January 2023

5 ways to grow your business through vendor referrals

When you've earned their trust, even clients who have bought or sold a few homes will depend on your recommendations for real estate professionals and home contractors. Many first-time homebuyers will be eternally grateful. By providing your clients with solutions to a host of problems, you will become their go-to person for advice.

Most importantly, your vendors — and clients — will show their appreciation by making referrals back to you. This can work wonders to boost your reputation and grow your business.

Here are five ways you can benefit by building strong, mutually beneficial vendor relationships.

1. Curate your vendor list through your day-to-day contacts.

Establishing and broadening your circle of trusted home contractors, artisans and professionalsgrows naturally out of the work you do on a daily basis. Cultivate the relationships that areproductive while weeding out the ones that fall short. Look to expand your list of connectionseach time you buy or sell a home.

Here are the basic types of professional and contractor services you should consider having onyour list (include contact person, phone number and website):

  • Home inspection
  • Mortgage lending
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Real estate legal
  • Title insurance
  • Staging
  • Moving/storage
  • Surveying
  • Structural engineering
  • General contracting
  • Home warranty
  • Handyperson
  • House cleaning
  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Roofing/siding
  • Landscaping
  • Pest control
  • Flooring
  • Painting
  • Masonry
  • Appliance repair
  • Carpet cleaning

2. Connect with others in your community.

You can also grow your vendor list by expanding your network to include other local purveyors whose services you use for work. For instance, if you frequent a nursery to buy decorative plants for hosting open houses, refer your clients there too. And why not tell your next client the name of your favorite wine store where you purchased the bottle of bubbly you gave to them as a closing gift?

3. Nurture your referral relationships.

In addition to directly recommending vendors, there are other ways to strengthen your bonds. You can promote contractors on your website and social media feeds. Rotate through your vendor list and feature one or two at a time, even highlighting their work. In exchange, ask vendors if they're willing to provide your clients with a discount on services when they mention your referral, such as on a first purchase. Make sure your vendors maintain a stock of your business cards or brochures.

Send your current vendor list to each of your clients, along with a personal note. Keep this list up to date and, when an exciting new vendor is added, email this contact's information to your clients. This also serves as a great excuse for keeping in touch.

Simple relationship-building measures create a win-win-win situation for your clients, yourvendors and you.

4. Put your vendors to the test.

As beneficial as your vendors can be to your clients, a word of caution: If you recommend professionals and tradespeople who don't perform well, it will reflect poorly on you. You must choose and maintain your vendor list carefully because your reputation is always on the line.

Therefore, it pays to ask clients for feedback to ensure your vendors are living up to expectations. A poor review or two might require you to speak with the provider or even remove them from your list. Conversely, when your clients rave about a vendor, share the praise.

5. Add concierge-level services to your list.

Finally, you can further differentiate yourself by offering clients unique service providers. A few examples of what a true concierge-level expert might be include: landscape architect, "smart home" specialist, solar panel professional, hardwood installer, custom-tile fabricator, home theater consultant, caterer and wine storage authority.

Every time a client uses a vendor you've recommended, they will undoubtedly think of you. What better way to remain top of mind when they have family, neighbors or friends looking for an agent, or when they're ready to move again!

A note from your lending specialist

I'm here to consult with you and your clients no matter your questions or their lending needs.Please feel free to contact me anytime — I'll be happy to assist you.

MAP5352287 | 12/2022