Do You Have a Referral Network? - Part 1

Real Estate Agent with Northwood Realty Services

One of the best (and least expensive) ways to increase your sales and your business is to have a stream of leads coming in through referrals. There are various types of referrals out there. The most common being from friends and family as well as past clients. But if you want to get serious about referrals, get a constant stream of referrals, you should create a referral network.

I'm not talking about referrals from other agents across the country. I'm talking about people who will actively help sell your service and be happy to do so. But where do you start? First you must think of the type of people or businesses you want sending you referrals. As a real estate agent, you might think this is obvious. Mortgage brokers, insurance agents, home repair businesses and anyone else who is associated with home ownership.

But let's think a little differently.

Ask yourself. What is the best type of customer you like to work with? Before you answer, let's look at a different profession to more easily explain where I'm going with this.

Let's say you're a fitness trainer and you're looking to set up a referral network with other businesses. You might think about talking to owners of:

Fitness clubs
Massage therapists
Health food stores

The reason you might think this is because they are in a similar industry as you. But when you're asked "What's the type of customer you prefer to work with?" you may answer, male CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Now look at the characteristics of these customers:

They usually travel a lot.
They usually own pets and pay a lot for pet products.
They usually are willing to pay for services.
They like luxury type items.

In order to get referrals of these types of customers, you need to network with people in businesses that male CEOs use. Here are some referral network partners you might now consider.

Travel agents
custom clothing shops
Luxury car dealerships
Financial advisers
Pet stores
Hotel staff

This list is quite different than the one mentioned above.

We can do the same thing as a real estate agent. Instead of trying to network with businesses in the same industry as you, network with businesses that your customers use. Once you make contact with these businesses (or the people within these businesses), you can start a dialog of how you can help refer customers to them the same way they will help refer customers to you. Soon you'll be getting a stream of leads of customers that you prefer to work with.

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