After Keller Williams’ agent-to-agent referral tool was launched in February 2018, Dawn Krause and Tom Basler of the Krause Basler Network in Chesterfield, Missouri, hit the ground running. The technology gives agents an intuitive way to send, receive, track, and manage referrals through the Keller Cloud. Though referrals weren’t a strong part of their business before, Basler and Krause saw it as a way to throw their doors wide open to the opportunity. 

Within seven months, the team has generated $63,884 in GCI from referrals alone and has 114,414 people in their referral network. Last month, just two referrals led to $1 million in sales. Because they’ve amassed such a large circle, the effects are compounding, and they’ve risen to the top of all inbound referrals in the St. Louis area.

Their Strategy to Scale

To scale so quickly, Basler and Krause hired a virtual assistant. “Sitting in front of the computer sending out requests wasn’t the highest and best use of our time or skill sets,” the pair offered. The cost for the assistant broke down to $1.75 per hour. “Since you only have so many hours a day to spend on real estate, you have to ask yourself if making $1.75 per hour is worth it,” Krause explains. Basler adds that it’s all about ROI. “We spent $1,709 in virtual assistant costs to get $63,884 in GCI. That’s an incredible return on our investment.”

The Krause Basler Network by the Numbers

  • 2017:  323 units for $108M in volume

  • 2018: Projecting 500 units for $165M in volume

  • In the top ½ percent of all REALTORS® nationwide

  • #2 in St. Louis

  • #5 in Missouri

Krause and Basler share their advice on how to grow a booming referral business:

Adopt ASAP.

Download Kelle now!

This is the easiest way to send and receive referrals, check the status of your referrals, and get instant Broadcast Referrals notifications (real-time, targeted referral offers for agents who’ve completed sales in a specific area).

Fill out your profile on KWConnect.

“As we’re looking to send referrals across the country, we see empty profiles and think that must be someone who is not fully engaged in their business,” shared Basler.

Start local.

“Our director of operations had the virtual assistant break down the target by region and then by market centers within the regions. So, our first request was to the market center closest to us and then we expanded from there.”

Leverage expansion.

“As expansion agents, from a referral standpoint, the closest market center makes the most sense. In fact, $27,000 of the $63,884 in GCI came directly from referrals to our expansion partners.” The firm they just joined forces with heard them speak about expansion, but were drawn because of the company’s tech philosophy and offerings.

Relationships are still the heartbeat of real estate.

No amount of technology replaces an agent’s relationship with their clients. It is all about being a tech-enabled agent, Krause explains. “The technology is amazing because it’s connecting us so that we can build enduring relationships. Without the tech, we wouldn’t have connected, but nurturing the connection is up to us.”

Unexpected Benefits

As an expansion team, sharing the technology that makes it easier to be a productive agent and grow through referrals attracts ambitious agents to the Krause Basler Network. “From a recruiting and talent acquisition standpoint, it’s been remarkable. There’s the $63K in tangible dollars, but just as important are the intangible benefits because of the attraction it has had from massive talent who sees the importance of the technology.”

In recent weeks, the Krause Basler Network acquired another brokerage. With the acquisition, Krause says the team added 20 new agents and will likely do an additional 300 units in sales this year alone. “Part of the attraction for them was the KW technology and the potential to grow with referrals and scale their own businesses.”

The team is excited about what the future holds with KW.

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