Hi David. I'll be the dissenting voice here if I may. It hardly seems worth the time to take the required course of study and take a state exam (and pay for them both) just to try and get referrals from buyers.
I can hardly see a sponsoring broker who might want this kind of agent as just about all pricipals want rainmakers, not just a few buck from a referral that they step on before giving you what is left. On top of that, you now have to put aside for your quarterly taxes or pay a penalty for not doing so at tax time. I don't know if it's a reasonable thought. it seems counterintuitive but, who knows.
I am always concerned when someone tries to give me a referral. Mostly they don't qualify them financially. For that matter, referring agents/brokers hardly ask about credit, time on the job or barely anything else. Then they want a 30% referral fee. I would rather take a referral from a past client or customer myself and that is the goal for a referral business. Other than that, I'll go and get my own listings which lead to other buyers and other opportunities. Good luck whatever you decide.