Who can you trust?
One of this month's ActiveRain Challenges is hosted by Debbie Reynolds . She asked us to address the subject of referrals in real estate.
Since I retired from active sales 6 1/2 years ago, my referral business has changed. It is no longer a "business" but rather a public service. I rarely get asked about finding a REALTOR® in an area outside my geographic region. I am surprised, though, how often I get asked to recommend an agent in my local area. In the last year I have made 5 referrals and they have all worked out great... or are in process.
I have the advantage of having worked in this market for three decades and served in several leadership positions. I know a LOT of agents. The good, the bad and everything in between. What is sad to me is, considering how many licensed agents there are in my market area, how few I would actually recommend (or personally trust for myself). For those buyers and sellers who have no guidance, the journey can be scary and disappointing.
When I am asked for the name of a good agent, I take a few things into consideration. I take the personality of the prospect, the type of property they are looking for and the specific area in which they are interested. Then I recommend 2 or 3 potential agents to consider.
It's a bit like putting a puzzle together.
The 5 referrals I have worked (and am working) in the last year are very different.
1) An elderly couple needing to sell a manufactured home in a mobile home park so they could relocate closer to their children. These folks were never clients but people in my neighborhood who trust my judgment based on my work experience.
2) A widow who unexpectedly lost her husband and needed to sell her large home located on a golf course. We knew each other from years ago before she moved out of the area but lost track of each other. Unfortunately, when she came back to town I had retired and she didn't know how to reach me for guidance. She ended up with another agent who she was extremely disappointed with. She and I ended up reconnecting through our golf league. When she decided to sell she wanted me involved as much as legally possible in choosing and working with an agent. I found an agent I trusted who allowed me to sit in on meetings and give input. But, I never interfered in the actual process. My friend calls her "the best agent" ever. I'm assuming that's because I am no longer licensed. LOL
3) A single lady who had 7 siblings needing to sell their deceased mothers home to settle the estate. This was a past client who indicated she and her siblings didn't get along and we needed to find someone who could deal with a difficult transaction.
4) I am currently working with the sibling executor of a his Dad's estate. He has 3 other sibling heirs who live across the country. This presents special challenges. This happens to be a cousin. None of the heirs live locally so I am their local contact. I have made 3 recommendations and interviews are scheduled for this weekend.
5) I am currently working with a divorced man who wants to buy his first home. He is a little nervous and is looking for me to find someone to "protect" him, as he put it. He wants rural, not city. He was a client prospect in the passed. They didn't qualify at the time, has since gone through a divorce and just now getting back to the point of being ready to buy that first home. I am so honored he still calls to ask me for guidance.
Each one of these referrals required special consideration in choosing an agent. I determine a match based on my knowledge of the agents in the area, experience, personality and niche specialty. It is such an honor to be trusted to make these recommendations and I take that very seriously.
Delray Beach, FL
East Brunswick, NJ
- Topic: Real Estate Best Practices
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