It’s no secret that referrals are the key source of business for REALTORS®. The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that 53 percent of buyers and 64 percent of sellers use a real estate agent or broker who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative or who they have worked with in the past.
But if you want to make a living in real estate, you can’t rely on friends, family, and former clients to keep your funnel of leads full. You need to develop a local network of people who can refer business to you and personally recommend you to their own friends, relatives, and clients.
Here are six local personas you should get to know that are most likely to be able to pass along good leads:
According to Larry Kendall, real estate pro and author of Ninja Selling, “The best people to sell your story are those who are in a position to refer you a lot of business.” Following that theory, he believes one of the most valuable personas to network with is builders, because two-thirds of the buyers who come into a new home sales center have a house to sell. The on-site salesperson represents the builder and typically cannot go off-site to list the buyer’s house.
“That’s where you come in,” he says. “Offer your services to market these buyers’ homes. Developing your relationship with the new home sales representative is based on offering ‘fabled service’ and ‘flow’—service that is so phenomenal people tell stories (fables) about it, and frequency of interaction with the sales rep, typically two to three times a week.”
- Human Resource Managers
Kendall says human resource managers can also advance your business because they are in the position of moving potentially large numbers of their employees in and out of the community. When they are recruiting new hires, offer a community tour and answer the recruit’s questions about housing, lifestyle, and costs.
“Your mission is to sell the community and solve the specific problems of the recruit so they will want to take the job if offered,” Kendall says. For outbound employees, he advises helping with market valuations on their homes and assistance finding a REALTOR® in their new community.
- Loan Officers and Mortgage Brokers
Many prospective home buyers contact their bank loan officer or a mortgage broker for a mortgage preapproval before they contact a real estate agent. By developing relationships with these personas, you benefit by getting referrals to serious potential home buyers who already know the mortgage amount they qualify for. In turn, you will have trusted contacts in the mortgage industry that you can refer your clients to when needed.
- Service and Remodeling Contractors
Develop relationships with painters, roofers, carpet cleaners, and even kitchen and bath remodelers. Homeowners frequently spruce up their house or complete major repairs before putting their home on the market. Networking with these contractors can keep you informed about people who are thinking about selling early enough to win their listing. On the flip side of the coin, you’ll have a pool of sources you can refer your clients to if you see they need some work done on their home to make it more marketable.
- Trusted Professionals
Buying and selling a home are the biggest financial transactions most people ever make. If they have trusted advisers, such as an attorney, accountant, financial planner or insurance broker, they may ask these personas for a referral to a real estate agent. Since almost seven out of 10 buyers only interview one agent, it’s important for you to network with these professionals so they come to you first.
- The Town Gossip
This is the outgoing person who seems to know just about everyone in town and what they’re up to. You meet them at Little League games or by volunteering with community organizations and being an active participant in local business groups. To keep new leads coming in, listen for and follow up on conversations such as “Jenny’s so happy because her sister is thinking of moving to town” or “I hear John just got a great new job, but it’s out on the West Coast.”
Source: NAR Daily News