll free number then snagged, with the world of cellphones being the only way to actually reach anyone anymore, why would that be so important?  Just curious.

Posted by Steve Mattison, Vietnam Veteran over 11 years ago

Getting referrals from activerain is a true bonus. We're all trying to make it out there and it's great when we are recongized by new "friends"!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 11 years ago

Hi Antonio, what a great post. Gone are the days when I used to look on to find motivated agents that would call me back reasonable fast and sort them out to pick the best. Now I go on AR like you, to get a lot more information, web, blog and knowledge. I am a Certified Relocation Specialist and e-agent for Coldwell Banker. With your system I would not qualify, so now you are motivating me to work towards the CRS & GRI designations. Have a great weekend.

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 11 years ago

James, those are some basic steps, but it helps, after all, your reputation is on the line, you better  find someone just like you!

Tom. That is a bonus, and if the agent is a pro, you will look great in front of your client.

Steve. Great point. But I was thinking more of the ability of the client to reach the realtor. some don't advertise their celullar number. Saving on a long distance call does help.

Larry & Sheila. Yes, if you participate regularly, post on blogs, offer your opinion, chat, socialize, you will have lots of new "AR friends"

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 11 years ago

HI Antonio and Alexia,

I agree with you on all your criteria. Imust admit that I haven't gone yet for my CRS, although I am eligible. I have never been big on titles. The clients don't have a clue what they stand for, When you give excellent service you don't need titles, I do admit that I have been thinking about getting though because I have talked to other CRS agents and it seems they only like to refer to other CRS agents so I guess in that respect I am losing out. By the way I do have a toll free # if my clients need it. But as mentioned by someone else in the day of the cell phone very few people have a need to use it.

Last year 75% of my business was referral and this year I am on target for 80%.



Posted by William "Bill" and Karen Farragher, SFR (EXIT Blue Water Realty, Matawan, NJ 07747) over 11 years ago

I just received a referral this week from another AR member.  It was a great call and I've already exchanged muliple emails with the prospective buyer and I'll be able to find them what they are looking for.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Most long distance calls don't cost anything anymore so I don't think an 800 number should be important.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Thanks for a very practical approach for selecting a referral agent.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 11 years ago

Antonio & Alexia: Great post... congratulations on placing your 2 referrals. Good luck with them both

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 11 years ago

Great post. I agree we should be careful when we choose a referral agent.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 11 years ago

I agree, active rain leads are wonderful! I just closed on an Active Rain lead myself this summer =)

Posted by Dan Tucci (dddd) over 11 years ago

I can call anywhere from my cell phone or my land line and it doesn't cost me anything.  Remember the days of big phone bills from long distance calling? 

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 11 years ago

You can't just pick the person with the most points.... Doesn't work!!

Glad you have had good experiences

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) over 11 years ago

Personally we prefer a hands on broker, or associate broker. No rhyme or reason for this, it just works well for us...

Posted by Frank & Jodi Orlando (Frank & Jodi Orlando Get Us A Home Realty Atlanta Homes Sale) over 11 years ago

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this process and helping us to better understand what others may be looking for in sharing referrals.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 11 years ago

You have brought up some excellent points ... thank you!!!  I live in a big referral market and you said it perfect!

Posted by Pippa Mac, The Woodlands TX Real Estate (Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) over 11 years ago

You have brought up some excellent points ... thank you!!!  I live in a big referral market and you said it perfect!

Posted by Pippa Mac, The Woodlands TX Real Estate (Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) over 11 years ago

Bill. I agree with you about the clients not knowing about big titles. for me however is an indication of commitment and dedication, CRS courses opened my eyes to what it takes to be a professional.

Barbara. Yes, the 800 numbers might not be much... for us who have all the new toys. Some of my clients elderly don't have a cell #, and is not because they can't afford it.

Tom. You are absolutely right! You cannot pick the person with the most points! The web site gave me lots of information about the individual's practice, I read some posts to get an idea who this person was.

Frank & Jody. I would prefer a broker too. But I found out, sometimes the broker will not go show houses to the client buyer, if that referral gets assigned to a new agent in the office, I'm in trouble.

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 11 years ago

Antonio & Alexia - this was interesting reading for me - a perspective that one must carry Professional designations like CRS, GRI, E-Pro to receive referrals.  My experience is that many agents who have these designations are not necessarily better or more professional - they simply have the designation. I choose not to go the designation route - rather I work on other courses and training - all accredited - that carry certifications - outside of the typical real estate "designations" that do however help me in my real estate business.  My paralegal experience combined with contract and negotiation skills are second to none. Add to that 10 years in technology makes an E-Pro Designation an exercise in paying for it.  This has opened my eyes to a perspective I had not considered regarding referrals.  Thank You.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 11 years ago

Hi . .   Thanks for your Post. Interesting issue, indeed. I wish you all the best in these difficult times. Hey . .   Hows the market in your neck of the woods?  Here in Hawaii, the Buyers are sitting on the fence waiting for more drastic price reduc tions from Sellers.  It's a battle of wills at this point. 

Any way.... Thanks for your post. Aloha


Posted by James G. Pycha, (R), REMAX Kauai Broker (James Pycha (R) - REMAX KAUAI) over 11 years ago

I have not received a referral yet but I am very new to active rain. You have some good advice and tips posted here. Thanks!

Posted by Carla over 11 years ago

Katheleen, I will take issure with "...My experience is that many agents who have these designations are not necessarily better or more professional - they simply have the designation..." I know what it takes to obtain the CRS designation. Of over 1,000,000 Realtors in the USA, only about 37,000 are CRS.  These professionals have proven they have the experience, training and commitment to be among the best in their profession. For me, no CRS, no referral granted.

James, Our buyers here happen to be on the same fence! at least your buyers in Hawaii have a better place to sit! even though they don't even know if there are purchase money loans to buy houses anymore. Good luck to you too!

Carla. Work the referral network, that is the easyest way to make money!


Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 11 years ago

Antonio, congratulations on having a featured post! You know, I feel the same way. Never again will I have to rifle through the internet looking for realtors in an area or trust my Relocation Department after I give them a description of the agent I want and also require that they speak to me first before speaking to the Buyer.  NOW I have all the agents here in the rain at my fingertips and reading about them and what they write about gives great insight into their business, marketing, etc.

I strongly believe in continuing education and CRS is the next designation I am going to earn. I know there is a difference in the way I approach real estate having earned my GRI - there are many things I learned there that I practice that the agents in my office have no idea about. Not trying to knock anyone here and there are certainly excellent realtors without any designation, but if you need a benchmark wth thousands of realtors, designations are definitely one of them.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 11 years ago