Vetting Agents for Client Referrals ~ The Integrity Way
1) Make a careful and critical examination
2) Investigate (someone) thoroughly, especially in order to insure that they are suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty or trustworthiness.
Yep, that's what I do.
When it's time to refer a client to another agent, I want to MAKE SURE that I have done the very best that I can to find the right agent.
I start on Active Rain to see if any members are in that area and how active they are. I will post in the Referral Network to see if anyone is interested. If there are some responses, I start processing... is there one there that I know and know would be a great fit.
If not, I start vetting one by one.
- The agent's website. I want to know what they have to say about themselves, if anything. I want to know exactly what areas they service and how far from their office is the client's area. I look for client testimonials on their site.
- I just plain ole "google" them, but on more than one search engine. How well do they come up in searches. Even if they rank well on the search engine, I'm going to go on to the second, third, & fourth pages to see if anything else comes up about them.
- Facebook - Are they on Facebook? I check both their business page and their personal page if I can access both of those.
- LinkedIn - With each site that I check, I'm looking for consistency in what they have to say. I'm looking for what others have to say about them.
Several sites, I do not check unless I just get to the point that I'm striking out. Then I will go to that deeper check such as Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
IF they are in Oklahoma or some state that its easy for me to check court records, I will do that also.
Then I call. I want to hear their voice, hear how they sound on the phone... are they easy to talk to? Do they listen? Do they sound concerned for the client's needs? Do they sound interested in the referral when we discuss it. Are they too busy? I've always heard its best to give a job to a busy person than one that's not.. there's a reason they are busy.
I always ask the agent to keep me in the loop as they work for this client. If they do not, I've been known to call them and ask them how it's going and to call the client asking them the same thing.
After I've settled on the agent to refer to, I call the client. I give them the agent's name etc.. but tell them to wait until the agent contacts them. I also tell them not to sign any exclusive representation forms just yet, even if the agent asks them to because I'm not ready for them to be "locked" into that relationship just yet until they meet the agent etc.. and they decide it's a good fit. Twice, the agent failed to follow through and contact the client.. so we backed up and started over.
Vetting? Yes, that's a good way to describe it. Vetting agents for clients referrals ~ The Integrity Way.