In Part One of this series, we discussed the criteria that defines what makes an individual or company a good partner. In review, to be considered a well-matched partner, each business should meet the following criteria:
- 1. They are non-competing
- 2. They share the same target audience
- 3. They have a good reputation
- Weighing in the three factors mentioned above, we moved into identifying the best industries to source real estate agent partners. We explored, in depth, specific businesses that work collaboratively with real estate professionals. Now it’s time to delve deeper into how to find great partners. We will explore ways to leverage your partnerships and detail why you need a strong partnership network.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Part One, take a look before you read the information we are presenting here.
How To Find Great Partners
Now that we have thoroughly identified several great business partner industries and types, the next step is to create a targeted list. You are busy building your real estate business, so let’s keep this step simple and easy. The specific companies on your list should have all three of the main characteristics of a well-matched partner. Use the techniques below to build your targeted list of strategic partners.
Ask your friends for recommendations
Finding amazing partners can be as simple as asking around for recommendations; your friends are a great source. They are easy to access and you already have their contact information. Because each of your target partners must have a great reputation, it makes sense to rely on the referrals of people you trust. If your friends are willing to brag on their positive experiences with a business or sole proprietor, your real estate clients may like them as well.
It’s a smart idea to begin your quest for strategic business partners in the same way your clients would, and that’s with an online search. When performing your search, use local keywords to narrow down the search results to businesses in the area(s) where you do or plan to do most of your business. Look for local businesses that may have something to gain from partnering with a Realtor. Strategic partnerships are designed to be win-win scenarios, so make sure you can offer a benefit to the businesses you select.
In today’s technology-driven world, 97 % of consumers now use online media when researching products or services in their local area. (BIA/Kelsey)
According to Brightlocal, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business.
Keep this information in mind when building your partnership network. Your clients will follow through on your recommendations because they trust you as a local expert. You want to be sure that your partners handle your clients’ needs with as much care and professionalism as you do.
Attend non-real estate industry networking events
If you aren’t already a member of local networking groups, you should look into the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club in your targeted community. Most of them have an online events calendar for visitors to browse. These types of organizations regularly hold networking events for business owners in their respective communities; sometimes they require membership, but many of their networking events are free and open to the public. Networking events allow you to meet more people and begin building connections all in one setting, saving you the time and effort of sending emails or going door to door.
Another great source for networking event information is Facebook groups. If you haven’t joined groups of business professionals in your city, now is the time to do it. Oftentimes, these types of groups host in-person networking events and send out electronic invitations directly through Facebook. This allows you to see the list of who is and isn’t planning to attend. Before the event, go through the list of attendees and take a few minutes to learn about their businesses. Beforehand, you can create a list of guests you’d like to connect with while at the event.
Networking events are a sure way to connect with strategic partners, so consider hosting your own luncheon or dinner. To do this without incurring high out-of-pocket expenses, visit locally-owned restaurants that have separate dining rooms for small groups. In exchange for a boost in business, ask them to reserve the room for free. After you’ve booked a date and time, get busy sending out those Facebook e-invitations to members of your groups. All you need to provide are name tags and a short speech.
4 Powerful Ways to Leverage Your Partnerships
Leverage their customer networks
Your strategic partners should have a strong book of local business, and because your target audience is the same, their customers are very likely to be homeowners. Ask them to promote your business in a mutual exchange. In return for them referring clients to you, use your personal website to showcase your new partners as local experts.
Leverage their successes
If you’ve made smart connections, you have joined teams with successful people. If they’ve mastered local marketing, and you’re still trying to get more recognition, ask your partners to share their successes with you. They can provide you with tips about what works to reach your target audience or the recipe to their own successes.
Leverage their connections
Ever hear the phrase, “It takes one to know one”? Well, when we are talking about successful people, it’s true. Forward-thinking business owners make connections with like-minded entrepreneurs with whom they exchange new ideas and information. Throughout your career you will develop rapport with successful people your partners don’t know. Grow your networks together by introducing your connections to each other.
Leverage your combined value
In strong strategic partnerships, each party has value to provide to the other. Put your services together and create discounted packages for customers who work with both of you. For an even more powerful impact, join forces with a group of businesses to offer a full service discount package to clients. The more money people can save, the more value they perceive an offer to be.
As you maneuver through these four impactful steps, always remember that partnership is a two-way street. For everything you gain, you should also have something of value to give to your partner.
Why Realtors Need a Network of Strategic Partners
Real estate agents need a network of strategic partners because it is a faster way to generate business and gain credibility in your community. The more active referral sources you have, the more houses you’ll sell. To make the most of the real estate partnerships you create, you’ll need valuable online tools like a personalized website and digital marketing to help promote your brand and your partners’. Take a look at our recent blog about how digital tools can help you grow your real estate business.