A real estate referral brokerage is a place for real estate agents who do not do transactions. It is also referred to as a “referral only brokerage”. Agents who join a referral brokerage do not represent clients. They earn an income by referring clients to other real estate agents.

Why would an agent join a referral brokerage?

There are many reasons agents decide they don’t want to do transactions. Liabilities, long hours, stress…

Agents also leave real estate for other career opportunities. Others choose to spend more time with family.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports that 87% of all licensed real estate agents exit the industry within five years of becoming licensed.

Agents that no longer practice real estate can still have an active license. But, the cost of the associations and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) can be high. Referral brokerages allow agents to be active, without paying association or MLS dues.

How NAR and MLS dues work

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is a trade organization. Members of NAR are REALTORS®.

Once a broker (and the broker’s firm) joins NAR, all agents at that brokerage must also join NAR. This is because of a NAR rule called the “dues formula“.

So why do brokers (and thusly their agents) join NAR?

The main purpose of a trade organization like NAR is advocacy. But most real estate agents don’t fork over hundreds of dollars a year to support lobbying for private property rights.

There are state and local boards under NAR that provide benefits. For example, many state boards provide standardized real estate contracts. This reduces cost and liability to agents. Local boards may provide classes and other benefits.

Oh, and the local REALTOR® associations own the MLS in most areas. So that’s also a factor.

Referral brokerages are not members of NAR

Agents at referral brokerages are not REALTORS® and do not pay NAR dues. Because they do not do transactions, the MLS is not needed. If referral agents want to look at MLS listings, they could always go to Zillow. (That was a joke.)

(Kind of.)

Making money with real estate referrals

Referral brokerage technology makes it easy to send referrals
Roosted’s technology lets referral agents generate an income from anywhere!

Referral agents can refer clients who are purchasing a home in any state. That means there are many opportunities to generate referrals.

Most referral agents have a source of income other than real estate referrals. But, many are able to earn a full-time income. There are also agents making a LOT of money from referrals, such as…

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program refers people to real estate agents. He generates leads through his network and connects them with agents in exchange for a referral fee. Ca-ching!

Attending networking events and participating on social media are great ways to generate business. Most people know at least one person who will move in the next 12 months. Friends, family, and co-workers are all potential referrals! Remember, they can be in any state.

Finding a referral brokerage

To earn income, referral agents need an easy way to send referrals as well as an agent to take care of the referrals. Some referral brokerages help with this, but many do not.

Roosted is a real estate referral brokerage that uses technology to help with this. The web app handles sending the referral to an experienced agent. And Roosted’s network of agents pay 35% of their commission back to the referral agent.

With Roosted, sending a referral is fast and easy. No researching agents or copying-and-pasting contact info. Autofill the contact from your phone. Let Roosted assign the agent. Done.

Roosted agents can also select an agent of their choice to handle the referral. And, they can ask for a different referral fee if they want.

Imagine you’re at a party and your friend Katie mentions she’s relocating to Washington, D.C. and needs to buy and sell.

Your phone is most likely right next to you, so you enter Katie’s information into the app. It’s fine you don’t know agents in D.C. – the tech is already finding one to take great care of Katie, and pay a 35% referral fee.

Plus, your favorite agent here in town handles the sale of Katie’s house, for whatever referral fee you decide. Or, if Katie decides to sell to OpenDoor for fast cash, you still get paid!


Wesley Welch · August 16, 2022 at 11:58 am

Can a real estate agent still do referrals for Roosted while working under a broker at the same time?

    Roosted · August 26, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Wesley, you can receive referrals from Roosted agents when you are under a different broker. But no, you cannot send referrals through Roosted unless you have your license with Roosted in Arizona.

HJ · April 23, 2021 at 8:15 pm

I’m confused your plans starts at 50-50 split, where the 35% referral fee lines-up with the different plans you are offering?

    amandasue · September 2, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Hi there! The agent would pay Roosted 35% of their commission. Roosted would then pay you according to what plan you’re on (50%, 70%, or 90%).

    For example, let’s say the agent’s commission was $10,000.
    35% of $10,000 = $3,500 which would be paid to Roosted
    Roosted would then pay you 50%, 70% or 90% of that $3,500, depending on what plan you’re on. So you would be paid:
    50% = $1,750
    70% = $2,450
    90% = $3,150

Tanya Ricks · April 4, 2021 at 3:51 pm

Can you do referrals all over the use or just Arizona?

    amandasue · April 12, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Hi Tanya! Agents licensed in Arizona can send referrals to any state.

century 21 everest · July 30, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
Thanks for posting. Guess I’ll just bookmark this web site.

Miya C · June 2, 2020 at 6:12 pm

How do you analyze and pick the agent? Also, can I choose the category, such as top 20%, with specific language skills.
Another question is do I have an option to see the agent and authorize to give my referral after you assign couple of agents?


    amandasue · June 4, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Hi Miya! All of our partner agents must have at least 3 years of experience and handle at least 10 transactions per year. In our first year, Roosted picked the agent about 40% of the time (the rest of the time, the Roosted agent picked).

    As we have more referrals being sent that rely on Roosted picking the agent, we’ll continue to refine the process based on our agent’s feedback. Right now, agents are selected by zip code and price range, but do not have categories.

Anonymous · April 25, 2020 at 4:43 pm

Thanks for the terrific information for us.

LaVerne Eckels · March 10, 2020 at 6:47 pm

I have forgotten my password and cannot get the website to take me to email to set up a new password.
I am trying to create and set up my first referral.

    amandasue · March 11, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Hi LaVerne! Thanks for emailing – we’re working on getting this sorted out for you!

Niko · August 27, 2019 at 11:23 am

I have interest. Are we allowed to refer our own property/home?

    Roosted · August 27, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Hey Niko! Absolutely, if you are buying or selling your own home, you can refer yourself to an agent through Roosted. If you choose to let Roosted select the agent, you’ll receive a 35% referral fee. Or, if you know the agent you’d like to work with on your purchase/sale, you can refer yourself to them and negotiate a referral fee with them separately (50%, for example).

Niko Pagni · August 26, 2019 at 7:58 pm

How do we work owner agent properties?

Michael Manning · August 25, 2019 at 10:55 am

How do I get started?

    Roosted · August 25, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Hi Michael! To get started, visit our Plans & Pricing page to select which plan works best for you! We’ll walk you through everything else – getting signed up, transferring your license, and sending your first referral!

    Let us know if you have any questions!

Ruth · August 5, 2019 at 5:53 am

Great blog info explaining your company. I am so happy with my decision to put my license with Roosted…until I am ready to go active again. For now being able to make referrals and still make $ is great!

Ron Mehin · July 31, 2019 at 11:30 pm

is this for residential real estate only?

    Roosted · August 4, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Ron! You can send commercial referrals as well as residential as Roosted agent!

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *