Referral Sources: Where to Find Clients for Your Home Care Agency

Our company, Shoshana Technologies, has been a trusted provider of business management software to the home care industry for over three decades. The Rosemark System allows you to easily streamline day-to-day operations so you have more time to focus on the really important things like growing your client base and providing great care. If you’re looking for a true partner to provide strategic counsel and solutions based on the experience of working with hundreds of home care agencies like yours, contact us today at (734) 662-3537 – we would love to talk with you.

Where Do I Find New Clients?

Referral sources are a critical part of building and maintaining a healthy home care business because that’s where new clients will come from.

According to the annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study (jointly sponsored by Home Care Pulse and the Home Care Association of America), the top strategic priority for Home Care agencies was ‘Increasing the number of clients’. To grow your business, you must continually work to find clients to offset the effects of attrition, legislation, competition and economic downturns. Here are a few great tips on how to get private home care clients!

It’s About Relationships

Find Clients With Referrals

In the same study, the top 5 Referral Sources* for Private Duty Home Care Agencies were:

  1. Clients/Families (existing & former)
  2. Hospital discharge planners
  3. Other referral sources
  4. Medicare Certified Agencies
  5. Hospices

The top 5 Consumer Marketing Sources* were:

  1. Search Engines
  2. Corporate Web Leads (i.e., franchisors website)
  3. Newspaper ads
  4. Consumer events – speaking at churches, senior centers, etc.
  5. Senior directories ads


* In the study, the top 10 are given, along with a long list of additional sources. I just picked the top 5 for illustration purposes.

All of these top referral sources are about relationships (yes, even the Search Engines!).

Where advertising is an outgoing activity, referrals are inbound, and only happen when there’s something (usually someone) external directing clients your way. Even for the Search Engine source, as many as half of the searches may come from people who have been referred by actual people: they were just using the search engine to find your information on line.

Reputation Capital

The most important component is Trust. People won’t refer potential clients to you unless they can trust that you will take good care of them. I refer to this as ‘Reputation Capital’. Every time you recommend someone, you are spending some Reputation Capital. If you refer someone and it doesn’t work out, the value of your own reputation goes down a bit. If they come through, the value of both parties’ reputation capital goes up. The people you want as referral sources have a sense of this, even if it’s unconscious. If they recommend you and you don’t come through, their own reputation will be damaged, and you’ll never get a referral from them again. For them to stick their necks out, they have to trust you.


You must establish trust with people in your community that you will provide great care. One great way to build and enhance this trust is through volunteering opportunities. Host a blood drive, collect clothes for the needy, volunteer at a soup kitchen: whatever you are called to do that gets you visibly out in the community and interacting in a caring, compassionate way can go a long way to help find clients. In my experience, the agency owners who really become active in their communities are the most successful.


Local senior events that you can help fund through a sponsorship. You know when you see those big banners on local foot races or beer fests, this could be you. Get your name out there and people will be saying your name. Sponsoring and attending those local senior events can be fun and full of opportunities to find clients.

Exceptional Care

Of course, the main ingredient is actually providing exceptional care to your clients and caregivers. We know the old adage that ‘the customer is always right’ which means that you have to do all sorts of things that add to and preserve the strength of your reputation. If the mission of your agency has the above as it basis you will find the that referrals will flow in on a regular basis. Then it is just a matter of taking the next set of steps and tools to build your referral sources. As long as it doesn’t break your back, bending over backwards is great for your flexibility! 

I hope you found this article interesting & useful. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it, so feel free to leave comments. To see a more current look at referral sources go to this blog post!

Next time, I’ll talk about some of the operations aspects of managing your referral sources.

Click below to view our webinar on Using Technology to Increase Referrals with Home Care Pulse!


Home Care Pulse provides a powerful way to measure, improve and leverage Client and Caregiver satisfaction. They perform regular interviews with Clients’ family members and Caregivers to give you a candid, clear view of how your agency is doing in different areas. This allows you to continually improve your services and market yourself as an agency that really cares about the quality of care. The connection with Rosemark means you don’t have to manage two separate databases.

79 Responses

    1. Hi Layla,
      I checked out your website and it says that you have many years of experience. It seems that you would have a lot of people that you have run across that you could approach and tell about your business. Then nurture those people by dropping in to say hello, leave a card, you could call them occasionally to keep you top of mind with them, then when they have a client or other referral sources in mind they will call you first. It’s leg work and diligence so don’t give up.
      I would like to know more about your business and your situation so if you have time next week please call the office and set up an appointment to speak with me. We can brainstorm together.
      Linda Teaman, CEO Shoshana Technologies
      The Rosemark System

    2. Hi Linda I just googled you and I would like to know how do I get started so far I have the name for my agency (Integrity Home Health Care Services. Thats all I have and got stuck please help.

    3. I am trying to get 7 to 8 pts a day on weekends and can do respite care as well. Personal and wound care certified.

    4. I am a new healthcare Agency I and looking to take on new clients The of my company is Safe Haven home care services

      1. Renee,
        Make a plan and start to tackle each of the above referral sources in your community. This will start to move your agency closer to the place that you want it to be. Good luck!

    1. I think you were trying to say “aim”. Arrgghh the darn keyboard.
      I am guessing that you have started your own agency. It really depends on the the type of clients that you have. Do you have a private duty agency, medicaid or medicare agency? Skilled or unskilled?
      Let me know and we will talk further. Linda

  1. I’m a new agency. I’m 25 years old, eager to start. If you can check out my company Facebook page in Pontiac MI
    Heart to Heart Caring that would be lovely. Start looking, there’s a craigslist ad I had did, click that and it gives you background and what my company is grounded upon. I need patients, I have my first client hopefully crossing my fingers that craigslist hasn’t scammed me that happens! But I need help marketing and getting things started. Can you help?

    1. Erin,
      The first best thing you can do is take great care of your clients, the second is to take take great of your caregivers, now you have a family of people that will probably say good things about you and your agency. You then build on that, gathering referrals for new customers and testimonials to add to your FB page and a website.
      I checked out your Facebook page. My first suggestion is that you have more to say that you are a home care agency and in the Pontiac area. I would also get a website up. You will get found more often there. I would also get clearer branding is it Heart 2 heart or heart to heart? Don’t give mixed messages. My experience is that the latter is more professional of the two choices.
      If you are doing all that is recommended in the above post then you will need to keep good data and be able to report on it as you grow your agency. The Rosemark System has that piece included in it. Let me know if you have more questions. Good luck in your new business! Linda

  2. Hi Layla,
    I just created my Home Care (non-skilled agency). How do you identify the demography and the geographical delimitation/concentration of my potential clients so I can guide better my marketing efforts? I ask this question because I always think of the usual private pay aspect for the non-skilled services by the clients. Thank you.

    1. Erin,
      It is so important to identify your demographics and the geographical delimitation/concentration of your growing agency. It is good that you recognize that it is important right from the beginning of your agency. Gather this information when talking to inquiries, potential clients and referral sources and you will be ahead of the game. I can tell you that many agency owners wait too long to do this (some never do it).
      Rosemark has a way for you to enter that information right form the get-go, so that you are able to report on it. Slicing and dicing the data will fuel your marketing efforts, enabling you to focus in the right places towards the right people. I hope this helps, please feel free to call me. All the best in growing your new agency. Linda

    1. Christy,
      It is great that you are doing all of the above. “Doing” is the the key word here because it is a never-ending set of activities that you must do as you grow your home care agency.
      Increase your touches to your referral sources, that is, personal visits, emails, thank you notes. Do little favors for those important people to get noticed and liked by them. I mean liked in a personal way not just FB. Do your due diligence and keep it up.
      I don’t know if you have a website yet but it is important to keep that up. Look at what other successful agencies are doing and then do that. No need to reinvent the wheel. As you have happy caregivers and clients use them as referral sources and get testimonials!!! to use on your website. I can’t stress this more.
      Good luck to you. Let us know if you need our help. Home care scheduling, billing, payroll… and business support are what we do best.

  3. I need to fix my website. It is not attractive at all and appears to be in “the design stage”. Any suggestions on who, where I can find a reasonable website designer?
    My caregivers are the best! I select them myself and I pay them a little more than my competition and try to keep them with one or two clients..
    I need more clients though.
    Marge Horizon Ridge Home Care

      1. Hi I want to open non medical home care agency in California. I call some places and find out someone who can do all my paperwork and licensing. But I am worried how can I find clients .

        1. Marie, there is a lot of work that goies into establishing a good reputation for providing great home care. It will take a lot of leg work to get your name around the community. If you realy want to start an agency then expect to have some hard months ahead of building your business.

        2. Shelice, Are you doing Medicare and Medicaid? Do you do any private pay clients? How big is your business. There are different places to get help depending on the answer to these questions. I hope to hear from you soon so we can get you some help.

    1. Ava, There are many directions that you could go to get clients. You need to make a list of all of the places that you might get client from. Then list them in the order of most likey to have success then start with that one. Focus on what it takes to establish a good relationship or whatever is needed there. Once you have done that and can be assured that that referral source will be a good one then go to the next on the list. Focusing on one at a time can keep you from feeling overwhelmed and will help you start to make headway in your community. I noticed that you could put more on your website that highlight different geographic areas around your agency. Make it easy for people to find you. Good Luck

  4. My friend is trying to start a home health agency with private clients, doesn’t know how to find clients.

  5. Hi, can I refer clients to agencies, and the agencies pays me a little cut from the clients daily payment, since I don’t have an agency yet?

    1. Hi. I want to open non medical home care agency in California. Can you provide me clients and I can pay you thanks

    2. What state are you In Catherine? So you give referrals and in return you get a percentage of the cost, like a finders fee.

    3. Good morning Catherine, my name is Evens, am the owner of agency here in Massachusetts, my agency is not doing well at all. If you can refer clients to me, i will pay you every time a deal is close, you won’t have to wait. lets talk, my number is 508-232-1057 or

  6. Hi Linda!
    Your article is very helpful and informative. Thank you so much for your research. We are a non medical home healthcare agency and have a pretty steady amount of clients. Everyone seems to have the same question here which is “how to increase clientele?” We are in the process now of updating our website due to suggestions we’ve received from LTC Experts and also our Face Book page. Would you please take a look and offer any advice on how to grow our company and also how to secure a reliable referral source.

    Thanks again,
    Noi -Total Assurance Home Healthcare

  7. my wife and i just started a new home healthcare agency and at the moment we are waiting on credentialing to be able to accept Medicare and Medicaid insured clients. in the mean time I would like to grow my private pay client and looking for advice to do so. any suggestions ?

  8. Hello linda my name is Elvina !and i started my home care agency here in BPT CT.but i need tips on getting work mans comp insurance being that i have no employees it’s very hard to get.I applied for work mans comp ins for self but can’t hire anyone.

  9. Hello, I just started a non-medical caregiver Agency, I do not have any client yet, but I was wondering, how can I accept Medicare or Medicaid?

  10. Good Afternoon ,

    I just started a non medical home care , I am currently having trouble getting new clients . I have been reaching out to different referral sources , such as senior centers and nursing facilities . But I am still having trouble receiving private pay clients.

  11. Hello, my name is Sharon and I am in the process of starting a non medical home care agency. I am in Florida and would like to know how I can get clients.

    Thank you


  12. We have been in business for awhile but , the changing of office managers I have lost a lot of clients. I need to boost my clients ASAP. What do you recommend?

  13. Hello My , I just open my non medical home care and companion agency in florida but I am having a hard time getting any clients. Any suggestion to improve my clients base . I would be very grateful.

  14. Hello, have just opened my Domicillary Care Business and I’m finding it difficult to get clients. Please I need advise on how to get more clients.

  15. I have opened a non-skilled home care agency but I am finding it difficult to get clients. How can you help me?

  16. Hello, My name is John and I’m starting a care agency. Please, what are tips to market my services in care homes.Thanks

  17. Hi, I just open a new agency and I don’t know how to get some clients. It is hard to find some clients during the COVID-19. Can you help me out? thank you

  18. I am a in home caregiver .Where do I find a Client in Hendersonville ,Brentwood ,Franklin in hospitals

  19. Hi, I just open a Non medical Home care referral agency in California for almost 2 years now, , my agency is not doing well as of yet however If you can assist with your marketing strategies and expertise and also refer clients to me, I will pay you finders fee every time a deal is close, you won’t have to wait. lets talk soon. Please email me. Thank you.

  20. Hello, I am Don. I just opened a group home/ assisted living facility in Dallas, TEXAS. How and where can I find clients. please advise! Thanks

  21. Hello….I’m looking to get 2 clients to live in my home….would prefer elderly…I have 2 bedrooms available…if you can help me out I would so much appreciate it

  22. Please I would like to know if home care agencies in California can bill Medicare or medical directly? Besides pay, what other methods can home care agency get paid.

  23. I subscribed with home Service Club after purchasing my house and lo and behold, three months after I moved in, my dryer stopped working. It was fixed within 8 days. The technician that came did a great job. Every person I contacted to set up appointments was great.

  24. Hi Linda,

    I have completed and tentatively been approved for my homemaker and companion agency here in Florida. Now I’m trying to figure out as a brand new business and person in this area, where do I start by introducing my business and generating leads? I don’t want to pay some big business for lead generation. My website is for my other business but I am working on my website for the home care agency and should have it done within a couple of days. I do website too so it won’t take long. 🙂

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