Helping One Another…In Business and Life!

Referrals...the lifeblood of many local businesses! Refer a friend to your favorite business professional!

Referrals…the lifeblood of many local businesses! Refer a friend to your favorite business professional!

One of the greatest joys in life is helping another human being, whether it be personally, emotionally, or professionally. I have always believed that you gain more from giving than receiving. Don’t get me wrong…it is great to receive, but it is not as fulfilling as when you give of your time, resources or expertise to others. Of course, I am speaking more about philanthropic endeavors, but the same can be seen in business. Knowing that your efforts to refer a prospective client to someone you know, like and trust can have the same personal impact as donating to a worthy cause. After all, what is a better cause than to help your friends be successful in business and life.

As a Rotarian (Past President of my chapter), I am all about giving back to the community and our world. Not to blow my own horn, but I am a Paul Harris Fellow (donated $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation), but that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg that constitutes my efforts in the community. I have traveled to Guatemala three times at personal cost to participate in the literacy project that my Rotary club sponsors and I have traveled to New Jersey to work on a home devastated by Hurricane Sandy. I am all about giving back as I am sure you are as well. This makes me feel good that I can help make a positive difference in our world. It’s been said that the greatest mark of a successful life is to make the world a better place because of you. Rotary gives me a way to do just that…make the world a better place. Thanks to Rotary’s efforts, we are very close to eliminating polio from the world.

One area that I haven’t been as successful to give back is through referrals. I have given some referrals over the years to my business connections in the Triangle, but not enough. Why? That is a great question and one I wish I knew the answer. I think it is because I haven’t made it a priority to look out for opportunities to give referrals. When I am working with a client, I tend to get caught up in giving them the special service for their purchasing or selling needs that I fail to see how I can impact them in a greater way by referring them to professionals that can help them beyond their real estate needs. Am I asking myself or them questions that will help me determine whether a connection of mine can help them? The answer is ‘no’…I’m not.

It isn’t easy to lead the conversation in directions that can bring out the needs of my clients and friends. I know I need to make a better effort to reach out to my contacts to see if they have a need for the services of my friends and business associates. Most of the referrals I have given over the years have been centered around their real estate needs such as a mortgage specialist or a home inspector. But their need for professional services does not end with the purchase or sale of their home.

What are some ways I can improve in this area? First of all, I can add specific questions on the questionnaire that I give buyers and sellers that ask some of these questions. Secondly, I can make a list of my preferred vendors and include it in the packet of information I give my buyers and sellers. But the most important thing I can do is listen better. As a real estate professional, I have trained myself to listen when someone mentions a real estate need, but I need to expand that to include other professions such as financial planners, marketing experts and any number of additional professions that could be helpful.

If you have a business that relies on referrals, I want to hear from you on how you give and receive referrals from other business professionals. Send me an email or comment on this post with your business, what type of clients/customers you need and how you give referrals. Help me help you!

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not include my own specific needs. I am looking for renters who are considering buying their first home. As one who specializes with First Time Homebuyers, I have the patience to listen to them and work with them on their own schedule…not pushing them to buy before they are truly ready to buy. I am also looking for homeowners who are looking to downsize or upsize because their family is growing. In this market, sellers are a premium and homes are selling quickly. I would love to work with your friends, neighbors or employees to get them into a great home.

In closing, I promise to do a better job referring business to others and in turn, I would ask that you keep Back Nine Homes and myself in mind when you encounter someone looking to buy or sell a home.

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