Agents frequently overlook a potentially lucrative referral opportunity to network with other agents. A wise and well-known co-founder and broker once told us that real estate is one of the only professions where agents are both competitive and reliant on each other. It is time to tap into the benefits of relationship building with agents outside of your market area.
First, Find Out Where Buyers Are Relocating From
Identify who publishes relocation data in your area and find out where the buyers are coming from. This could be the chamber of commerce or another source helping your city plan for growth. For example, the Texas Relocation Report is a great option for agents in the state. Another option is to connect with agents in your city but outside of your market area. If you live in and sell property downtown you may want to reach out to agents who specialize in market areas outside of the city and don’t want to show property in your market area. Staying in a specific market area can prove to be an efficient and valuable time and resource saving strategy in a busy market.
Once you have identified where the majority of buyers are relocating from, it is time to build your network. Search for agents on social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook who specialize in the level of real estate you would like to align yourself with. You can qualify them based on awards, experience, sales volume, or designations. Many times local business publications will issue press about top producers.
HipPocketz is a great referral source. We are open to all licensed agents but have thoughtfully targeted our network based on experience in the high-end real estate market, sales, geographic location and awards. Look for agents in your target area who have active pocket listing inventory. The more inventory the agent has, the higher the chance that agent will have clients asking for agent contacts in your market area, especially if most of the relocation traffic to your area is coming from their market.
Connect With Them
It is usually best to have a personal connection with someone, so while you are on LinkedIn or Facebook, see if you share a contact in common. If you do, ask for an introduction. If you don’t, pick up the phone and call them. Let them know about your relocation research and that you are looking to establish a referral relationship and offer a referral commission. The standard commission referral amount in many markets is 20% to 25% based on the broker’s requirements. Make sure they don’t already have another referral relationship with an agent in your area. Let the agent know you will send them an email and connect on social.
Do you share a designation or are you both a member of a similar group?
Designation courses and specialized networks are a great way to meet agents from other market areas. Designations like CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) that offer certification in select cities periodically are ideal. The Institute For Luxury Home Marketing is a wonderful network to join and they offer connections and events in several cities throughout the US.
Connect with agents you meet on Facebook or other social media platforms. Add them to your eflyer list. If you stay in touch they will think of you when the time comes for them to refer someone in your market.
Whether you’re building or maintaining your brand, it is important to align yourself with quality counterparts and it is more enjoyable if you get paid doing it! Hopefully this is a good roadmap; now it’s up to you!