A letter to my family and friends about real estate referrals
Last night I was at a cocktail party when a church friend sat down next to me and said;
"Marian, we just listed our house with another agent and I wanted to tell you why. We think you're great and we know you're a good REALTOR but our house is in (fill in the blank) and we felt we needed an agent in that community."
YEAH! First, I applaud my friend for having the courage and the caring to let me know and second it was so good to have the opportunity to explain things to her.
"Mary, thanks so much for telling me but you need not worry. You did the right thing. I don't take listings outside my area of expertise, although I realize many agents do. I would have recommended you use a REALTOR in that area. By the way, who did you choose?" She answered with the name of a great REALTOR.
"Great, you made a good choice. Had you talked to me first I would have recommended her and I would have asked you if I could make a referral. Then I would have introduced you and I would have received a referral fee."
"Oh, no, I wish I had known that."
Of course I assured Mary that it's OK, but I realized that many of my friends and family may not know how referrals work. When my nephew in another state was ready to sell his first home he called me. I explained that I wasn't licensed in his state and that even if I was I didn't know that market and he needed an expert. He had acreage, a lake and a barn along with a beautiful home in a very rural area. He needed an agent who knew where to market that very specific type of property. I searched around (IN THE RAIN, OF COURSE) and found an agent near him who knew about his type of market. She was experienced, educated and sharp. (I knew that from her blogs.)
So... she received a call from me, a telephone interview and then a referral. She sold my nephew's home in very good time and cheerfully paid me a referral fee. My nephew received a very generous moving gift from his favorite aunt and guess who got the referral to be his buyer's agent in the same area for his next more urban home?
Dear Family and Friends,
Wherever you are, when you decide to buy or sell real estate, please call me first. I'm ethical so I won't try to sell your property on the other end of the state. Even if it's in my county, as Mary's is, I will tell you if it's outside my area of expertise.
I will research, interview and find you a REALTOR who is best suited to assist you and they will pay me, your family member or friend, a referral fee. I have relationships with agents all over the country and even in Canada.
If you're thinking of buying, I'll find you an agent who knows the area you're interested in and who has a proven track record.
So thank you for thinking of me whenever you are considering a real estate transaction. This is my profession and you are my family or friend and I want to help.
Sincerely and Respectfully,