Building relationships is a fact of life in our business, and its foundation.
Without them you won't get far in terms of buyers and sellers. Maintenance is pretty important, too. If you don't work on keeping your relationships, they will fade away - referrals will disappear and your wonderful clients will forget you even exist.
There are a myriad of ways to build relationships, and lots of different ones. Here are just a few:
Prospective buyers and sellers - Current/past buyer and seller clients
Escrow and title officers - Mortgage brokers and banks - Attorneys
Home inspectors - Relocation companies
Trades people (electricians, GCs, plumbers, painters, handypeople, roofers, landscapers)
Staging professionals - Neighbors - Agents around the country and world
Area businesses - shops, restaurants, health providers, dentists, chiropractors, etc.
And the list goes on and on.
While you hope to must establish front line relationships with folks who want to buy or sell, the second tier network can, in some ways, be even more powerful and far-reaching...the people who know people who will want to buy and sell. And with the power of the Internet, our on-line relationships become an incredible referral network.
But in the Web 2.0 world we don't want to forget about the offline relationships. After all, we had those first, right? And they still work!
- We build relationships with real estate professionals and industry-related vendors during our real estate transactions, caravans, organizations, and seminars, and through whatever follow-ups we do - lunches, thank you cards and calls, additional transactions
- Relationships with buyers and sellers arise out of open houses, mailings, ads, neighborhood gatherings, door knocking, cold calls
- We get to know our neighbors, the local retailers and other businesses, members of our church, our Chamber of Commerce, committees we are on, etc.
You know the drill. You've done this stuff before or are doing it now.
I'm trying some new off-line things - for example, participating in a newly-developed consortium of small business focused on seniors' services (I'm an SRES), teaching social media approaches for people I know who own small businesses and want to grow their companies, and speaking to networking organizations (non-real estate)
Lots of folks have jumped on the social media bandwagon. Some of you have not. I know because I am there and you are not. Perhaps you have your reasons - too much work, no time, too much business already, don't have a clue. The reality (the realty?) is that your peers are building new relationships, sharing referrals and finding new business in the on-line world. And if you snooze you may lose. Why take the chance?
You have lots of options, so get started. Of course you are already blogging, or you wouldn't be reading this.
But are you writing for other AR members or are you writing for consumers? Are you taking advantage of Localism posts? Or adding folks to your list of associates? And associating with others by subscribing to their blogs and commenting?
Blogging may be all you want to do. And that's fine. It works well for some folks I know. Real well. But if you want to expand your on-line horizons...
Here are a few to-do's:
- Set up your profile and a business page on Facebook - it's a business meeting of sorts and will contribute to your on-line referral network. Connect with folks you know but better yet those you don't but want to get to know. Throw some sheep or Superpoke some folks if you want (but not required)
- Add your profile/resume to LinkedIn - this professional network growing rapidly, and you can seek out others who are members through your current and past jobs, associations, schools, etc. Make sure your experience is included and seek our recommendations from others as your recommend them
- Twitter - tweet to your heart's content, while participating in discussions, sharing information (including real estate), asking questions, and following others (including those who follow you). This will also build your on-line referral network. Then check out your reach, social capital and velocity on Twitter with Twinfluence.
There are plenty of other social media sites but these should be on your list without doubt. However, keep in mind that social media is all about relationships. Are you being selective?
Then REGISTER for their FREE webinar - it will JUMP START you in the social media world even if you are already starting to play there.
So where is YOUR next transaction coming from? You likely don;t know. But without relationships, there may not be one.
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