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How to build strong referral partnerships

by Malavika Santhebennur12 minute read

A leading buyer’s agent has revealed his top tips for brokers looking to build strong referral relationships.

Ahead of the New Broker Academy 2024, InvestorKit director Arjun Paliwal has revealed his recipe for success in generating a strong referral partnership network.

Setting clear expectations for referral partners is key to having a long-term and fruitful relationship, Paliwal has said, advising brokers to approach a potential referral partner by first highlighting their strengths and unique value proposition.

“The downfall of most successful referral partnerships – whether it’s with an accountant, buyer’s agent, real estate agent, or a financial planner – is everyone thinking that it’s reciprocal,” he told The Adviser.


“If your partner referred 10–20 clients to you but you’re unable to refer an equal number of clients to them, you’re setting yourself up to fail already because you might not have any meaningful relationships.”

On the other hand, brokers who differentiate themselves from their peers and showcase their services or unique skill sets are more likely to build successful partnerships, he added.

“In a growth industry like broking where there is tough competition, your point of difference doesn’t need to be how long you’ve been in the industry or that you’ve written $1 billion worth of loans,” he said.

“Instead, you could outline how you enjoy working with clients in specific professions like medicine or nursing and highlight your experience and successful outcomes. You may be a passionate property investor who enjoys crunching the numbers so you could tell them that you’d love to speak with investors.”

Once a broker has secured a client through a referral partnership, the onus is on them to be friendly, responsive, and proactive with the partner to increase the chances of seeing a consistent flow of referrals, Paliwal continued.

“When a broker gets that first client, it’s a trial before the relationship deepens with the partner,” he told The Adviser ahead of the New Broker Academy.

“Regardless of whether the client is a qualified lead or not, you – as the broker – are on show. If you can show that you can respectfully handle that client or any feedback in a timely manner, that’s going to increase the ability for that to flow through to you because you’ve shown that you are low friction and someone who doesn’t need to be chased.”

To maintain the relationship with referral partners, Paliwal recommended that brokers be “in tune” with their goals rather than them and their clients. This could be done by meeting frequently and discussing each other’s business objectives, strategies, challenges and how to overcome them, milestones and breakthroughs, as well as interests and passions.

“When you build a meaningful relationship with someone that’s values driven, you can lift each other up substantially through life. You then become someone that’s much more than a referral partner,” Paliwal said.

He warned brokers not to treat referral partnerships like “speed dating” and change partners because they were not generating as many leads as they anticipated.

“Your referral partner might be a flower that’s about to blossom, but this takes time,” Paliwal said.

“They may have been trying to figure out how to integrate you in, support your clients, or make sure that you’re the partner they want to have that two-way relationship with. Maybe your partner wants to switch to a commission model because they can’t refer back. These conversations don’t end up happening because people change their referral partners.”

Paliwal advised brokers to view their referral partners as a value chain that could refer the broker to new referral partners.

“That chain of value can extend for as long as you’d like,” he said.

“You don’t have to constantly cold call and go through new relationships. These partnerships are usually right there in front of you. You just have to unlock that.”

To hear more from Arjun Paliwal about how you can create an unbreakable referral pipeline, come along to the New Broker Academy 2024.

To hear more from Darrell Weekes about how to generate leads with SEO and digital marketing, come along to the New Broker Academy 2024.

It will be held in the following locations:

  • Tuesday, 4 June at Waters Edge, Brisbane, Queensland.
  • Thursday, 13 June at Sofitel on Collins, Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Wednesday, 26 June at Montage, Sydney, NSW.

Register now for free and don’t miss out!

For more information, including agenda and speakers, click here.

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Malavika Santhebennur


Malavika Santhebennur is a content specialist at Momentum Media, focusing on mortgages and finance writing.

Before joining Momentum Media in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media, where she was writing about financial services.


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