By Cory Brewer
I was recently a guest on a local radio show to discuss my brokerage and our services. The platform for the show revolves around business, finance, and real estate…and the other two guests on the program were an investment fund manager and a representative from a non-profit group advocating cancer research. It was a well-rounded group and we had some good conversation before and after the show off-air.
Near the end of the program, after completing our individual interviews, they brought us all back on the air to have a round-table discussion to answer the question “How do you find a trustworthy professional to work with?” The gut reaction answer is “get a referral,” but the producer of the program told us specifically to come up with something a little more creative than that. My initial input was to “ask for a referral from a professional that you already know and trust in a related industry,” and the conversation stemmed from there.
Across the board, we agreed that the best way to find a trusted professional in one industry is to find someone you already know who has exposure to them in a professional capacity from a related industry. It’s great to ask Aunt Sally if she knows a good dentist…but wouldn’t it make more sense to ask your doctor for a good dentist referral? In the real estate world, I believe there’s a lot to be said for this sentiment. Anyone who has spent an appreciable amount of time in the real estate industry can’t help but to have built relationships with other professionals in related industries (and if you haven’t, you’re doing something wrong).
Align yourself with a professional network of people who are likely to have exposure to your would-be clients. Don’t be afraid to run in the same circles with those you perceive as your competition…building relationships with your “competitors” may serve you well someday down the road. I’ve always believed that negotiations start the day you meet someone…not two years later when their client makes an offer on one of your listings. If you have a positive experience to reflect on from your initial meeting, it’s only going to make your current transaction that much smoother. So get out there and spend the time to develop your relationships within the REALTOR® community and with other like-minded professionals.
The chance I was given to appear on the radio program was a fantastic opportunity to get some free publicity and spread awareness about my company and our services. I was introduced to the producer of the show by a “competitor” of mine at another brokerage whose office is only about six blocks away from mine. Take advantage of your relationships!
Cory Brewer is a REALTOR® in the Seattle area and Operations Manager at Windermere Property Management / LGA in Bellevue. Connect with Cory at www.wpmnorthwest.com.