Do you have a vendor network? A list of business professionals that you refer clients to and that send referrals your way?
For most top producing agents, their professional network of trusted service providers is the most lucrative referral source. So, if you aren’t actively growing & strengthening your professional network – here’s how to do it.
Why Does it Matter?
Business owners understand the importance of referrals. They know referrals are the backbone of any successful business, and they’re willing AND wanting to find referral partners. Better still, they understand the difference between a qualified and unqualified lead – and will send you more profitable, easy-to-close referrals than referrals from past clients.
How to Get Started
To get referrals from professional service providers, start by making a list of industries. Don’t limit yourself to ones you already have contacts in – think outside of who you already know and do business with. And don’t just stick to industries that are directly involved in the real estate transaction. Plumbers, contractors, florists, car dealers, even local restaurants can all be great partners. Remember – the point is to expand your network to find potential clients that you otherwise wouldn’t meet.
Now, in each industry – list a potential business owner/contact that could be your referral partner. Don’t know anyone in the industry? Ask clients who they currently use and trust, ask over social media, or do a quick search on Yelp for a highly rated business in the category.
Call up these potential partners and introduce yourself (if you don’t already know them). Explain that as a real estate agent, you’re often asked by clients for referrals for great businesses and that your building out your list of recommendations. Ask if you can meet to discuss potential opportunities and learn more about their business.
Build Rapport, Build Relationships
Remember, real estate is about relationship. Build rapport with these service providers & business owners – learn about what they do, their business history, who they work with. By understanding their business, you can send better referrals their way and they’ll send better referrals to you. If you want to build a lasting relationship where they’re actively referring their clients t0 you – it isn’t just about exchanging a business card.
Just like all of your leads, you should track your referrals. Keep a tally of the referrals you receive, who sent them, time to close, and the purchase price. This way you can evaluate who your best referral sources are, and how you can better foster these relationships.
Don’t Let it Slide
Building and fostering relationships with trusted service providers & local businesses is not a one time thing. Follow up with your contacts on the referrals you’ve exchanged, invite them to your client appreciation events, send a holiday card, go for lunch. Looking to find new referral partners?? Call up the landscaper your last client was raving about or the new florist that opened down the street.
Have you built out your network of service providers? Who are your most trusted referral partners?