Referrals are valuable to Keith Liston, owner of Liston Construction, in St. Charles, Mo. He considered instituting a formal referral program, but upon asking some of his clients if incentives would prompt them to refer more friends and family to his company, they said they would pass along his name regardless of any incentive. “Good clients want you to succeed,” Liston says.

So instead of a formal referral program, the remodeler thanks clients with small gestures, sending them a $10 Starbucks gift card for every referral. Should that referral turn into a job, he sends the referring client a restaurant gift certificate with a note assuring them that he will take good care of the referred homeowner.

Liston says that giving these small gifts “carries a little more weight and has a little more impact when [the clients] don’t expect it” and helps “keep that top-of-mind awareness within our circle of influence.”

—Nina Patel is a senior editor at  REMODELING . Find her on Twitter at  @SilverNina  or  @RemodelingMag .