Ask An Ambassador: Why I Start My Referral Search With ActiveRain

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

the selection processReferrals 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

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz too):  one of the advantages of finding a referral through ActiveRain is the  ability l to see that member "in action" over time through posts and other interactions in this forum. Ideal? Not always but better than many other ways.

Jul 23, 2019 01:08 PM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Bliz I have been giving and receiving referrals almost since my first year in the biz. I like it so much better now as I know many people through AR and CRS and know how they do business and if they'd be a good fit for my clients. I always make sure that they personally will be taking care of the clients beginning to end - not another buyers agent whom I have no idea of how they do things.

Jul 23, 2019 03:26 PM #2
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Yes...I've done some some referrals. Always looking for the right match. So far, so good!


Jul 23, 2019 06:14 PM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

BLiz- This post should be in the "Welcome to ActiveRain Welcome Posts." Often I've seen posts from new members asking for referrals when they've barely made comments or written a post. At least by doing so, we ould have a way to get to know who they are. 

Jul 23, 2019 06:18 PM #4
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Thank you for sharing your insight and experience on this important topic.




Jul 23, 2019 10:30 PM #5
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty 914-419-0270 (NY),, (MT) 406-270-3667, more information to be provided shortly - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I totally agree with your methodology! I start with AR also and look for much of the same things as you do. 

Jul 24, 2019 03:11 AM #6
Barbara Le Pine
Advantage Real Estate, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast!

Bill and Liz,

I have received many good referrals through the years from being easily found on Active Rain.  AR is my #1 source for referrals, both sending and receiving. 

I just closed on an AR referral last week - the agent called me directly, told me they liked my AR profile and sent a great listing to me as a result.

Active Rain Rocks.

Jul 24, 2019 12:33 PM #7
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Bill and Liz, that is exactly what I do when I need to refer someone. I do the research by reading their posts to try to decide who is a fit.

Jul 24, 2019 12:38 PM #8
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Liz and Bill Spear  wouldn't think of calling anyone else 

Jul 24, 2019 07:15 PM #9
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Now that I'm retired, I enjoy giving referrals to local agents that match my family and/or friends needs and personality.  Knowing the local agents makes this much easier than referring to a distant city.  

Jul 25, 2019 07:07 AM #10
Tony Morganti
RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
CRS, ABR, SRES - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow

Liz and Bill -  This is such a good reminder of the terrific resources of agents we have here at Active Rain.  I also search my RE/MAX directory and CRS directory when looking to place a referral and tend to match up with someone who is both.  Adding a 3rd dimension from ActiveRain will make it an even better choice.  Thank you for sharing.

Jul 25, 2019 01:00 PM #11
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Liz and Bill Spear

RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
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