The Nature of Referrals

I’ve been wanting to address referrals here at Agent Genius for a while – not so much the logistics of it but the attitude behind them.  We can agree that the Internet has changed the way we do business in this industry – whether you are a Realtor, a mortgage broker, building inspector or whatever.

In the past 3 years, our Internet referral business has grown exponentially but there is always a dark cloud that hangs over a lot of the transactions either before they occur or after they are completed.   From the person that keeps referring leads that are not very strong and never come to fruition, to the friend of a friend who ends up not completing their part of the deal.

Whether we are on the giving or receiving end – sometimes these can get a bit complicated – could be paperwork, could be lack of response from actual clients and the result can leave a sour taste in your mouth.  I’m always beyond appreciative of referrals and will go out of my way to help those clients – I also don’t hold the referring party responsible for the clients’ lack of commitment or disloyalty but I know many in this business do.

We’ve had 3 referrals from the same source in the last 3 months and all have turned out to be working with other agents and not been very upfront with their objectives – although we kept on top of the communications with the referring source, I wonder if the client’s lack of commitment reflects on me.

I’ve also referred business to different local agents with different communication styles and even if they don’t close those deals have found that the ones that kept us in the loop are the ones that continue to get our business.   Disheartening when someone you trust ends up stabbing you in the back…..but that’s a different post for another occasion.

If you refer business, don’t consider that to be a gift either – some of those transactions can take more work that ever imagined, and it’s only right for you to be thankful that the client was taken care of – even if you helped someone make a buck.  I confess that the easiest money we make are referrals that we don’t have to move a finger with and we make sure we don’t ever forget that.

What I’m trying to say here is that in a business of referrals, we need to expect the unexpected and always keep communication channels open.   We need to be honest with ourselves about the level of commitment it will take to service those referrals and never hold the referrer hostage.

And when all else fails – just start drinking the kool-aid and come back and tell me if it helped.  As a mortgage friend of mind just reminded me this weekend when I was complaining about work….. It’s all in the ‘tude.

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