One of the many joys of being in real estate sales is having the opportunity to be self-employed. Depending on your own knowledge, schedule, and work ethic can be both gratifying and rewarding as you build your own business or brand. But as you dive deeper into the world of real estate, you’ll soon learn that you can’t succeed all on your own and that it’s essential to create connections with other businesses. We sat down with a top real estate agent in New York City, arguably the most competitive marketplace in the country, to figure out his key to success. How did Charles Robertson get to the top of his game? By networking like crazy! We gathered his tips for how to create a vast network of partners that can provide a steady supply of potential clients. According to Charles, here are six referral relationships that you need to build.
1. Chamber of Commerce
The very first connection that you need to forge is with your local Chamber of Commerce. While this may seem like a no-brainer, being active within your community’s Chamber of Commerce can raise your profile among store owners, service providers, bankers, and even local politicians. Other members will have the opportunity to get to know you, hear your ideas, and watch you in action on service projects and committee meetings. And because of the myriad of businesses involved within the Chamber of Commerce, strengthening these relationships is time well spent.
2. Contractors and Tradesmen
When considering a move, most homeowners tend to think about the condition or value of their property and can begin to make improvements on their house. Contractors, painters, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians can all be involved in this process and will be able to interact with homeowners on a daily basis. By creating a partnership with these tradesmen, they can refer your realtor services to those who are looking to sell their home or find a new property. For example, Charles made a connection with this NYC handyman service when he hired them to help hang pictures in an apartment he was staging. They started sending him referrals when customers mentioned they were moving. Charles says, in turn, you can also mention these contracting and labor services to clients that you work with as well, resulting in a mutually beneficial connection.
While lawyers tend to have a reputation for being merciless and tough, most people rely on and trust their services when push comes to shove. That said, it can be very beneficial to create a partnership with lawyers as long as you stick to the professional code of ethics. An attorney who saves a client a lot of time and money in settlements or charges can hold much-needed leverage and credibility when it’s time to choose a realtor.
Partnering with members of a real estate investment association (or better yet, becoming a member yourself) can produce another steady stream of potential clients. As investors meet to discuss the latest in wholesale, restoration, land-lording, and the investigation of properties, they’ll most likely need your knowledge in multiple listing services. And since real estate vendors are given a few minutes to plug themselves at monthly meetings, it’s a good idea to take that chance and sell your services to a wide variety of businessmen.
5. Mortgage Brokers and Bankers
Loan officers usually work with clients who are under pressure and have looming contract expirations. When a frantic home buyer is eager to close a deal, a broker or banker can easily suggest your services as an effective solution. Since a seasoned mortgage broker or banker can have a wide network of buyers and sellers, they’re a perfect connection to make within the world of real estate.
6. Moving Companies
People who are planning a move often start feeling out the cost of hiring movers well in advance of moving day. Moving agents might be willing to send some referrals your way when customers are having a difficult time finding the right apartment to move into. Charles says he cultivated a relationship with the moving crew at Imperial Moving Company (website) when he moved into his first apartment in New York. Since then they have referred dozens of customers his way, and he has returned the favor. This mutually beneficial relationship is a solid one to have.
In the world of real estate, who you know can make or break the success of your business. The broader your network, the more referrals you’ll get, and the more opportunities you’ll have to close deals! If you’re ready to become an elite realtor, get out there and start making connections!