You’re an expert real estate agent, which puts you in a tough spot…you can’t also be a plumber, lender, contractor, master chef, and masseuse. Reality check- you can’t be everyone and everything to your clients. In fact, you shouldn’t be! Your job is to be a good real estate agent, but you’ll never succeed while trying to fulfill every client need on your own. One way to better delight your clients is to befriend local vendors who can provide the services mentioned above. THEY can take care of your clients in ways that you cannot. Now get out a jar and collect these tips for building a vendor referral network. Soon enough you’ll be experiencing the ripple effect of authentic, vendor relationships in the form of exponential business growth and strengthened client relations.
Get your questions answered!
Why provide a vendor list?
Especially for first-time homeowners, and homeowners new to your niche area, you have the unique privilege of connecting your clients with their new community. A great way to begin this contact is to provide a list of local vendors, or small businesses, whom your clients can call on for reliable, high-quality, fairly-priced services, ranging from home repair and maintenance to hair repair and maintenance. Or maybe even the best Chinese takeout in town! Naturally, you’ll be strengthening your local economy, demonstrating that you care about the health and prosperity of your community, and building your reputation as a “local expert.”
Even still, you may question whether it’s valuable to provide these recommendations? Will clients actually read them? Listen to them? Most likely, but if they don’t, do NOT be discouraged. Keep expanding your vendor list and nurturing local connections. You’ll have provided a service exceeding your client’s current expectation, but perhaps, meeting their need in the future. Evermore, you’ll have proved your loyalty and honest concern for clients, post-close. What better way to join the movement for better realtors, then to demonstrate genuine concern for your clients’ quality of life in the years to come!
As you cultivate relationships with vendors in your community, it’s likely they’ll start referring you to their own clients looking for a real estate agent. However, the key to building any referral business is to never expect anything (like this) in return. These vendors are doing YOU a service by enhancing the experience you’re able to provide to your clients. They are consistently and reliably serving your clients, and pouring value into your business. For that, alone, you should be grateful.
How to manage vendor relationships?
With that being said, there is a wrong and right way to go about treating vendors. If you aspire to be a part of THEIR referral network, then you must treat them like gold! I’d argue, they’re worth even more than clients. Unlike homeowners and homebuyers, vendors can provide commission opportunities AND add value to your existing business.
So don’t be shy to show appreciation for your new friends! Throw a party to celebrate your vendors, allowing them to kick back and relax, but also to network and connect with one another. Sooner or later, you’ll have built rapport that benefits you both. You refer them, and they refer you, simply because you’re friends. You trust one another, and you believe in providing ALL of your clients with the BEST!
Pro-tip inspired by Simon Sinek: Connect with vendors on “why” you do what you do, and you’ll find the best with which to partner. Now, go out and find your “Dream Team!!!”
Who to have on your “Dream Team?”
Use this list to launch or extend your vendor network. It suggests a broad range of industries and service providers to have in your Rolodex.
How to actually build your network?
How to present your list?
If you have the budget, you can load “Recommended Vendors” into these applications for clients to download and access any time.
You may also just provide a link to your list on your website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. This option is much cheaper and still efficient. Consider the costs and benefits, to you, specifically, of each option!
Uhm, is this legal?
YES, if you do it right. Stay ethical, friends! Typically, brokerages are at risk for entering into monetary agreements with regulated services vendors (think lenders). But, as an independent agent, having a friendly relationship with various service providers is not only encouraged, but part of your job!
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