By Brian Copeland
I’ve been a part of many referral organizations in my short real estate career. Some have been a wasteland of nothingness. One or two others have been the Promised Land of Income. In my time, however, I’ve never seen a new force of referral energy emerge on the scene until now. The YPN referral network is booming.
Daily, yes, daily, I receive word of someone closing deals together across the miles. I’m seeing praises on facebook walls about a client well-served by a network member. I’m hearing story after story of YPNers cooperating from coast to coast. Two questions: Is YPN the next big referral engine? Why is this medium for REALTOR®-to-REALTOR® referrals growing so much?
The first answer is easy. Yes, YPN is the next big, if not the current, big organic referral engine, without question. More importantly, I think we need ourselves and our surrounding organizations to understand why.
1. I’ve honestly never been a part of such a close-knit group of people. Even as a former fraternity president and director of youth leadership programs, what we have is rare. Our generation has the knowledge and power to leverage strong, deep relationships that begin either in person or online and continue to grow in media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare. While other groups are scratching their heads, criticizing “all the computer play” as a fad, our YPNers are oblivious to the confusion. We’re just roller skating along enjoying the moments.
2. Our demographic is hot in real estate sales. Gen Y and Gen X buyers and sellers are the majority of the market. While many of them still work with agents out of our generations, many are now comfortable with the level of professionalism we all continue to bring to the table. No longer is the argument, “Ah, they’re new and too green to the business,” valid. We are an arsenal of smart, hard-working, ethical REALTORS®.
3. We connect quickly. We’re almost an instant, on-command network. It’s like one of us shouts out for help on any matter (even outside of referrals) and within seconds, more than five have already weighed in to help. Knowing a buyer or seller will get that same, virtually immediate service speaks volumes to our marketplace.
4. We’re getting organized. Everyone thinks we’ve been together for decades. The facts are, while we have deep, great roots with REALTOR® Magazine, we’ve only been official with NAR for a few months. Now that we have an amazing staff liaison in Rob Reuter, we have constant daily function. YPNers like Shannon Williams-King worked so hard for years to get us to this point. Now, we’re enjoying the harvest of all that past and current work by volunteers and staff.
5. Finally, we’re just fun. We know how to mix business with pleasure while remaining professional. Today’s YPN REALTOR® is connected, educated, entertaining and discerning. Our consumers want to connect with real people with real stories. We share our stories transparently and happily creating greater connection value.
Obviously, people will continue to want a piece of the action. Who could blame them? As we continue on this path of growth, remember we have a long history of leaders who brought us here to this point. I hope we can all be thankful, daily!
Brian Copeland is a real estate practitioner in Nashville, Tenn. You can follow Brian on Twitter: @NashvilleBrian