Real Estate Agent EssentialsVetted by HousingWire

Peer-to-peer networking for real estate professionals

Want more referral leads? We show you how, why and where to network with fellow agents to expand your real estate agent referral network


With lawsuits and settlements in the news, fostering strong relationships with your fellow real estate agents is more important than ever before. Cooperation and clear communication within the agent community make us stronger agents and better equipped to serve our clients.

Below, you’ll find our list of nine compelling reasons why building and strengthening your agent referral network is extremely valuable, as well as suggestions for where to find the most impactful networking events and how to execute this strategy effectively.

Why focus on peer-to-peer networking in real estate?

1. Outbound referrals.

One of the highest dollar-per-hour activities an agent can do is send outbound referrals. Example: your seller is moving across the country. You volunteer to help them find an amazing buyer’s agent in that area. You make a few calls, find a great agent, make the introduction, and you end up helping your client and receiving a nice referral check. Win-win!

2. Inbound referrals.

Imagine your phone ringing (or your social media DM inbox blowing up) with qualified leads from a fellow real estate professional in another area of the country. Most agents I know would be more than happy to pay a referral fee for business coming so easily to them. These leads tend to be easier to work with and may close quicker than internet-generated leads.

3. Smoother transactions.

In a perfect world, every agent would be calm, professional, and matter-of-fact when negotiating offers and handling transaction management, yet we know that’s not always the case. Personalities come into play, and emotions can sometimes run high when a deal hits a snag. If the agents know each other and have a good working relationship, the transaction can be much smoother, which benefits the consumers and the agents involved. You may also have more of your buyers’ offers accepted if the listing agent knows you and feels confident that you’re a capable agent submitting a solid offer for your buyers.

4. Pre-market or off-market listings.

How much of a hero would you be if you brought your buyer to a house that wasn’t even on the market yet? While there are certainly plenty of “coming soon” Facebook groups and third-party, off-market websites, agent-to-agent relationships are how many pre- and off-market transactions happen. One of the best ways to provide a high level of service to your buyers is to foster strong relationships with the top agents in your area. And the best way to do that is through peer-to-peer networking.

5. Potential team members.

When you have so many leads you cannot service them all and have set up a solid operations team, it may be time to hire other agents and build your team. Agents within your office or at other local companies are typically great candidates for teams. They’re already licensed and trained — at least to some extent. You may have heard the phrase “build your bench.” This expression means: Always be networking with your peers and building a roster of potential team members, which will save you a lot of time and stress when the time comes to hire.

6. Days off and vacations.

For years, I’ve taught solo agents classes about how to take days off and vacations. The easiest way to do this is to ask one of your peers to cover for you. To do that, you need to network with other agents to find the ones you trust to oversee your business when you’re away. (Note: be sure to check with your broker. Most brokers prefer you stick to working with agents within your own brokerage for this due to potential liability issues).

7. Mentorship and guidance.

All of us were brand-new agents at one point. Maybe you are still a newer agent. Learning from more experienced agents and brokers is incredibly important. Experience will teach you new skills, how to handle unexpected situations, and how to find creative solutions – things you won’t learn in any classroom. Maybe you’re a highly experienced and successful agent. Giving back and offering to help newer agents in your office — either through an official mentorship or simply by inviting them to shadow your next home inspection n— can be very rewarding. (Bonus: It may also help you find potential team members).

8. Learn new lead generation ideas.

How are other agents finding clients? What’s working in other areas of the country? No need to reinvent the wheel. Most top agents are more than happy to share their secrets with agents in different markets. Conferences are your best bet here, as the conference organizers will typically ask top agents to speak onstage and share their strategies with everyone.

9. Make friends who “get it.”

If your significant other, family, and close friends all work in industries other than real estate, it can feel incredibly lonely. There’s something comforting about being able to commiserate with our peers, sharing our wins and struggles with people who are in the trenches with us. Having friends who “get it” is essential.

Best virtual peer-to-peer networking opportunities


1. Facebook groups

Simply by posting and commenting on other agents’ posts in Facebook groups like LabCoat Agents, Real Estate Mastermind, and Introverts in Real Estate can provide virtual networking opportunities. 

2. The Quiet Success Club

A membership club that meets on Zoom monthly, specifically for introverted real estate agents. Open to agents at all brokerages around the country.

3. Virtual conferences

Since 2020, some conferences have started offering virtual attendance options. NAR NXT, The Realtor® Experience (see link below) offers a virtual conference option, and Tom Ferry’s Success Summit, held in August, lets you log in from afar.

Our favorite in-person networking events


1. HousingWire’s The Gathering

  • Date: April 21-24, 2024
  • Location: Scottsdale, AZ
  • Ticket Price: Tickets are $2,150 for professionals or $3,150 for technology and solution partners, as well as those who do not represent a licensed mortgage or real estate firm. 
  • Link to register

2. NAR NXT, The Realtor® Experience

  • Date: November 8-10, 2024
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Ticket Price: Rates are not yet listed, but should be soon.
  • Link to register

3. REALTOR® state conventions

Most states have their own conventions throughout the year. You can find a complete list at this link.

4. Brokerage conventions

If you belong to a franchise brokerage, chances are there’s at least one large convention each year you can attend. Yes, these are often pricey and time-consuming, but what better way to build your agent referral network within your company?

5. Local training events

Many training events are open to agents from any brokerage (think: Board of Realtor® events, KW’s BOLD, and any number of CE classes hosted by lenders, attorneys, or title companies). Eventbrite is a good place to search for events like these. Don’t forget to attend classes and events hosted by your own office, as well!

6. Broker open houses

These are amazing opportunities to meet your local peers, while also staying up to date with the inventory.

Once you’ve started building your agent referral network both locally and around the world, it’s critical to stay in touch. Treat your database of peers like your sphere of influence — capturing and maintaining share of mind with meaningful, authentic outreach and touchpoints. Always look for ways to help the agents you meet, too. When you lead with your ability to contribute and build strong relationships with your peers through networking, you will see your business improve.

Ashley Harwood photo

About Ashley Harwood

Ashley Harwood began her real estate career in 2013 and built a six-figure business as a solo agent before launching Move Over Extroverts in 2018. She developed training materials, classes, and coaching programs for her fellow introverts. Ashley currently serves as Director of Agent Growth for three Keller Williams offices in the Boston metro area. She is the creator of The Quiet Success curriculum and has taught thousands of real estate agents across the country, has been a guest speaker at top industry events, and has been named a leading real estate coach by prominent industry publications.

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