The Unsettling Truth About Online Real Estate Referral Sites

Eriks Draiska
Published on July 11, 2016

The Unsettling Truth About Online Real Estate Referral Sites

Referral fees are a usual practice in many dependable and reputable businesses. Real estate referral fees are common as well.

A real estate referral fee can be earned when someone refers a client to an agent. This could be from friends, family, colleagues, past clients or another agent.

They’re perfectly okay… ethically, morally and legally. If fully disclosed and correctly handled.

However, not all agents are upfront about real estate referral fees and the source of some of them are Not Okay.

Amazing as it may seem, there are numerous companies whose sole business is referring clients to agents, who are willing to pay a hefty referral fee to them.

Why some of these aren’t these okay?

Let’s think a minute as to why these sites believe they can make money in a market that’s only between an agent and a selling client.

They capture leads from random strangers, both online and offline. Then the seller information and property details are farmed out to multiple agents for a substantial fee.

Bear in mind…

  • Those referring site companies do not market or sell any homes at all
  • They make their money on referral fees without much effort
  • They may not be licenced in a particular state
  • They do not add any value to the transaction or to the seller
  • They recommend any agent who pays them a considerable fee
  • They get paid regardless which agent lists & sells, as they refer at least 3 agents at a time.
  • These practices are considered illegal in many states and are strongly discouraged by the Real Estate Institutes

The referring company isn’t really doing much of anything for the seller who they purport to help. They are simply tossing several agents names into a hat. Sellers have no idea who they’ll get in most cases.

It’s a few minutes’ effort for them to follow up on an online form and to get a hefty cheque later.

These real estate referral site fees range between 25% to 40% from the commission the receiving agent earns.

Even if some qualifications are there, they don’t know the agent or agency and they certainly can’t know their ethics or business practices. They do not know if the agent even knows the market, or if they can do a good job.

They certainly won’t back the seller up if there’s a problem, which is another reason to be cautious.

The referrer site is just looking for someone who will pay the real estate referral fee…

Is the customer going to get an experienced and effective agent? Maybe not. The seller may get 60-75% of reasonable service, but they really want 100% of excellent service.


  1. Agents need new properties to sell!
  2. And Listings are always needed!

A whole new industry of hangers-on and middle-men & women with their hands out, awaiting an easy feed has flourished.

These are the real estate referral site companies who add absolutely no value to people looking to sell.

They operate in the guise of helping sellers.

Their so called service is touted as being free.

It is, but at a cost…

Someone always pays… in this case, it is the agent who will be working for you at a huge loss on their fee.

No big deal, you may think.

Except if they are working for you. They cannot provide 100% service when it’s costing them a quarter to close to half their fee.

The reality is, imagine if you were told by your boss to pay them a referral fee of 40% of your wages to keep working… it would not happen.

Chances are sellers using these referred agents lose out on the best result, as the agent just needs it gone and sold quickly to make any money.

The real estate referral site companies are NOT working for the seller despite their slick marketing.

Their business model is to collect a fee every time a seller uses ANY of the agents put forward. They win each time with little regard to how your sale actually goes. They still get paid, regardless of what happens to you.

These are some of the reasons we do not subscribe to them or their services…

The very best real estate referrals do not come from these companies.

They come to us from past clients and from people who know, like and trust us.

Most of our business at Plaza Real Estate comes from repeat and referral clients, customers and friends.

We’ve been there at the best of times and sometimes worst of times when people need to sell. We’ve never given up on a client and we never will.

So, who do you know that needs our help?

If you’re talking with a colleague, friend or family member and they mention that they or someone they know thinking about selling their home.
Please take out your phone, look up my number 0418804900 and call or text me immediately so we can talk about helping them get the advice they need.
Or fill out the form below. You know they’ll thank you for it.

Your Home SOLD for TOP DOLLAR in 90 Days or Less or We SELL it For FREE!

Because of this promise, we SELL 100% of our Vendors homes.

That is Every Property We Have LISTED FOR SALE over the last few years has actually been SOLD by us!

With that sort of commitment from us, our Sales Team absolutely must take everything they do seriously!

We’re asking you, for your help…

Please take your time to ‘Refer a friend

INTRODUCE Anyone Who’s Thinking of Selling?

If they LIST & SELL with us.

We’ll pay YOU at least $500 CASH to really say ‘Thanks’

Don’t keep us a Secret… please tell everyone you know to make sure they are properly looked after when it’s their turn to sell.

Note: The referral fee is from our business marketing budget and does not impact on the sellers’ cost at all.

To find out more, you’re welcome to call 08 83961100 to arrange a chat with people that care.
Alternatively, Book a
Free Consultation or Get Your Home Value Here.
Feel free to browse the rest of our Blog for more tips tricks and helpful info you can use.
Not sure of some of the terms & meanings used? Check our comprehensive Glossary and Abbreviations!
P.S. If you are part of a Club, Group or Organisation and need someone to ‘Speak about Real Estate & Property’, You’re Welcome to ask or Click Here.

Your Home SOLD in 90 Days or Less or We SELL it for FREE!

Thanks for reading
What else would YOU like to know about? What would make a great story?
Do you have any specific questions or advice on buying, selling or investing? Real Estate trends? Local, interstate international? Info on the buying or selling process? How to sell or buy? What NOT to do?
What can you TELL us about?
Your neighbourhood – what do you love? Shops, Parks for families, pets, to relax? Restaurants, pubs, hotels, places to go, things to do? Anything else at all? Share Your Own Real Estate, Property, Wisdom & Experiences… The Good, The Bad or The Ugly? What have you learned that other people should know?
Know someone who needs help?
You can
REFER them here.
Whatever Topic or Suggestion you have… email us at
[email protected] or call 08 83961100. We’d love to hear about your ideas.
Regards Eriks & Team 
Plaza Real Estate 

Thank you, talk soon!
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