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Leverage Contractor Referrals to Engage Sellers

by | Apr 29, 2014

Do you have a network of contractors, appraisers, and more that you can readily refer clients to when needed? If not, you may be missing out on a critical opportunity to engage with sellers.

A recent consumer research survey by consulting firm WAV Grouprevealed that consumers are increasingly expecting these referrals from their real estate professional. In fact, an agent is the first resource they turn to to ask about needed repairs before listing their home. 58% of sellers consult their agent about repairs rather than contractors (12%), home inspectors or appraisers (both 2%). The agent is expected to be the doorway to these recommendations.

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Hunt Real Estate has taken a proactive approach to meeting this need. They offer an online directory called the Realty Club that lists vendors for flooring, roofing, house cleaning, moving, and beyond. Hunt clients gain lifetime access to the Club. When they need a specific service like, say, plumbing, they can request information and Hunt will provide a list of list of third-party vendors in that category. It's an effective part of Hunt's customer-for-life strategy.

To ensure customer goodwill, Hunt guarantees the quality of its directory by requiring a vendor's current license, tax ID number, customer recommendations, a maximum 48-hour response, a flat advertising fee, and more.

For brokers without the impetus to create a similar service, there are solutions that can help. Lone Wolf's front office program, WOLFconnect, offers a vendor database where agents can rate the services of appraisers, mortgage specialists, stagers, etc. In turn, they can use the ratings of their fellow agents to find new vendors.

Individual agents have options for keeping track of vendor contacts, too. Real estate CRM IXACT Contact, for example, lets agents tag contacts as vendors. Their Business Directory is fully searchable and lets agents note any special deals they may have arranged with a vendor.

Unfortunately, there's a dearth of solutions that currently offer a vendor directory feature. With consumers clearly wanting business referrals from their agent, we hope to see more companies step up to the plate and provide real estate pros an easy way to keep track of vendor contacts.

After all, a house that's been prepped for sale will show better and sell for more money. And that's good for all parties--sellers, agents and brokers.

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