May 10, 2011
Would you Refer your REALTOR® to your Friends or Family?
by Kelly Skar
I guess that depends doesn’t it, like if the Agent did a great job for you and your partner and found you the most perfect home!
Let me ask a different question…Would you refer people to a REALTOR® that you have never met face to face?
You see them on various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, but you have never met them in person, you just really like what they stand for and how they are engaging online.
Some Background First before I go on…
I have been on Facebook since 2007, I had a Twitter account in 2008 but didn’t start using it until 2010 and Fouresquare the same time as Twitter. I used Facebook, at the start, primarily for connecting with old friends that I lost touch with and keeping tabs on my family like most people still do.
I got my license in August of that year and was still oblivious to the awesome power of the social network. I really did not start building and engaging my community on Facebook until the latter half of 2009.
Since then I have been able to make contact with different people from all over North America that I talk to and learn from on a regular basis. These relationships have turned into friendships and yes…even some referrals.
Would you refer a friend or relative to a REALTOR® that you had never met in person?
Now to the answer of the question above…Enter Scott Dawson, a Mortgage Professional, not from Calgary or Alberta, he is based out of Surrey, BC. He and I have had multiple conversations on Twitter as well as Facebook about the state of the economy, technology, and housing, to name but a few topics. I should also mention that Scott and I have never met Face to Face or In Real Life (IRL).
Scott obviously felt comfortable enough with my knowledge level and my skill set that he was able to put his trust in me and graciously referred me to some long time friends of his that were first time home buyers here in Calgary.
Scott and I were able to work together to help our clients to realize their dream of owning their own home, him in Surrey and me in Calgary.
So what is my point?
My point is this…Social Networks like the ones mentioned above allow the professional, not just REALTORS® and Mortgage Brokers, to connect with people in such a way that cold calling, direct mail, and billboard advertising never could.
I never would have sent Scott direct mail pieces or cold called him promoting myself because he does not live or work in Calgary, he is the better part of a 12 hour drive away!
He would have never known about me or me about him, but because of our interaction online, he felt like I was trustworthy enough to send his long time friends to. He felt comfortable making that referral because of our connection and relationship online.
Social Media and the Referral
You ask your friends for referrals all the time right? Whether they know a good mechanic, or where to get a great cup of coffee, or what is a good movie playing right now.
What would you say if you asked a friend for a referral to a Mortgage Broker or a REALTOR® and the answer was,” I know this guy, he is friends with me on Facebook and he seems like he knows his stuff, you should give him a call!”
Your obvious response would be, “Have you worked with him or know anyone that has?” This is obvious to me because I still find myself asking that when I get a referral to a business.
The answer in this hypothetical is going to be NO. What would your response be? Would you shrug it off or check that person out? Remember we ask our friends and family because we Trust their judgement.
These Social Networking sites give you the opportunity to “test out the goods” before you make a phone call or send an email. If you like what you see, you make the connection. If you don’t…you go back to “pounding the pavement” to find the right person that you feel is going to be the right fit.
About the Contributor
Kelley has consistently been in the top 5% in sales since he started full time in the real estate industry in 2008. He went through a major shift in his marketing plan at the end of 2009, recognizing the trend, and making the move towards digital marketing including websites, video, blogging and social media. Kelley is incredibly passionate about the use of technology and social media in his business and is often sought out for advice from other Agents from across North America. Kelley’s primary websites are: http://nwcalgaryliving.com and http://kelleyskar.com.