The Disappearing Referral Fee

A luxury we have at Alchemy of Money is to get insights out of reviewing so many brokerage and agent profit and loss statements. We can (most times) identify trends and opportunities we see from our members that are reflective of what is going on in the industry.

In a “normal” year the United States would have about 5.5 million transactions. Recent reports show the number from 2023 was right under 4.09 million transactions, so you’re looking at a 25% drop from the activity you would normally see as an agent.

However, we have noticed a drop substantially over that percentage in the referral fee income and referral fee outflow (cost of sale) in our members’ P&Ls. These would normally occur from your sellers that you refer out who have now become a buyer, and a buyer referred to you from an out-of-area agent.

A best practice would be to reaffirm your scripting at the listing appointment so that, within the first few questions, you’re finding out where the seller is going after you successfully help them sell their current residence, so you can help them find an agent right now who can start assisting them with their purchase.

On the buyer referral side, one of the fastest methods to get the largest quantity of inbound referrals is to appear on stage at an industry event (large or small), so more agents know where you sell and can place a face with a name. Of course, the fastest way to get on stage is to provide some type of value to the attendees. So find something that you do well, create some content on the subject matter, and start contacting people in charge of content for the events you’d like to attend.

Focus on referrals this year, and you should see your referral income get back to where it should be. Rooting for you!