Real estate agents who go above and beyond for their clients are the ones who get referrals and returning customers. But, to be the ultimate real estate professional, you also have to serve as a concierge, connect to and coordinate with other professionals who provide the types of services a new homeowner (or home-seller) would find most helpful.
And it’s not enough to help clients look for the best solutions when they bring issues to your attention. Being able to perceive and anticipate your client’s needs before they’re made known will help you provide the right kind of assistance more rapidly.
This, of course, means that you have to know already who provides the right kind of assistance for any given situation. So, like a good concierge, you should have an A-level list of the best vendors in your area, preferably either vetted by you or vouched for by a trusted friend or colleague.
You probably already have a list of reliable vendors that include most or all of the following professionals:
- Insurance broker
- Mortgage broker
- Title company
- Real estate attorney
- Home stager
- HVAC specialist
- Home cleaning service
- Power washer
- Junk removal
- Termite and pest control
And that’s a decent start. But to be a rock-star real estate agent, you’ve got to think like a concierge and start preparing for even the most specific and obscure vendor needs. For example, a concierge vendor list would include:
- Water/septic specialists
- Gutter cleaner
- Window washer
- Pool and spa maintenance
- Custom builder
- Hardwood flooring specialist
- Custom tile repair
- Faux painter
- Specialty carpet cleaners and repair
- Closet designer and organizer
- Landscape architect
- Outdoor kitchen installer
- Smart home system installer
- Home security service provider
- Moving company for heavy/fragile items
- Insurance provider for rare/expensive/irreplaceable belongings
- Lender for private portfolios, physician loans, and self-employed clients
- Currency exchange calculator
- International tax attorney
- Private banker
- Trust attorney
You get the picture. And remember that it’s essential not to reserve your assistance for your wealthier clients. Any potential need your clients could have—regardless of their affluence or the size of your commission—you should be prepared to meet with this precise level of concierge service. Acting as a dedicated service provider rather than a salesman is a surefire way to build rapport and get referrals.
All right. You know what services you need to provide, and you may discover even more specific, obscure needs the more you work with clients. Now it’s time to BUILD THAT LIST.
Bet you were expecting to have to pound the pavement, or at least make a lot of phone calls. Don’t worry; it won’t be that involved. You can start by simply asking your friends, family, neighbors, and real estate colleagues for recommendations. If you’re the type of person who likes to see for themselves, attend networking events and get to know your local service providers. You can also join local LinkedIn or Facebook groups that focus on rating or recommending service providers. And if all else fails (who am I supposed to call about building a wine cellar??), Google it!
To be the ultimate REALTOR® concierge, you’ve got to maintain the best real estate vendor database possible! Start by strengthening your integrity and embracing a commitment to your client’s satisfaction and well-being. This means:
- Don’t accept kickbacks!
- Recommend the most qualified vendors, not the most expensive.
- Contact your clients after the vendor’s contract ends to ensure they are satisfied with the provider’s work. Ask them to assign the vendor a score.
- Only refer your clients to those service providers who consistently score the highest.
It may seem like a lot of work, but your effort into serving your clients well will return to you twofold in referral business from happy clients.