What I look for when choosing a referral recipient agent.......
I am now entering my 13th year as an agent, and more recently, a broker. I am a broker / owner of two separate brokerages in two separate states: Hawaii and California.
Suffice it to say, I not only receive, but give quite a few referrals to agents in different areas across the U.S.
Just thought I'd share both my process and criteria for what I feel is the best agent/broker to choose when handing out referral business. Because, you are basically putting your client's trust, which is hard-earned, into the hands of another individual. This is a BIG deal to me.
Here's one of the basics: Do you actually pick up the telephone? HELLO?! As simplistic as it sounds, there is a lot more to it than that. As a broker, I know that when my telephone rings, it could be anyone: a contractor, someone inquiring about our non-profit foundation, a friend, a family member, a referral, or an existing or potential client. Could it be an unwanted solicitor wanting to sell me something that I don't need? Or a scam telemarketer? Of course, but due to the course of my business I MUST PICK UP THE PHONE in order to find out. If I choose not to pick up the phone, then that is basically saying that my agendas are more important than my clients - and in my opinion, NOT a good disposition to take in an industry that is centered on customer service.
Are there times when we simply cannot pick up the phone and/or missed someone's call? Of course. But the time it takes to call someone back is also a gage that I use to test someone's conviction towards customer service.
After that, once I had the opportunity to speak with a possible referral, the things I look for are:
1. Energy / Overall Disposition - what kind of "energy" does this person have? Do they come across as "slick" or "coy" (2 things I cannot stand). I look for GENUINE and AUTHENTIC. Someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, and speaks their own individual TRUTH. Someone who seems to be the right combination of not too much of an alarmist and not too complacent. Someone who I can tell is a LISTENER more than a TALKER. Someone who appears to be INSIGHTFUL, and not someone who's agenda is to show off the amount of knowledge they have at the expense of discovering what a client's goals and priorities are.
2. Experience - This is not the highest on my priority list, but it's up there. Experience not only helps a client get through, but potentially avoid any hurdles during an escrow. "Been there, done that" is something you can't buy in any school or read in any textbook. It comes from only hard work and dedication.
3. Resourcefulness - What tools do you have at your disposal? How do you draw from your experience as you move forward with new clients? What resources do you draw from when confronted with problematic issues?
4. And lastly, what I call "Matchie-Matchie" - Do you seem like the right personality profile for this particular client? As we all know, clients are just people. And people come in all different shapes, sizes, and personalities. It's important for me to use my own insight to feel if the energies for both my referral client and the possible referral agent seem like a match.
My advice to anyone seeking referrals: Be REAL. Be AUTHENTIC. Speak your own individual TRUTH and be proud of it. Be a good LISTENER, and know how to convey your concerns when it's your turn to speak.
A sense of humour is a big deal to me. It's not for ALL clients, of course. But I feel it's something that can be helpful and to me, shows a level of sophistication and humility.
So there 'ya go kids.
Now play nice, and go sell a house...........