Marketing

Treat clients with grace and you’ll get more referrals and relocation business

Relocation directors talk shop at LeadingRE's annual conference

LAS VEGAS — Winning referrals is all about attitude, says Deborah Benavides, director of relocation and corporate services for Wisconsin-based brokerage Shorewest Realtors.

Benavides was one of 10 relocation directors who led a roundtable discussion on relocation and referral business at the annual conference of the global independent brokerage network Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) taking place this week in Las Vegas.

LeadingRE, which gives its 535 members in 50 countries a broader footprint than they would have alone, has grown in recent years and is one factor behind the recent boom of independent brokerages.

Deborah Benavides

Deborah Benavides

Whether agents deal with a local buyer or with a businesswoman from China with a different set of cultural habits and language skills, Benavides said those who know how to relate to prospects and clients on a human level get the most referrals.

The session reinforced to Benavides the importance of the simple and important core facets of relationship building: Do what you say you will; be on time; finish what you start; and say please and thank you. While she coaches Shorewest Realtors’ 950 agents to practice those principles, she said that that relationship grace is often simply a natural byproduct of a receptive and engaged outlook.

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The roughly 120 brokers and relocation directors in the room didn’t just learn a top-down approach for coaching up their agents on boosting their relocation and referral bedside manner.

Sheila Egger, relocation director at Henderson, Nevada-based Wardley Real Estate, said she’ll implement a peer-to-peer referral training system at her 285-agent firm after hearing other brokers in the session share their successes with similar programs.

Egger said she plans to round up some agents at her firm who are more adept at relating to clients from different cultures and closing referral leads and get them to share their insights with other agents in the firm’s relocation program.