It’s possible to “earn” perpetual referrals. Key word = “earn”. Here’s how.

How to Dipping Bird Your Way to Perpetual Referrals. Chapter Twenty Two from the book Less Blah Blah More Ah Ha – How social savvy real estate agents become trusted, preferred, referred and rewarded.

“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”  ~ Andy Warhol

The Dipping Bird

You’ve seen a Dipping Bird, haven’t you?  Some wonder how it works.  It appears to be a perpetual motion machine.

To set the Dipping Bird in motion, you place the bird next to a glass of water.  Gently push the bird’s head forward so that it barely touches the water, then let go.  Its head will then rise and dip perpetually.  Or so it seems.

How does this happen?  There are no batteries or power sources, yet the bird continues to dip and rise, dip and rise.  For hours.  It’s remarkable and people think it’s a magic trick.  But it’s not.

The Dipping Bird is a smart combination of heat vaporization, torque, center of mass physics, capillary action, and combined gases chemistry.  What appears to be perpetual motion is, in reality, a simple combination of science (the invisible: natural laws and physics), and clever art (the visible:  packaging and presentation).

If you want to, you can use a similar proven formula to generate perpetual referral recommendations. But instead of physics, your ingredients are an understanding of human behavior, timing, conversation, and follow-up.  Just like the little Dipping Bird drinks and rises, drinks and rises, if you put what you learn in this chapter into action, every time you take a new listing, or begin to work with buyer clients, you’ll generate one or two new referrals before the transaction closes.  Imagine the positive impact on your success if every time you worked with a qualified buyer or seller, you earned a new qualified buyer or seller referral.

First let’s take a look at how most agents commonly behave; then we’ll dive into how to Dipping Bird perpetual referrals.

Here’s What Most Agents Are Doing Wrong Now

They take a new listing or begin working with a homebuyer.  They work super hard, keep their promises, and the listing sells or the buyer buys.

During the escrow period, as per usual, there are a few unexpected hiccups, but diligence prevails and everything goes well.  The closing takes place on schedule. Everyone’s happy. Yea!

Generally, if it happens at all, it happens after closing.  The average and ordinary agent commonly asks for a referral recommendation after the closing.

The Problem with This Strategy Is . . .

During the transaction, buyers and sellers are all a-twitter about real estate.  They’re swapping real estate experiences, asking and answering questions, and sharing their stories with everyone they talk to.  During the transaction they’re hyper-aware of friends who are also thinking of making a move.

By waiting to timidly ask for referral recommendation until after the transaction closes, the agent is missing out on hearing about any juicy opportunities their clients might share with them during the transaction.  If only they were asked.

Remember, these clients are talking to everyone about their experience.  If you’re delivering excellent service and results, they would be happy to refer you, if only you would ask.  The key to creating Dipping Bird referral recommendations is to ask for referral recommendations during the transaction, not after.

The Dipping Bird Referral Strategy Goes Like This

1.  Attract a paying customer – I know, duh.

2.  Make your compelling, persuasive presentation of services (listing or buyer’s representation presentation/consultation.)

3.  After you’re chosen and the listing/buyer agreements are signed, shake hands and exchange smiles.   Then, as you’re leaving, or at the end of your next conversation, pause, thank them again and in your own words share that you appreciate their trust and confidence and you’ll keep all your promises or they can fire you on the spot.  And that to make sure you’re staying on track and they’re pleased, from time to time you’re going to ask them how you’re doing.

Example: Thanks again for your confidence, I appreciate it.  Listen, if at any time you feel I’m not living up to my promises, you can fire me, no questions asked, no hard feelings, and no fees.  To make sure you’re happy with everything I’m doing and I’m on track.  I’m going to check in with you from time to time and ask you, straight up, how I’m doing and if you’re happy.

In addition to making this the best home selling experience you’ve ever had, I want to create an experience where, if a friend, neighbor, or coworker asked you how it’s going, I want my work performance to be at a level where you would say, “Man oh man, Ken Brand is awesome, he’s keeping all his promises and more.”  So, I’ll be checking with you, okay?

4.  The hard part:  Deliver. Crazy.  Audacious. On time.  As promised.

In steps 1-4 you’ve positioned yourself to conversationally ask for referrals and recommendations during the transaction.  This will be simple and natural, because you’ve set the stage for it.

Deliver strong, wait for their “Thank you,” and take these next steps.

5.  When your clients experience a positive event and say “Thank you,” for example, after progress reports, showing appointments, contract presentation, contract negotiations, or option period expirations, respond naturally and say something like, “Thanks for the compliment, you’re welcome!”

6.  Immediately follow this up with something like, It sounds like you’re pleased and things are going well?” and remind them of your earlier conversation (Step 3), then ask for a referral recommendation.

It might sound something like this:

Them: Thanks for the insert positive event, Ken.

Me:  Thanks for the compliment; you’re welcome.  I don’t know if you remember this or not, but when we first got started we were sitting at the kitchen table and I said that my goal was to create the best experience you’ve ever had?  I know we’re not done yet but it sounds like so far, things are on track and you’re happy?

Them:  Yes.

Me:  Great. Can I ask you this? If a friend or a neighbor needed some real estate help and asked you for a recommendation, do you think you’d be comfortable sharing my name?

Them: Sure, Ken, you’re doing a fine job.

Me:  Yea!  Thanks!  Rest assured, when you refer me to someone, I promise I’ll take great care of them, treat them like family, and make you look good for recommending me. So, let me ask you this. Of your friends at work/in the neighborhood/at the gym/etc. [pick one small group], who’s the next person to make a move?

7.  If they share a referral, congratulations.  If they don’t, no worries. Thank them and rock on.  Lather, rinse, and repeat Steps 5, 6, and 7 at every significant positive milestone that includes and concludes with their enthusiastic “Thank you for a job well done.  I imagine you might ask five or seven times during the transaction.

Does It Work?

Yes, it does! If you have clients, you do a fantastic job, and they say “Thank you,” then you have earned the privilege of asking for referral recommendations during the transaction.  Do it!

If you’re asking for referrals infrequently or awkwardly at closing — or worse, sometime after closing, you’re self-strangling your prosperity.  Stop doing that and do this Dipping Bird thing instead.

Follow Steps 1 – 3 and you will have natural and comfortable opportunities to ask for referral recommendations, conversationally and respectfully.

Follow Steps 4 – 7 and your delighted clients will be happy to refer their friends, family members, and coworkers.

Follow Steps 1 – 7 and you’ll Dipping Bird your way to perpetual referrals.

Let me share a word about scripts and preparation.  If you’re reluctant, skeptical, or become ill at the thought of memorizing and reciting scripts, I hear you.  I’m not advocating the use of my words; I’m sharing directionally-correct dialogues as examples.

While I don’t encourage or even use scripts per se, I do encourage you to study the directionally correct dialogue examples in this book, then create and rehearse your own directionally-correct dialogues (as I do).  I’m a believer in perfect practice and preparation using rehearsed, directionally-correct dialogues when appropriate.   The more familiar you are with what you’re going to say, the more persuasive, crisp, confident, and beneficial your conversation will be.

Making this slight shift in strategy is the easy part.  If you do this, you will position yourself to speak perpetual referrals into existence. The hard part is keeping your promises and delivering referral-worthy results. I know you can do both, especially since you’ve already read so much of this book already and have put so much of the advice you’ve received into place.


Thanks for reading.  If can be helpful, ping me – Ken Brand 932-797-1779.