Competition is not always a negative thing. It encourages businesses to push beyond the “status-quo” in order to gain an edge on the market. And in real estate, your competitors – whether direct or indirect – can be leveraged as a secret key to your agency’s success. Building a professional referral system with other realtors can help attract new clients to your agency that you would have not had opportunity to work with otherwise.
Here are three tips to successfully building referral agent relationships:
1) Understand Your Strengths and Areas of Opportunity
The first step in building successful referral agent relationships is understanding your own strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps you know one particular city very well, but are not as familiar with the next city over. Or you specialize in residential, but not commercial. In understanding where you are strongest at, and where your room for improvement or disinterest lies, you can understand how a referral agent can best help you.
2) Build Your Network and Establish Your Rapport
Once you assessed your own strengths and weaknesses, observe your competitors key competencies and areas of opportunity. When considering a referral agent, ask the questions “How can I provide added value to them, and how can they be beneficial to me?”. In asking these questions, you will narrow down your referral candidates to a core, mutually-beneficial group.
Equally important is an established rapport within your referral circle. Your success and clients’ happiness speaks volumes. A happy referred client builds not only your credibility, but that of your referral agent’s, too.
3) Keep an Open Line of Communication
Your network of referral agents will continue to grow with consistent, positive and open lines of communication. Keeping the communication lines open will strengthen your relationships with referral partners, attracting them to trust you more and send continued business your way. Consider creating a routine, scheduled follow-up list with your referral partners. Thank them for the referrals they have sent your way; and follow up with them regarding the clients you sent their way. You will also need to communicate and negotiate a fair referral fee for business that satisfies both parties for continued success.