Service-oriented companies, like property management businesses, require clients. Developing strong referral relationships can be an extremely effective way to grow. However, building a top-notch referral network is not as simple as it might seem.
Recruiting and managing a group of partners adds another layer of work to your business. In addition to maintaining relationships with vendors, prospects, and clientele, you must also nurture relationships with partners and be accountable to satisfying THEIR unique needs and expectations.
Before you start or expand your property management business referral network, it’s beneficial to spend some time identifying business goals and establishing organized processes. This type of forethought and planning will lay a good foundation for success.
Is your property management business ready for referrals?
Before you initiate a referral strategy, take time to evaluate your property management business. Can the business and personnel handle the potential growth and additional expectations?
When you receive a referral from a partner, there are 2 people to satisfy – the referred prospect and the referral partner. If you are delivering a “wow” experience to your current clients, then your business is a referral magnet. Recruiting partners and satisfying their referrals should be a cinch.
However, if your property management business is struggling to satisfy existing owners and tenants, resolve those issues before you launch a referral program. Organized systems, like the templates offered by LandlordSource, will help you create the kind of consistency required to deliver excellent service over and over again.
Who should I choose for referral partners?
1. Existing Clientele
Existing rental property owners and tenants are excellent sources for referrals. The people they send your way are most likely some of your hottest leads because your owner or tenant has already done some convincing. When they recommended you, they most likely validated your expertise and raved (in a good way!) about your services. If your property management company excels at fulfilling promises to current clients, you’ll naturally get referrals from them.
2. Relevant Local Professionals and Businesses
Although owners and tenants are an excellent source of hot leads, the referrals you get from them will probably trickle in. To expand company visibility and turn up the volume of leads, consider establishing partnerships with related professionals and businesses. Look for businesses that have contact with and influence over your target clients.
- real estate agents / relocation experts
- other property managers
- real estate investment educators
- mortgage brokers
- estate or real estate attorneys
- home maintenance / improvement vendors
- local businesses
Your business reputation is one of your most valuable assets. You work hard to earn trust and respect for your property management business. Select partners carefully! When you establish referral relationships with other businesses, your reputation becomes intertwined with that of the referral source. Carefully select referral partners that align with your ethics, business practices, and commitment to service. Make sure you feel good not only about receiving a partner’s referrals, but also about referring business to them.
3. Online Businesses and Associations
Some referrals will come to you directly, like an investor who gets your name from their real estate agent. These referrals are easy to track and reward.
Make sure you also evaluate opportunities for indirect referrals. Look for potential partners who have a strong online presence and/or well developed email list. These businesses (or associations, like NARPM®) can become a excellent sources of website traffic for you (and you for them). Find ways to become visible to their online “audience”, like contributing a guest blog post with links to your website or advertising in an email newsletter.
Are you serious about putting together a referral partner program for your property management business? Then I challenge you to take the next 30 days to evaluate your company’s “readiness” and brainstorm a list of potential partners.
In part 2 of this series, Grow Your Property Management Business Through Referrals, I will give you some insight about creating a referral partner program and tracking the referrals you receive.
Has your property management business created a successful referral partner program? Share some words of wisdom. What is working well? What would you do differently?
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.
Thank you for sharing your experiences Glenn. Have a Happy New Year!
Vendors are not just Service Providers, both should look at ways to assist each other in growing a “referral” relationship.