We all know that keeping in touch with past clients is a great way to generate references for future clients, but have you considered what professionals outside of your network could do for you too? We’re talking going beyond your fellow realtors and agents. While they are an excellent source to reach out to, you have an even broader reach if you consider people outside of your immediate working industry.
Stats show that 72% of home buyers will interview only one real estate agent before they make a decision on who they will pick to sell their home. That means a good referral or recommendation from someone they trust can be enough to set them up for picking you as their agent right away.
So where do you start?
Beyond the importance of having an online presence in our very much online world, LinkedIn is one of the top ways for expanding your network, which is crucial in the real estate world. Start with the local professionals you have mutual connections with and go from there. But which of these professionals should you be reaching out to? Don’t worry, we’ve got the list to get you started…
The Best Professionals to Establish a Relationship with…
Head to the local town hall meeting, town board meeting, condo association meeting, etc. No, you don’t have to become best friends with the Mayor of a city (although that wouldn’t hurt), but getting to know who organizes community events in a neighborhood and some of the local business owners who are actively involved in the area is a great place to start with your professional networking.
Community leaders will know the who’s who in your local area and more often then not, may know ahead of time when someone will be looking to buy or sell their home. By attending meetings, you can establish yourself as a reliable local, and keep yourself top-of-mind for those well-connected community leaders.
Home Service Providers
Plumbers, painters, inspectors, contractors…oh my! These professionals are a great resource to tap into, as they’re the first in line to be called into homes in need of renovations before they’re placed on the market.
Home owners often have a long standing relationships with their contractor or plumber that they’ve relied on for years. These are service people that they trust, who they recommend to others, and who they take advice from. Isn’t that the best person for you to know and establish your own relationship with?
Sure this seems obvious now that we’ve mentioned it, but have you reached out to any moving companies? Although this may seem counterintuitive due to the fact that if someone is moving, they probably already sold their house…but this may not always be the case. It’s not unusual to find people who are moving into a new place, without having sold their old home. Reach out to a few different moving companies and stay on their radar, you never know when they may get asked for a Realtor recommendation and they could send plenty of new clients your way.
While this may be a bit macabre, we had to admit it made sense once we thought about it: teaming up with divorce lawyers. Divorce is of course a reality of the time we’re living in, and often homes get sold in the process.
If you have a relationship with some of these lawyers, they may be more likely to recommend you as the best person to get their clients’ homes out there on the market! This could be especially helpful when clients want the home sold quickly and are reliant on the recommendation, rather than going out on their own and looking for a realtor.
A given? Probably…but a relationship with mortgage brokers is a fruitful relationship for the both of you. They’re great to team up with when it comes to hosting open houses or networking events and making sure that you have your go-to mortgage broker to recommend to your clients, means that they’ll be thinking of you too when they’re looking to refer a Realtor!
Now, keep up!
While making the initial connection with these professionals is a great first step, the more important — and of course more difficult thing — is actually keeping up with them. For most of these professionals, it’s a two way street, and you’ll be recommending and referring them to your own clients, so be sure to give them a heads up if you’re sending someone their way or ask that they do the same.
Set some reminders to follow-up with these connections or establish a day or time where you reach out to a few and keep up regular communication. Even if it’s a quick share, endorsement on LinkedIn, or a check-in email, it’s the little things that will help keep you on their mind and hopefully will keep them sending clients your way. Once you’ve figured out your network of professionals, consider hosting your very own networking event, you never know what relationships may come of it!
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