Local business owners can be a great source of new referrals for your real estate business. Shoppers often develop a relationship with them and become repeat customers.

For example, the average person will buy their morning coffee from the same shop 8 times out of 10. Yet, generating referrals from local business owners requires more than putting your poster on a promo wall.

If you have tried postering, then I’m sure you’ll agree that banner marketing for real estate is not as effective as it was a decade ago.

Our attention span has drastically decreased since the smartphone revolution. So come up with a creative approach in order to generate referrals from local businesses.

In this article, I’ll teach you 3 proven ways to generate referrals from local businesses.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

#1) Create A Local Directory Of Exclusive Business Coupons

Everyone loves coupons and they are still one of the most effective ways of connecting customers with a business.

As a community-minded local real estate professional, your goal should be to give value to the local businesses in the area.

Create a website with a business directory that allows local business owners to feature coupons.

local business listings example 3d printing

Once you have this feature in place, create a list of 10 local business owners in your area and approach them with the following script:

“Hi, my name is (your name) and I’ve just launched a new neighborhood website for (neighborhood). It’s all about shopping local and keeping people informed about what’s happening in the community. One of my initiatives is to find local business owners and feature their businesses on the website. I’d like to come down and learn more about your business, feature you in an interview and of course, take a selfie. Would you like to be featured?”

Why The Above Method Works:

  • Every business owner wants free promotion
  • No one will say no to you because they have nothing to lose
  • You are not pitching your real estate service and you have a one-on-one interview with a business owner
  • Coupon aggregation (exclusive coupons) is something that works from an SEO standpoint for long tail local keywords
  • Your website is distinguishable enough from just another MLS website.

9 times out of 10, the business owner will gladly accept your invitation and talk to you about your neighborhood website.

Let Parkbench build a comprehensive neighborhood website for your community!

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

#2) Feature Local Business Interviews On Your Real Estate Blogs

Free promotions for local businesses on your real estate blog achieves multiple marketing objectives.

Your interviews will help you connect with business owners on a personal level. Ask them questions about how they got started? Who are their regular customers? The main goal is to have a meaningful conversation with the business owner and get to know each other better.

realtor with local pool cleaner

real estate professional interviewing a local pool cleaner

Actually, you are prospecting in a subtle way while giving something of value to these business owners in return. At the end of the interview, be sure to ask if they know anyone looking to buy or sell real estate.

Once you repeat this technique with multiple business owners, your referral database will grow exponentially.

#3) Co-Marketing Campaigns With Local Business Owners

Co-Marketing is pretty standard for many tech companies and startups.

It involves launching a marketing campaign that promotes 2 or more brands in order to leverage the power of a combined audience.

The most common form of co-marketing in the real estate industry is a real estate professional teaming up with a mortgage broker. Sometimes, agents will also market services for a real estate lawyer on their social media channels.

Think about partnering with local business owners for a co-marketing campaign. This could be like a free seminar on how to invest in real estate at a local club.

When local businesses share your event on their social media channel, they are targeting locals in your area and making it a win-win situation for both the local business and yourself.

Ideas For Co-Branding Campaigns:

  • Launch a joint webinar with a mortgage broker
  • Create a joint checklist of closing costs and other legalities with a local real estate lawyer
  • Host a seminar at a local chamber of commerce
  • Cross promote local painters, roofers, and plumbers


Believe it or not, local business owner can be your greatest allies and a reliable source of referral business. Support them by promoting their business for free, and they’ll reciprocate by giving you referrals.

Invest in resources and tools that can help local businesses reach more customers. Leverage your knowledge, relationships, and resources to add value to local businesses. By giving value to them, your reputation as a neighborhood expert will grow exponentially.

Apply these 3 strategies to your marketing and you’ll be guaranteed to build better brand recognition in your farm. Set a goal to reach 30 business owners in the next 30 days, and watch your reputation explode!


Become a local leader because it pays…and it’s tons of fun!