Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him. Booker T. Washington
I am incredibly fortunate that approximately 70% of my business this year will arrive through personal referrals from friends, family, past clients and agents with whom I have done business in the past. This number varies over the years, higher some years and lower others but is always a reliable and consistent source of business. My referral business is built on one primary factor; TRUST. "Referrals are the highest form of compliment I can receive from a past client" - I see this written on the backs of business cards, beneath signatures, and repeated endlessly at closings. For me, this is not just an empty platitude, it must be backed up with reliability, professionalism and real service! I have a very good track record going back many years that has been built on a relationship of reliance. If I say I am going to do something I do it!
When I first joined ActiveRain last summer, one of my goals was to establish contact and build relationships for referrals across the country. This turned out to be one of the most amazing aspects about the community. In the past I have had to rely on various networks, catalogues and brochures to find someone and this proved to be a difficult proposition. I would look over various descriptions, profiles etc. and finally find someone to call. At that point, I would have a brief conversation and if everything seemed okay, pass along the information. With this scant amount of discussion I was passing along the trust of someone who trusted me. I have very high standards for my clients and want the referred agent to treat my clients in the same manner as I would.
Webster's Online Dictionary defines trust as: 1 a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b: one in which confidence is placed
The key is learning about people and getting to know them over time through the communication provided here at ActiveRain. First impressions are important but here we have the inimitable opportunity to read others posts along with comments that reveal us more openly and deeply and at a visceral level that cannot be hidden. I will admit that I have seen comments, posts and behavior that is unappealing to me personally but I can assure you I am not judging anyone, I realize that there are some people out there for whom professionally and to some degree, personally, I am not a good fit which is just fine.
On the other hand, since joining Active Rain, I have had the great fortune of establishing some phenomenal relationships with brokers, agents, lenders, stagers, marketing gurus, artists and the general public that I absolutely value. The best part of the site, for me is the ability to genuinely get to know someone over time through the discourse offered and the communication between the members. One of the first people I met in person was Jason Crouch. I read a number of his posts and thought I would just call him up and ask him about the site and get to know him. We had an absolutely enjoyable time and I can tell you from personal experience he is as interesting and bright as you would imagine while at the same time devoid of any ego or attitude that all of us sometimes witness in this business. He was open and helpful and we have since become friends as we have gotten to know each other over time. Our companies and areas of business focus are different (geographically more than anything) and so recently, when I received a very good lead that was not in my particular area of expertise (or any of my associates) I immediately thought of Jason. AND WHY NOT, it's better to send good business to someone I trust so that we can all benefit (the client in particular) rather than just leaving them to call the next number they find in a phone book, the newspaper, online or from a yard sign.
I can tell you unequivocally that I have met at least two dozen people here (so far) whom I would not hesitate sending business all across the country because of the relationships I have established and nurtured here. Now that I think of it, I am going to write a post and mention everyone I am talking about (Y'all already know who you are)because my experience here has been the most exciting new thing to enter my world as a real estate broker in years!
Thanks to ActiveRain and I look forward to meeting more of you in the future!