How to Get Referrals at Scale

Building relationships with others in your niche is consistently the most impactful thing you can do as a business owner. It can be easy to deprioritize building professional relationships thinking that by merely existing in the same space, they’ll eventually manifest. We’ll be sharing 4 easy to implement strategies to help you leverage your relationships into a steady stream of high-quality referrals for your residence or senior care service. 

Article Image

Develop Relationships with Local Networks

A little proactivity can go a long way when you’re developing a rolodex of care professionals. While relationships with hospital coordinators, discharge coordinators, social workers and independent Senior Living Advisors do serve as powerful sources of referrals, you can also think of them as a multifaceted expansion of your business.  

Professional referrals support the development of a strong, trustworthy, and credible brand image. 

How to get and stay connected to local senior care professionals in your area:  

  • Be Genuinely Curious: The goal of your networking shouldn’t simply be to get as many contacts as possible, but rather to learn about how you can benefit each other, and ultimately benefit your shared clientele.  
  • Old-Fashioned Networking: Attend industry events, touch base with existing connections with a phone call or email, ask to be introduced to new connections by others in your network. 
  • Digital Networking: Research individuals and elder care service providers in your area, get their contact information and reach out!  

Define Your Residence’s Client Referral Program

Now that you’re searchable, trustworthy, and well-connected—consider turning inward for referrals. Usually, people feel most confident trusting others who have had first-hand experience. Along the same vein, people often prefer to live closer to their friends and loved ones. Your current residents and their families’ embodied experiences can provide indelible support for your residence. Generating referrals from existing residents is another powerful way to support your client acquisition process. Incentivizing your current residents may look like: 

  • Empower Residents to Build Their Community: Encourage residents to see themselves as community leaders, and the process of referrals as a way to connect with people they’re happy to spend their time with. 
  • Make Referrals Part of the Conversation: Consider integrating regular reminders and opportunities to be involved as residence ambassadors in your residents’ newsletters or bulletins. 
  • Reward Successful Placements: If a resident’s recommendation has resulted in someone moving in, aim to show your appreciation with a token of your gratitude, a shout out in a newsletter, or with a financial reward. 

Grow Your Influence with Reviews and Testimonials

According to the latest online review statistics, nearly four in five (79%) consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal, 2020). 

Capturing positive insights from current residents, loved ones or senior living professionals on specialized platforms like can highlight your residence’s best qualities. The vetted nature of the reviews on Cared Upon also inspires a sense of confidence in those looking for support. To make the most of your Cared Upon profile’s reviews feature: 

  • Ask for Reviews: Asking feels like the hardest part—but remember, it’s not all about you; each review is an opportunity to help guide someone looking for care. Framing your request this way with family members, seniors, or other care professionals can help them see the value their insights bring. 
  • Make Reviewing Accessible: Since Cared Upon is digital-first, adding review links to online newsletters and social profiles, or scannable QR codes to your print material can help potential reviewers navigate to your profile. 
  • Keep Your Listing Updated: Taking advantage of your ability to respond regularly to reviews, address concerns, and share your best photos, ensures that each person who interacts with your profile has a positive experience. 
  • Share Your Online Profile: Why whisper about your residence when you could be using a megaphone instead? Sharing your Cared Upon profile on your website and across your social media accounts puts you on prospective residents’ radars and encourages current residents or their loved ones to share their thoughts. 

Create Accessible Educational Content

Adding value to your professional network boosts the likelihood of creating multiple strong referral pipelines. Branded educational content is a fantastic way to support your connection to businesses and clients alike. Residence information, informative blog posts, downloadable guides, infographics and comparison tables support referral generation by:  

  • Establishing Credibility: Positioning yourself as an expert in the space can inspire trust in those looking for a residence for themselves, a loved one, or for a client of their own. 
  • Supporting Your SEO strategy: Rich-content helps you rank better on search engines, making your residence easier to find and interact with. 
  • Helping Create an ‘Owned’ Audience: Having a direct line of communication with both senior living professionals and clients maximizes the efficacy of your outreach. Remember to treat your email list with respect; you’ve been given the privilege of an exclusive communication channel. Provide as much value as you can, but don’t overwhelm their inboxes. 
  • Staying Up to Date: A challenge with educational content is that it needs to be regularly updated to be useful. Claiming your facility’s profile on gives your access to a responsive, integrated information-sharing and review hub for your business. 

Best Practices

  • Ask at the Right Time: Following a positive placement experience, exciting event, or at a regularly scheduled interval. Asking for referrals unexpectedly or after poor experiences sets the conversation up for failure.  
  • Create a Culture of Referrals: You’ve likely realized that you, and your marketing and sales departments are not the only ones responsible for new business. Every member of your care staff can be trained to recognize who and when to ask for referrals. Growing a thriving care community isn’t sleazy; it’s the result of continuous curiosity and a desire to help others.  
  • Measure Your Success: Every business is unique. With so many new avenues for referrals, it’s important to analyze which ones are most effective. Information like who is referring prospective residents, why, how often, and whether they become clients, is invaluable. Knowing this allows you to adjust your efforts to make the most of your highest performing referral channels.