“Asking for Testimonials Early On”

“Asking for Testimonials Early On”




I know the rule of thumb is that you ask for referrals and testimonials at the end of a transaction. I never follow that thinking. I will always ask in the beginning of a relationship if the opportunity presents itself or during the process, but never at the end. For whatever reason, the end is just too late in my opinion.


Hi Joe,

My girlfriend was right, she told me having you handle the pre-qualification process was pretty easy. As I shared with you, I had contacted the bank my parents told me about and it has taken forever. It was three days and I still had nothing.

She listened to my frustration and gave me your contact info so I called you and within an hour I had my pre-qualification. We have lots of friends who will be home searching in the near future, expect lots of calls.


So, do you ask and if so when do you ask for testimonials and referrals?


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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

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Comment balloon 54 commentsJoe Petrowsky • April 29 2016 08:52AM


You are absolutely right - you ask and keep asking (nicely) for referrals. That way, the client is "trained" to think of you going forward. 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 2 years ago

Joe, my experience has been the same...they just are less likely to do them at the end...early on is a must & reminding them that it is important to your good continued business.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Thanks Joe.  This is something I should definitely work on a lot more.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 2 years ago

Not something I do often and all, and I probably should Joe.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 2 years ago

Hi Joe.  You are always on and always closing.  Perfect.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 2 years ago

Good morning Joe Petrowsky ,

Consumers get so frustrated when they can't get a call back! Instant communication will bring in a host of referrals every time! Thanks for showing us how it gets done!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) over 2 years ago

Good morning Joe. Like you I asked all the time, and still do. Enjoy your day.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 2 years ago

 There is no right time..it's any time that seems right !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 2 years ago

Hi Joe! I agree that any suitable time during the process is a great opportunity to get a referral.  Sometimes it does feel "cheesy" asking at the end (but I am guilty of it too).  One of the best reviews I got was during the search for a new home.  He didn't end up buying with me but a great review lives on!

Posted by Brenda Mayette, Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how! (Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 2 years ago

This is excellent advice for those who wish to build a referral business.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 2 years ago

Joe, I have issues remembering to get a testimonial, and usually they are after the transaction is complete.  Something to work on.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 2 years ago

I often forget to ask for testimonials and end up asking closed clients down the road over coffee.....

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi Joe Petrowsky I need to learn this from you.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Joe Petrowsky  I try to make it a habit to ask

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 2 years ago

Hey Joe.  I must admit, I wait until the end of the transaction when they are happy.  I will try your approach and see how that works.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 2 years ago

I ask, Joe, when the timing feels right and it's different with different clients. However, I've also found that very often my clients approach me and ask how they can provide a testimonial... and that's the best outcome!

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) over 2 years ago

Joe you make a really good point - get it out front and let them be thinking about it along the journey. 

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 2 years ago

Joe, I do ask for referrals but not at first. Great point and will be doing it in the begining and not at the end of a transaction.,

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) over 2 years ago

Joe those type of notes like this are music to the ear.  Hope he follows through on what he said.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 2 years ago

I think your suggestion has merit.  Early on may be a good time to ask for testimonials and referrals.  Congrats on your feature and thanks for the advice.

Posted by Joyce Marsh, Daytona Beach Florida Real Estate, Daytona Beach Area Coastal Homes and Lifestyles (Joyce Marsh Real Estate) over 2 years ago

The problem with YELP is people who is not a long term commentator is rejected. What a pain in the a&X!


Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) over 2 years ago

Joe, My documented process is to ask after the close ... one week after to give clients time to get settled.  I sent a short questionnaire as well. It works for me. Asking before I have provided a service just feels ... premature. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 2 years ago

Hi Joe: I had heard it's always best to ask in the beginning. Thanks!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) over 2 years ago

Best time to ask?  All the time, at start, in middle and at end.  Then after it is over, and even further into future.

Posted by David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor, Your local Expert (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) over 2 years ago

Joe, I usually do ask in the end but will rethink my strategy when th opportunity arises.

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 2 years ago

Joe, good idea to ask for it early and I will make a point of it from now on. I usually ask at the end, but then their focus is on other tasks... like moving in! Thanks for the post!

Posted by Susan Laxson CRS, Local Knowledge & Global Network (Palm Properties) over 2 years ago

I say at the beginning that I will be asking for the review and referrals at the end. That way they can be thinking about who to list on the sheet I give them. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 2 years ago

I wait until after the deal is closed most of the time.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 2 years ago

Good evening Joe,

I like how you think!

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) over 2 years ago


Your thinking is right on point . . . . The best time to get a referral . . . . is when you can.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 2 years ago

Joe Petrowsky - actually, I let them know at our first meeting on how I work. I work by referrals and would appreciate referrals.

As far as testimonials are concerened, I do wait till end....should do it sooner, I guess.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 2 years ago

Testimonials will come eventually good work and persistence in keeping on doing the good work.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 2 years ago

I do agree with the idea that you should be upfront and transparent as much as possible, Praful Thakkar

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 2 years ago

I think this is a good idea.. I think it is something I should start doing.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 2 years ago

Ummm generally speaking I don't.  However I have some because some folks have asked me and some just left tthem.  I need to improve on this

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 2 years ago

well Joe you are on to something I have a few referrals and few testimonials vs. you have many so that settles is your way is the right way, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 2 years ago

Obviously your process works! I usually ask afterwards.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 2 years ago

Great idea!!! In my opinion the best time is when their contract gets accepted!!!

I will always ask in the beginning of a relationship if the opportunity presents itself or during the process, but never at the end. For whatever reason, the end is just too late in my opinion.


Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) over 2 years ago

Hi Joe -- Rinse. Repeat.  And of course, ask for the referral and/or testimonial. Good job.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 2 years ago

The sooner you can get the testimonial the better.  After the transaction, sometimes people forget or change their mind. 

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Hi Joe, 

We all provide services that can be reviewed at various times during the transaction. When a client thanks you for "always answering your phone" that is a time you can say thank you for noticing, and by the way I would appreciate it if you could click on the link in my email to post a review.

Posted by Matt Brady, Lending With Competence And Character (Skyline Home Loans) over 2 years ago

Asking for testimonials first I think keeps that information on the mind of the person we are working with. it also keeps us operating on our best behavior (if that needs to be mentioned). 

Posted by Kevin Morris, Real Estate agent serving danville and surrounding (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodrick Realty) over 2 years ago

Joe, your post is timely and coincidental. I'm sending out requests for recent client testimonials this morning.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) over 2 years ago

Joe, that's good advice. I get some pretty nice references at the end, but I've had some of the clients I've extra hard for never followed through on their commitment to send a recommendation. I'll give your idea a try.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 2 years ago

I've generally waited until the close f a successful transaction just because I've had deals fall apart at the last minute and that's not exactly a good time to ask for a testimonial. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) over 2 years ago

As we all know, many buyers discuss their home buying process with friends and family throughout the process.  Having said that, it hasn't occurred to me to ask for referrals at the start, I commonly ask at the closing table. Doing so at the start certainly increases the chance that they will put in a good word for you.

Posted by Kate McQueen, Tailored service for your real estate needs! (CB&A Realtors) over 2 years ago

Joe -- I have not thought about getting testimonials your way. Very interesting concept that I need to think about. Thanks for the food for thought.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Always--  since Social Media has been watching !!! Great feature ! I ask and appreciate !

Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) over 2 years ago

I start asking very early. I am working with one buyer and we haven't gone to contract yet because she is working on her credit. She has referred 3 buyers to me already andI feel more coming.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 2 years ago

You are right on target.  Telling them that people hear what they are looking to hear and then mentioning your name is a great suggestion, right at the start!

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Joe - if it works for you, it must be worth trying.

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Lots of happy clients would gladly give testimonials if they are asked, I think far too often we overlook even asking for them early on or even later.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Joe, since we are serving our clients above expectation, ideally we should ask throughout the process - beginnning, during, end and beyond.  I say leverage our client's referrals throughout the process.  Referrals are vital in today's market because people search for reviews.  I know I do before I make a purchase online or seek a service provider.  I guess I'm taking a broader approach and not just a client testimonial but also seeking my client's referrals for new business. 

Posted by Cesar Bautista, Your Central Coast Area Realtor 805.264.1646 (Keller Williams Realty Central Coast ~ Pismo Beach) over 2 years ago

Interesting point to consider consider. The client is actively engaged early in the process versus after the closing.

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) over 2 years ago