By Lynn Minnick
This post follows along the same idea as Cory Brewer’s last post about relationships. My office has a new office leader/manager and she recently put together an event that I thought was pretty genius AND helped build relationships.
She asked each of us to provide her with a list of the different real estate service-related vendors we use and would recommend (home inspectors, exterminators, electricians, septic installers, radon guys, landscapers, mold specialists, handymen, home stagers, etc. — all the professionals we turn to on a regular basis in my market.) Then, for a small donation to our company charity, The Sunshine Kids, she offered each of them a table at a vendor fair we hosted. She invited all of the REALTORS® in our town and surrounding towns, and served refreshments.
The event itself was only about two hours long, but it allowed us to meet face-to-face with these professionals, make introductions, and network. I suppose it was kind of like speed dating. Some of the businesses were more experienced with vendor fairs and came prepared with lots of handouts, giveaways, and raffles, while others greeted us with simple business cards and conversations, relying solely on their long-standing reputations.
The event was easy to organize and very well-received. A win-win-win, really, for us, the vendors, and our favorite charity!
By Cory Brewer
Having a buddy who is a handyman, or a friend of a friend who paints in their spare time, is great…but trying to save a quick buck or two now could cost you, your brokerage, and your client a lot more down the road.
When prepping a home for the market or making inspection repairs, thoughtful consideration must be given to those who are hired to do the work. Movers, stagers, plumbers — they all fall into this category.
One recent example from my brokerage where this comes into play: A vendor was brought in to do some cleanup work in a top-floor condo unit of a multi-story building. Oops…he stepped on and broke sprinkler pipe up in the attic/roof space and damaged not only the unit he was working on, but the two units below as the water leak went wild. The insurance claim reached six figures and involved multiple home owners. Our brokerage policy is to only use vendors who are properly insured…and this is exactly why. This particular vendor came forward and processed the claim through his insurance.
Hiring someone on the cheap may sound good at first – especially when on a budget – but the time and money it costs to fix something that wasn’t done right the first time can really add up. Scrutinize your vendors and make sure that they will stand behind their work. If anything goes awry, your clients will thank you for recommending the right people to work with.
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.