An important part of the value you offer home buyers and sellers is your local expertise—your knowledge about the area, the schools, the services, and the culture, as well as all the special considerations, like building codes and local governances. When a potential client contacts you about an area you don’t know very well, it’s important to evaluate whether you’ve got the right knowledge, experience, and training to give them an exceptional buying or selling experience. If the answer is no, the best option is to refer them to someone who does.
Giving this consideration is not only a great customer service practice—which is required as part of your license obligation—but it also can help grow your business.
Know Your Area of Expertise
Many real estate professionals choose an area of expertise because it helps them better market their services. It also helps them articulate their value to potential clients. Because they know the area well, real estate professionals can easily follow through on everything they’ve promised. This makes for a successful real estate transaction that leaves the client feeling like they received the best possible service. Plus, when you know your area of expertise, it’s easy to determine when a referral is necessary.
Take Advantage of REcolorado’s Coverage Areas
REcolorado’s listing data covers a lot of ground. By taking advantage of all the available coverage areas, you have another way to provide outstanding service to your customers. Because of our recent strategic partnership with First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS), you’ll soon be able to see listings across Colorado, Georgia, and Alabama. This will allow you to establish relationships with market experts in those areas by sending them referrals, and potentially expand your business by receiving referrals from a whole new set of real estate professionals.
And don’t forget about all the areas REcolorado covers within the state! Did you know more than 50% of REALTORS® in Grand and Summit Counties use REcolorado? Building relationships with these folks will pay off through the new business that will come your way from referrals.
“I have given several referrals outside of my local expertise. The most recent was a woman looking to move back to either Loveland or Fort Collins due to a divorce. I feel that handing her off to someone that was better connected to her area of interest showed that I am a true professional and as a professional I understand that her best interests were served by finding her the most qualified person to help. This builds trust and confidence with the public. She said she was so impressed and that she intended to refer me to anyone she knew in my area of expertise because of this professionalism.”
One Good Turn Deserves Another
One of the best parts about referrals is that they’re reciprocal. When you send clients to other local experts, they send clients to you too. Soon, you’ve built a statewide network of business associates you can trust with your clients and who can trust you with theirs. Here are a handful of ways you can start to build your network:
- Search for an agent using REcolorado Matrix
- Get to know other real estate professionals through social media platforms like the REcolorado Professionals Facebook and LinkedIn Groups
- Search for an agent using REcolorado.com
- Attend industry events and get in the habit of handing out your business card
- Network through your REALTOR® association
- Send an email to your sphere with your contact information so they know how to reach you
- Keep track of who you’ve referred and who is referring you so you can follow up and nurture those relationships
- Join a real estate agent referral network that caters to your specific niche
“I received many referrals through my (then) company’s referral system. I became friends with my clients and the referring agents, and so the referrals boosted both my business and my personal life!”
It Pays to Have Friends
Some real estate offices already have referral programs in place, so be sure to ask your managing broker. When a referral is made, the client is happy they were able to work with a local expert. Furthermore, the broker is happy about the professional connection and commission. And finally, you’re happy the client was well taken care of, and that you earned a referral fee (if one was offered and/or negotiated). It’s a win-win-win.
“I referred my mother-in-law’s home to a broker in Denver because I live in the mountains and didn’t think that I could service the listing properly and didn’t know the market as well as the Denver broker did. She did an amazing job for my mother-in-law and I was happy to get paid a referral fee.”