It’s often said that it’s not what you know but who you know that makes you successful. For every real estate professional, both are important. You have exclusive resources as an agent—both proprietary tools and relationships with other professionals throughout the industry—helping you to deliver top-notch service to your clients. We’ve talked about how you can use your knowledge and experience in real estate to defend your worth to clients who question your commission. Lastly, you also can use your connections in the community to demonstrate your commitment to what you do and where you live—and your value as an agent. Here are seven ways your connections can highlight the benefit of your services to clients, drawn from our book 31 Reasons Your Real Estate Agent Is Worth Their Commission.
You get inside information about the community. You know local government officials, developers, business owners, and members of state and regional boards. Through these relationships, you have inside knowledge about upcoming municipal plans, developments and community improvements, and neighborhood events—all of which can have profound effects on the trajectory of housing in your area. You have your pulse on the community and exclusive information that can be invaluable to buyers and sellers.
You work with entities that maximize exposure for listings. Your local MLS and other marketing co-ops provide avenues to you, as a REALTOR®, to improve the exposure of your seller’s property to the market. Helping you to expand your reach to potential buyers, your involvement with these groups gives your clients a behind-the-scenes look at how their property is being received. That can give them important ideas for how to improve their home’s presentation. Working with marketing co-ops also helps to standardize the industry, weed out unethical participants, and build positive reputations. These are all direct positives to you and your client.
Your connections can benefit your client’s bottom line. You know the most competitive movers, inspectors, landscapers, roofers, painters, exterminators, and other contractors who offer services your clients need at reasonable prices. This can be a real money- and time-saving boon to your customers. These contractors also value your ability to bring them business, which fosters goodwill and ensures they will take care of your clients. On the flip side, you have the ability through relationship building to inform your clients which vendors not to engage with. This helps your clients avoid unscrupulous service providers.
If you don’t know the answer, your connections do. You have access to your broker, other agents, lenders, real estate attorneys, and others who have expertise about virtually any part of the real estate transaction. If they can’t answer a question for your client, it’s likely they know someone in their inner circle who can. Ford Motors President Henry Ford once said, “I have a row of electric buttons in my office. All I have to do is press one of them to call the person who can answer any question on any subject I wish to know, relative to the business at hand.” You are just like Ford—in real estate, that is.
You glean specialized knowledge from exclusive professional groups. You have resources and information only professional agents can access. Your local REALTOR® association helps you adhere to industry ethics, grow your skill base through education, and understand regulations that are pertinent to the transaction. Real estate networking groups with private membership and exclusive business opportunities also help you find new ways to serve your clients more effectively. These relationships can be especially valuable in situations where your clients are relocating outside the state and need the services of another reputable agent whom you may know.
Your team stands behind you. No person is an island. Everyone needs support to get the job done right. Whether you have an official, structured team or one rooted in camaraderie with colleagues, you have a backup who can help serve your clients in your absence. That will benefit your clients who need quick answers when you’re unavailable or just need to talk to someone for reassurance when they get nervous. It’s not a perfect practice, but the spirit of teamwork is strong in the real estate community, and that’s something your customers will appreciate.Your connections hold you accountable. The real estate business is not for the faint of heart; it can be complex, exhausting, and often frustrating. Your sphere of influence is also a support group, filled with knowledgeable and skilled people who have a vested interest in seeing you succeed. They remind you and work with you to do the best job you can for your clients. They reinforce your own set of ethics and ideals, and they push you to go beyond what is required from you as a professional. That directly influences the agent you want to be for your clients.