Connecting Local Businesses With Clients To Increase Referrals

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The Key is Reciprocity
How to use the professional services you recommend to your clients and share relevant information through your marketing channels to increase your referral network.

How many times have you heard that “your real estate business lives or dies on the referrals you receive”?

This mantra is true and we all know it.

Use Technology to Keep in Contact
Technologies designed for real estate professionals (lead generators, CRMs, blogs, etc.,) all have one thing in common, to help you find the clients to put in your contact stream so they can remember you through the coming months and years and refer business your way.

Of course, you have to have happy clients to begin with, which starts with your professionalism and expertise that can be relied on to make your clients comfortable hiring you and happy to periodically receive messages from you regardless if they completed a sale or not.

One of the messages you should be sending out to past clients (and remember to invite future clients to join), whether in an email or on your blog or through social media is about the various aspects of home ownership and home maintenance.

This is an obvious avenue of interest for homeowners and you, as a realtor, make connections every day with people in the home ownership, renovation and repair industries. You should be building a contact list of reliable people and companies that you can recommend to your clients long after the home purchase transaction closes.

Use the Calendar to Prepare Your Content Schedule
The year has 4 seasons (harsh ones where I live) and 4 times a year, at a minimum, the home needs things to be done to maintain it.

Use Your Contacts to Create Valuable Sharing Content
As an example, let’s say you have a landscaping company that you like and, when asked, you refer your clients to them. That’s good for the landscaping company because this generates new business for them and it’s good for you because by sending your clients to a hand-picked company you can be assured they will be happy with the results.

You should be taking this referral a step further. Just as you want to maintain contact with your clients after the close you should be following up with the landscaper and inviting them to share tips, photos and ideas of the work they do with you to send along to your clients.

Start with asking this landscaper for seasonal photos of their work, before and after photos look great (remember to have them get the homeowners permission) and share this with your clients, using everything you have available: social media, blog posts and email newsletters.

The benefit here is twofold: You receive original content to share with your clients and the landscaping company will be very pleased to have you promote them and, most likely, they will reciprocate with referrals as well.

Now think of all the professionals that you work with and how each one can be helping to create content for you as they receive additional publicity about their services.

  • Home inspectors – They can provide photos of what to look for inside a home, things that may be a concern and what something should look like with normal wear and tear
  • Plumbers – before and after photos of repairs and tips on maintenance
  • Electricians – when it’s time to call in a professional, whether for repairs or renovations
  • Interior designers – how to create a better living space, become clutter-free, prepare for that big family gathering

Obviously this list could go on and on but I think you get the point.

Multiplying Your Referral Network
Your referral network can be a great source of future business and it extends beyond your clients to the other professionals you interact with on a regular basis.

Use your professional service contacts to connect clients with the help they need and your own neighbourhood expertise will increase accordingly. Asking these companies to provide you with content based on their specialties will not only give you a great reason to reach out to your clients but will build your referral network with other professionals that meet homeowners every day.

The cross-promotion of helpful advice regularly shared with your clients should easily multiply your referrals from clients and local businesses.

And all of that helpful content for your clients takes place in your daily activities already, you just have to ask.