Realtor-to-Realtor Referrals and Favors

Neighbors ” at least once upon a time, and NOT during a pandemic ” used to borrow a cup of sugar from one another.

What do Realtors borrow from each other?

Far and away, the number #1 request is for Open House signs.

Realtor request #2?

Trusted contractor recommendations — often ASAP.

One of the great things about working at Edina Realty – City Lakes is the wealth of contacts and connections available to agents, just by knocking on someone’s door, or networking a “Does anyone know . . . ?” email to colleagues.

“Who’s Asking?”

In general, the agents making such requests fall into two categories: 1) “newbies” just starting out, who don’t know anyone in the business, and haven’t yet built up their inventory of “Open House” signs and custom sign riders (“Price Reduced”, “Lakefront,” etc.); and 2) Realtors looking for a type of contractor whose services are only infrequently needed, if at all (hopefully).

The “seldom needed” list includes odor remediation; structural engineering (to opine about the integrity of a home’s foundation); animal or insect control; property surveying; and chimney repair.

By contrast, even new agents quickly build up a roster of favorite home inspectors, mortgage lenders, handymen, stagers, remodelers, and radon remediators who they’ve cultivated relationships with, and can recommend to colleagues.

If they’re willing to.

No Repeat Business 

In that vein, I’m aware of a certain veteran agent who ” despite decades in the business ” never seems to know a good plumber or electrician, and is always canvassing colleagues for referrals.

In fact, the Realtor knows plenty of qualified contractors.

It’s just that they never want to work with the particular agent again, because she (or her clients) are reportedly so demanding, and — at least occasionally — slow to pay (I’d never use the word “stiff”).

I don’t volunteer any names to her, because I value and protect my relationships . . .

P.S.: On the receiving end of such referrals, I always try to qualify whether the referring agent has personally worked with the contractor in question, and the nature of their relationship.

Good omen: “Sue has originated dozens of mortgages for my clients, and is a dream to work with!”

Not so good: “Steve is my brother-in-law, and just started selling home insurance.”

See also, “How NOT to Get Repeat Referrals“; and “Contractor “Win, Place or Show.'”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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