Referrals matter. They're important, as they're a reflection on you.
When I refer someone out, I want to make sure they will be well taken care of. The first place I look is Active Rain. I have had instances where no one covered a particular city, so I had to look further. I believe being on Active Rain these past 9 years has transcended brokerages and even certifications. Here, people are people. When I refer out, it doesn't matter who the agent works for. What matters to me is the agent or broker themselves.
Through the years, I have given and received referrals. Before I give a referral, I always pick up the phone and talk to the broker or agent. I need to get a sense of who they are and what they're about (unless I already know them well.) How do they sound? Will they be a good fit for the buyers? I like happy buyers - referred out or not!
After speaking with the agent, I think you get a sense of if this will work. After all, if it doesn't, who does it come back to? You got that right!
If they want my help during the transaction, I'm happy to help. If they want to update me as things progress, that's fine; I like it. I'm pretty easy going. The idea is to get the job done successfully with the least amount of stress to all involved. If the referral is coming to me, I'm honored and humbled that someone puts their faith and trust in me and thinks I will do a great job for their clients/
I have done my share of referrals, but not in any great numbers, but I have done them with great people - Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland , J. Philip Faranda Gabe Sanders John Meussner , Kathy Streib Leslie Ebersole , and the late Lou Ludwig . If I left anyone out, I'm so sorry.
Everything worked out well and everyone was happy. I told you before, I like happy buyers and sellers!
In fact, I remember specific instances with Margaret Rome where she asked me to list a very special friend's condo, and another time where we got a call about property in Florida on her radio show in Baltimore. Go figure. The world has certainly gotten smaller!
In another instance, John Meussner received a thank you note from buyers he had referred to me and he blogged about it. You can read what he wrote here Great Realtor Experience in Palm Beach County. Thank you again, John! I went to their wedding shower and now they have a beautiful baby girl.
Another referral I remember was from Deb Agliano who immediately told me she was DebontheWeb. We hit it off immediately because I loved her name. She had found me on Realtor.com looking for an ABR. We talked for quite some time when we realized she also knew Margaret Rome. Talk about a small world! Margaret was handling a listing for her in Maryland. I was handling her cousins who wanted to move to Boynton Beach, FL. And move they did. You can read their testimonial here.
If I'm asked to do a referral, I don't mind being questioned. Talk to me. I may or may not be the perfect fit, or in the right area, for your buyer or seller. If that's the case, I'll let you know and try to give you a name (without a referral.) South Florida is a large area and agents claim to cover three counties. I'm telling you, it isn't possible to know every community in every county. I'd rather your buyer get the best service possible. If it's out of my territory, I'll tell you. And that's the truth.
UPDATE: I recently received a referral from Debbie Laity via Fred Griffin . You can read about it here. Everything worked out well and was put together from Colorado to Florida to Illinois. It's closed and the seller was able to move on. It was a great story!