Team up with others to strategically grow your business.
They say two heads are better than one, and running a successful real estate business is no exception. Joining forces with referral partners can work wonders and take your luxury real estate brand to the next level.
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What is a real estate referral partnership?
Simply put, a real estate referral partnership is a professional relationship in which you refer clients to another person or business. It’s a mutual relationship that provides a payoff for both parties involved. Your clients benefit from your knowledge of other experts and businesses in your local market, and you and your referral partners receive warm leads from one another.
Referrals are a proven strategy that helps realtors connect with more interested clients. Notably, some studies have shown that 36% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family. For example, if a couple sees their financial advisor and shares that they’re saving to buy a home in the area, their financial advisor partner can recommend working with you when they’re ready to start looking at houses.
This works both ways and can build your business as a realtor and support the financial advisor’s business—your referral partner. Referral partnerships are a high-performing tool in building a lucrative real estate brand and business, and you can establish yourself as a local expert with clients when you’re knowledgeable about the service providers and businesses around you. From saving marketing dollars to getting more warm leads, working with real estate referral partners is a win-win strategy.
Types of real estate referral partners
We’ve got you covered if you’re interested in finding new real estate partnerships and building connections with real estate referrals. There are four main types of real estate referral partners, each encompassing multiple kinds of businesses.
Real estate-related professions
Real estate-related professions are those businesses directly related to buying and selling property. From movers and brokers to estate planners, these professionals are perfect real estate referral partners since clients who work with them are likely preparing to buy or sell a home and will eventually need a realtor’s services.
- Home inspectors
- Estate planners
Home improvement businesses
Whether you’re working with a client to buy or sell their home, they will likely need the services of home improvement businesses at some point in their journey. Even if a home you sell is in impeccable condition, it may still benefit from upgrades (such as a new living room suite or add-on) done by one of your home improvement partners.
By recommending the home improvement businesses you have a referral partnership with, you can help guarantee they have new work for years to come. The benefit for your real estate business is that clients will appreciate having a list of trusted professionals they can rely on—making them more likely to return to you in the future for their real estate needs.
- Maintenance services
- Furniture companies
- Construction companies
- Interior designers
Real estate is a contact sport, and no one in your local market is in closer contact with new and renovated houses than professionals in the trades. Specialists like plumbers, electricians, gardeners, and roofers are excellent real estate referral partners. A strategic partnership with a trade business can foster goodwill with other local businesspeople and give you insight into how long specific home improvement projects tend to take.
Additionally, you’ll likely get a lot of warm leads from these businesses. For example, a roofer who has just given a quote for a new roof to one of their clients who is fixing up their house in preparation for the market can recommend your services as they look to find their next home.
When building real estate referral partnerships with home improvement pros and tradespeople, circle back (through reading reviews or direct messaging) to measure what clients are experiencing when working with your partners. This is a good practice for determining how users feel about their choice to work with a given partner and can help you stay informed on the quality and customer service of the teams your brand is associated with.
When the reviews are great, congratulate and thank your real estate referral partners on a job well done. If the reviews or customer experiences seem to be suffering, talk to your partners about how that affects your confidence in recommending them to your clients, and develop a strategy for moving forward.
By forming real estate referral partnerships with local businesses, including mechanics and medical offices, you will be well-poised to build a strategic network of partners all over the area where you are based. People in every niche of your local economy will be prepared to drop your name in conversation with potential clients. And given the wide variety of foot traffic in the following kinds of businesses, you’ll diversify the referrals you get each month.
- Medical offices
How to choose a real estate referral partner
Now that you have a solid understanding of what types of partnerships may benefit your business, you can start to build your real estate referral network. To get started, look at your current circle of contacts: who do you already know that fits into any of the categories above? What financial planner or mortgage broker do you currently work with? Which plumber and electrician do you count on for your home or client recommendations? Start by taking stock of your professional circle and contacting them about becoming referral partners.
Requesting a real estate referral partnership
After you’ve defined your current contacts, think about the services you regularly receive questions about from your clients. What other help do your clients tell you they need? From that information, spend time researching your market’s leading professionals in various roles.
Ask people you trust, read reviews, and make a few phone calls to dive deeper. Narrow it down to a few per category, then you can start to set up meetings to talk to them face or face. Go with the flow—if the business leaders you contact have busy schedules or don’t seem interested in setting up a strategic partnership, don’t force it. You can work to find a time that fits their schedule or choose to move on to the next name on your list.
Once a meeting has been set up, show up on time and bring the most professional version of yourself. Use your meeting time to feel things out and determine whether you mesh well. Would the people who like working with you also like working with them? Are there similarities in your style and philosophy? Consider that you would be lending the weight of your good name and your established brand to their advantage. Find real estate referral partners who reflect the people you enjoy and feel comfortable working with.
Tips for empowering your real estate referral partners
If you connect and can agree on shared values and goals with a prospective real estate referral partner, start forming an idea of what a partnership would look like. You should agree on what a referral will look like, and any specific language either party would like used. For example, will you exchange business cards to pass out as needed? Or, will you and your referral partner typically utilize email introductions between you and the prospective client?
You’ll want to be as straightforward as possible on these details so that both of you will be happy with your newfound partnership. At this meeting, be sure to share your contact details and some idea of what your schedule looks like. That way, if your referral partner needs to contact you with questions, they can quickly get your attention.
Provide referral partners with marketing material
You should exchange marketing materials during your initial meeting or at some point not long afterward. Print marketing is still a vital part of the real estate industry—and real estate referral partners should always carry copies of each other’s brochures, flyers, and business cards. A well-designed real estate brochure is a great way to make a first impression on a client and looks great hanging on a billboard or wall in the office of a local small business.
Give your referral partners plenty of business cards as well. If their business or shop has a spot to keep business cards, provide them with a cardholder and check in frequently to see if you need to restock. If you make updates to any of your marketing materials, make sure to contact your referral partner to get them updated materials.
Other marketing materials that might be useful for your brand include window displays, printed newsletters, door hangars, and MLS listings that deserve extra attention. Remember: always confirm with your referral partners what marketing materials they feel comfortable handing out or displaying in their place of business.
After exchanging materials and confirming your partnership, send them a referral as soon as possible. That way, your partner will see what’s in it for them, confirm that you’re true to your word, and be even more excited to start sending you referrals in return.
Share your digital content
Sharing digital content with your referral partners helps strengthen your professional relationships. Promoting their content and services on your platforms demonstrates support and creates a collaborative environment. This can lead to reciprocal sharing, expanding your reach to their networks. Here are three ideas to get you started:
Social media: The real estate industry, in particular, can utilize social media to its advantage. According to a report from Forbes, social media may be the best way to brand, advertise and separate yourself from the competition. You should use your referral partner’s social media to your advantage.
Reshare anything your partners have shared that would benefit your network. If they haven’t been active on social media in a while, feel free to ask if they want you to share any website material, be it photos, client testimonials, or specific services. Your willingness to share can significantly benefit both your partners and your network.
Blog posts: Sharing blog posts from your referral partners can be an effective strategy to boost your reputation and enhance your visibility in the online space. By collaborating with other experts in your field, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship that generates more referrals and engages a broader audience. This approach allows you to showcase your expertise while promoting your partners’ content and insights, ultimately leading to a stronger and more successful online presence.
Newsletters: Incorporating your referral partners into your newsletters is a strategy that can provide your audience with valuable and informative content. You can showcase your partners’ expertise by featuring articles, interviews, or success stories demonstrating their knowledge and experience. This approach helps diversify your content and makes your newsletters more engaging, offering your readers additional value beyond your services.
These are all practical and budget-friendly approaches to broadening your influence and engaging with fresh customers. By collaborating with referral partners and sharing your digital marketing materials with them, you can showcase your dedication to the community you serve and support other businesses.
Grow your network and your business with Luxury Presence
No one runs a successful business alone, and real estate is no exception. Real estate referral partners play a helpful role in building a lucrative real estate brand and business. These partnerships can also give you deeper ties to your community and build your long-term confidence as a professional. You’ll see quality real estate referrals flowing in when you team up with reputable professionals in your area.
If you want to connect with top-producing agents, get more quality referrals, and bring in more business, get in touch. We offer an exclusive Referral Network and Global Listing Feeds that allow agents and brokers to connect with like-minded professionals and cross-market each other’s listings. Click here to learn more about how we can help you expand your network and grow your business.