Subscribe to the Design/Builders Blog

The Design Builder's Blog

Creating A Referral System At Your Remodeling Business

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Thu, Jul 31,2014 @ 06:00 AM

Beth Davis



Guest Blogger: Beth N. Davis is the owner and operator of BD Contractor Services where she and her team create and implement dynamic marketing plans and trainings for home improvement professionals nationwide. Visit or connect with her on Facebook.


Creating A Referral System At Your Remodeling or Construction Business

Referrals have long been the lifeblood of the remodeling industry.  To ensure a steady stream of referral business, you need a system. Follow the steps below and you will be on your way to creating a simple and manageable referral system.


Lay Your Foundation

How remodelers can get more referralsBefore you begin to build your referral system, you must first take stock of the relationships and connections that you can leverage for success. Take some time to list all of your current and past clients, individuals with whom you have a personal relationship (friends, family, etc.) and those with whom you have business relationships. Be thorough.  The quality of this list will affect the overall quality of your referral system. 

You will likely want to access information about these individuals in the future so be sure to create a database in a format that you will use whether that be a Rolodex or an app on your smart phone. I have used an Excel spreadsheet for this task for over a decade and update it weekly. From this list, go ahead and delete the names of those you would not choose to work with. Identify 2-3 characteristics of the remaining individuals that highlight their importance or relevance.


Take Action

How Contractors can get more referralsMaking the ask, that all important action item that takes you from plan to procedure, can be the most difficult part of a referral system for many people. This is when you begin contacting your network and directly asking for referrals. There are many ways that you can accomplish this, but, for the sake of consistency, I recommend that you rank all of your prospects and contact 5-10 per day with a personalized version of a templated message. Whoever handles your administrative functions will be able to assist you with this. 

If you want to contact all of your prospects at once, I recommend doing a physical mailing and being sure to personalize the letters. For best results, make sure that you cover three specific things in your letter: Where the person knows you from, what specific traits about them make you think of an ideal client and what type of clients you want to connect with.

Asking for referrals is like planting seeds. You may not see immediate results, but people will start to think of you as they move through the world and the results will begin to show over time. This method is meant for steady and dependable referral income.


Exceed Expectations

It isn’t enough to secure a referral and sign a contract. Once you have sealed the deal, you need to deliver. You and your staff should always shoot to meet client expectations but it is even more important when that client is a referral.

Remember that it is not only your reputation, but the reputation of the person who referred the client to you that is weighed here. There is no faster way to lose credibility with a client than to provide poor service for someone they have referred to you.


Don’t Forget to Measure

Contractors need to measure marketing resultsFind out where (and who) your new customers are coming from. Ask for feedback on service and quality and make sure that you integrate the feedback into your business practices if they prove to be relevant. Committing to constant improvement shows your current and past clients that you care.


Follow Up

Always thank people for their referrals. Part of your referral system should include following up with individuals who have given you referrals in the past.  Gifts and points are nice, but the real reward for these customers is your heartfelt appreciation and the ability to connect someone they care about with quality service. 

Everyone in the remodeling industry wants to work with dynamic clients who pay on time while creating beautiful projects in the process. Doing this without spending a fortune on advertising will be a reality when you look around you and leverage your relationships for maximum results.

Topics: Success Strategies, Marketing Ideas, Guest Blogs, Creating Referrals