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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Realtor Referrals -- "Outgoing"

Payback (The Good Kind)

I suppose that there are some people out there who hesitate to give out referrals for fear that a favorite contractor will somehow forsake them if they ever become too busy or popular.

I find just the opposite is true.

Once someone comes to see me as a steady source of referrals, I find that I jump to the front of their list.

So what kinds of people do I refer, and to whom?

Stagers, for one.

I regularly work with several excellent stagers, and am always happy to give their names out to Realtors who are looking for a good one (more should be).

Another thing I do that I know is appreciated is write enthusiastic, even glowing reviews (when justified) on Angie's List.

In a way, that's simply a referral addressed to a broader audience.

By contrast, if I have a negative experience, I tend to just make a note in my files and move on. The exception is if I feel like the experience was so negative that other people deserve a "heads up."

Stagers, Handymen, and Inspectors

Another person I regularly recommend to my homeowner clients is my regular handyman, who's been keeping the evolving Kaplan household ship-shape for more than a decade.

You couldn't ask for a more ethical, competent, or conscientious guy.

If I ever hesitate to recommend Dan, it's only because I'm not certain the prospective customer is worthy of Dan -- not the other way around.

Of course, the other frequent referral Realtors are regularly called upon to make are home inspectors.

Most experienced Realtors have established relationships with a handful of inspectors that they know and trust.

In my own case, I encourage my clients to interview a couple, excellent inspectors, and hire the person they're most comfortable with.

In all these cases, the underlying premise is that someone who did good work for me, will also do good work for you if I give you their name. So that makes two people better off as a result of my having made the referral (three if you consider the good will and appreciation that comes back to me).

Just don't expect me to give you the cell phone number of our favorite babysitter . . . .

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