Referrals from other agents can be a great incremental source of business. It's always nice to get that out of the blue call or email with "Bill, I've got buyers coming to the Cincinnati area, can you help them?".
They're not something I'd build my business plan around, but there are things we can do to increase the odds of receiving them, such as being a visible participant in ActiveRain.
Once upon a time when I needed to place a referral, there were two main sources for us:
1. The RE/MAX online directory
2. Agents we knew from a convention or a past referral.
Now we're sure corporate would love us to exclusively use option 1, but that has long since stopped being our go to to find the right match for our referrals.
Right here in the Rain, that's now my first stop.
Now there are certain people I know well enough in the Rain that there would be no need for research. They've reliably demonstrated they know their markets, written about how they do business, and have behaved in the ActiveRain sandbox. I'd send them my parents in a heartbeat if my folks ever wanted to leave the mountains of West Virginia (and THAT will NEVER happen).
But with so many members of ActiveRain, there are many agents here I've never encountered in any substantial way, and they MIGHT be a good fit.
This week I had a possible buyer referral for two places in Tennessee (same buyer, but too far apart for one agent to take care of both locations). I checked the county locations for both on the ActiveRain leaderboard, no one there I knew well.
An ActiveRain search for the one area gave me a match for someone based out of a nearby city. A bit too far for him personally, but he's smart and has experienced agents scattered around the market area. A buyer's agent with plenty of experience in the desired area and due diligence (online reviews, time to respond to messages) confirmed she'd be a good fit for my buyers. She's not a member of ActiveRain, but it's the relationships here that led to the connection.
The next city I found what seemed to be a good match. Experienced, a whole host of alphabet soup for designations, but her ActiveRain blog had been inactive for a LONG time. I don't really have a problem with that, I know plenty of great agents that have come and gone in the Rain. But the real roadblock for me was finding her online presence seemed to quit after 2015. She's still an active agent (as far as I can tell since she's still on a broker's website), but the link led to a more or less blank website. And further searching didn't find any recent production reported.
Option 2 hadn't posted on the Rain in some time, but what she'd done here indicated a thorough knowledge of her market. And she had a strong Internet presence, online reviews, reported production AND responded quickly once I reached out to her. And the fact that we shared a technical background didn't hurt since a good analysis is something my buyer likes!
And I do have two other key criteria for my referrals:
1. Who I give the client to needs to be who actually works with the client. I'm not only trying to match professional skills, but personality types too.
Fact is there are some cities that I know quite a few agents that would be great for referrals, but perhaps a different style is needed for a particular client, and I'm seeking to match that best fit.
2. Your social media behavior. Frankly I don't care where on the political spectrum you fall, but if you're acting a fool on a regular basis, I'm going to hard pass on choosing you.
Bottom line, my reputation is riding on every referral, and I'm looking for someone that will take GREAT care of my referrals. I don't care if you're from a big brokerage or a one agent shop, if you're the right fit, I'll refer to you.
P.S. If you need someone in the Cincinnati to Dayton region, I hope you know who to call!
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!
Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz