Has this scenario ever happened to you?
50 darn homes.
I took a client to see 50 homes and they decided they did not want to live in the territory that I serve… 😡 Yes, this scenario takes Buyer Agent frustration to a whole new level.
Why does this happen?
Living an hour north of New York City, many folks look to the Hudson Valley, my current marketplace, as a possible place for relocation out of NYC. It has great schools, land, and proximity so that clients can commute into the city for work. However, many buyers are still learning about the area that they want to end up in. Often, a realtor can receive some unintended collateral damage given a client’s learning curve of their ultimate desired location.
Mitigate Risk By Planting Referral Seeds
This situation can be a very typical Buyer Agent frustration – the client is unsure of what areas to relocate to and while I am happy to take them around, it can often end fruitless. Months of time spent, miles put on my car, gas costs incurred, days seemingly just lost, gone. And, what am I to do? As a buyer-agent, taking on any client brings about some risk, we all know that. But, the question I’m most interested in is – How can we mitigate risk in a situation where a buyer decides that your service territory is not where they want to be?
Short Answer: Planting seeds. I’m not talking gardening, but I am talking referral.
Many realtors are not thinking “referral” from the onset of a relationship with a client, but they should be. And, they should be planting seeds with their clients when they start the home search process to not only mitigate risk, but to possibly capitalize on the positive relationship they are building with that client.
What does that look like in practice?
When you first meet with a client and you know they are relocating, you should always assure them that you are going to show them everything in your marketplace. Next, you should be clear and specific and let them know that if they should change their mind about the area and want to try a different marketplace that you can refer them to another quality agent. Let them know this before you even start your search.
What are the benefits to the client if you refer?
Be sure to tell your client that you hope to help them find their dream property, but that should things change, there are many benefits to them if you are able to refer them forward.
- Put you with a quality agent who knows the marketplace well.
- Warm up the agent for you with all of your likes, dislikes, preferences, and other details so that you can hit the ground running with your home search.
- Make sure you avoid any sales pitches and save valuable time during your home search.
- Always give you my advice – I stick with you and am always available to answer questions.
Why have this conversation?
Through planting these seeds early on, you are helping your future self and your client. No client wants to feel awkward when they realize your marketplace is not for them and they do not know how to tell you. Letting your clients know that this may be a possibility will help you both in the process. Do not be afraid to plant seeds and to refer. As you continue to search with clients, properties can still land in your territory, but they can become too far out or even a region of which you are unfamiliar. Too many realtors drive too far and waste too much of their time when they and their client would be better and happier if their realtor (you) referred them to a local, regional agent.
So, be sure to remember to keep the end in mind when you begin with a new client. Plant those seeds early on to streamline communication. Should your client need to be referred forward, use REALLY to select and vet a possible agent should you not already know someone in that territory. Additionally, use REALLY as an easy way to refer to a professional you already know, too.
REALLY simplifies the referral process. Using this tool reduces the risk you take on with your business, giving you time, money, and assurance located within one technology. Every time you spend time, you are taking on risk – so why not reduce your risk and your level of Buyer Agent frustration and pass along your client to someone who knows the local territory? Secure that referral and use the REALLY referral app to make it happen.
This post was co-written by Geoffrey Green & Lindsey Quistgaard. We hope you enjoyed it!
Geoff Green is an Entrepreneur with a focus in working by referral. Geoff is also a dedicated Father & Husband to a woman who is way out of his league! Geoff loves to play golf, watch football (American style), and generally be with his family.