Toying With Referrals, Earning Rapport

I wanted my clients to know, without a doubt, that I was realtor who went above and beyond. So I came up with the idea of “treat bags” for any client with pets or children. I wanted to cater to the emotional bond we as humans have for our children (including our animal children).

My assistant, Jennifer, would neatly prepare arrangements of small toys, pet treats and other assorted items to keep in my trunk. When I would meet up with a client who had a dog, I would produce a rawhide bone for their Labrador. My clients (and their pup) were super gracious. Likewise, for clients who had children, I showed up with toys. This simple gesture showed I cared and parlayed into a mountain of client appreciation.

More Than A Nice Gesture

Using these treat bags also proved to be a useful tactic in more ways than one. Spending an afternoon browsing for potential homes is not fun for any kid; so if a client’s child was tagging along, I would give them a treat bag. Doing this allowed for the parents and I to go through each house more casually, meanwhile their kids were occupied with stickers and games. I know the parents appreciated it and it definitely made my job easier.

So, how was I able to afford to give each of my clients’ kids and pets a special treat or toy? It was pretty simple, actually. I never went overboard with my spending and I didn’t have to open a line of credit at Toys R Us or Petco like you might be thinking. Instead, I would shop at the local discount stores for inexpensive items that I knew would be a hit, both with the client in terms of appreciation and with the child or pet in terms of enjoyment.

Some Tips To Consider:

  • Make the presentation look nice. Taking a little extra effort will go a long way. Tying a ribbon around a dog bone shows thoughtfulness.
  • Keep it simple. There’s no need to break the bank on elaborate toys and treats. The thought and gesture is what’s most important.
  • Always be prepared. Even though I knew when I was meeting with a client who had a pet or a child, I always had toys and treats in the trunk of my car for any situation. It did look a little strange since I didn’t have kids or pets at the time, but I was ready for anything.
  • Not all kids or pets are the same. Make sure you have toys that are gender-neutral or specific to boys or girls. Also, consider pets of all sizes, and have appropriately sized treats for both the Chihuahuas and the Great Danes.

Get out there and make it happen! Everyone keeps talking about how great the videos are but I have yet to see it in action. I’m not sharing my tricks just to hear myself talk… put it in action, take a pic and tweet it to me! DO IT!


I grew my business strictly by referrals. I had a system in place called Ty’s 35, designed to wow every single client I had. I’m going to share my system with you, week by week, so you too can start working by referral. No more door knocking, no more cold calling, no billboards, and no advertising.