How to Build a Strong Preferred Vendor Network
When prospective home buyers and sellers begin to look for a real estate agent to work with, one of the most commonly mentioned traits that they want their agent to possess is a strong professional reputation. Although it is not required, one of the most effective ways to grow and maintain a successful reputation in real estate is to form strong relationships with local vendors. It is highly uncommon to purchase a home that is absolutely perfect and does not contain any cosmetic or material defects, even with new builds! Going above and beyond to have a list of vetted, highly qualified vendors on hand to assist your clients with any necessary further evaluations or repairs will help you stand out among other agents.
Team Axium takes pride in our network of highly screened vendor partners that we refer to clients when defects arise during inspections and further evaluation is needed. We wanted to share some tips on how to develop a strong list of preferred vendors/partners and help you make the most of referral networks.
Do Your Research
Before you can produce a list of vendors to refer to your clients, you need to do some research. It is important that your list contains only highly qualified companies to match your level of exceptional service as an agent. A great place to start this process is to brainstorm a list of service categories that you know you will need to include in your network (Electricians, HVAC specialists, Plumbers, Structural Engineers, etc.) If you are unsure of where to start, think back on common questions, needs and issues from your previous clients and jot down some notes. Try to be as broad as possible so that you have at least one vendor to recommend for each service category that someone may need. It is also important to try to have at least one back up for each category in the event that a company is unavailable when your client needs them.
Find the Top-Notch Experts
Now that you have a list of vendor categories you know you need to look for, there are a few different places that Team Axium recommends directing your research to ensure that you find strong partners as you expand your network. The internet is by far the best resource to utilize when looking for strong recommendations. Websites like Google, the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Facebook and Angi provide important insight into the company’s history as well as the quality of service that it provides for its clients.
When researching companies, it is important to pay close attention to things like:
- The number of total reviews left for the business.
- The total overall review rating (1-5 or A-F scale).
- The number of years the company has been in business.
- The company’s general pricing. Is it competitive?
- What guarantees and/or warranties do they offer their clients?
- Their website. Is the company’s mission and scope of services clear? Does it have clear contact information listed?
- Do they offer last minute appointments? Are they open on the weekends?
Once you have developed a solid list of vendors, we recommend creating a word document or spreadsheet to have on hand for your clients as the need for a referral arises.