Sometimes I know folks would like to refer me to people they know, but many times the first indication that you get from friends or family that they are thinking of moving is their house being listed for sale (too late for me) or an announcement that they have bought a house.
It helps to understand what drives real estate transactions - what makes people move. Sometimes it is just a simple desire for change: a different size of house or property, or maybe to a better neighbourhood. In those situations, they may not have talked about their thoughts and you can't really predict the decision.
But quite often, it's more apparent "life transition" periods that brings someone into the real estate market as a buyer or seller. Marriage, divorce, births, deaths and parental estates, job losses or transfers.. all of these life events can cause someone to move and that means they may need a trustworthy real estate agent who will guide them through that side of their situation.
If you see someone going through one of these transition periods, maybe ask them gently what they are going to do about their property needs and whether they need a good real estate agent. If they do, I hope you'll keep me in mind to refer them to.