Marketing

Exclusive buyer agents’ group brings new referral service in-house

NAEBA connects consumers with its referral network

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With the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents’ new referral service, homebuyers have a new way to find their next agent.

Consumers can now visit a new page on NAEBA’s website, enter some basic information, and see a list of the approximately 170 buyer’s agents in the group’s referral network who work in their city or county of interest — at no cost to the user.

Currently, NAEBA processes each request manually, but on June 9, the operation will become automated, David Alvarez, consumer inquiry manager at NAEBA, told Inman.

In exchange for serving up leads to the agents in its database, NAEBA takes either 17 percent of their commission if the agent is a NAEBA member or 25 percent of their commission if the agent is not a member when a lead turns into a closed deal, he said.

NAEBA members are automatically added to the referral network.

In those locations where it doesn’t have at least one exclusive buyer’s agent already in its database, it has partnered with real estate pros “who appear to have buyers’ interests at heart by holding buyer-centric certifications and designations or who agree to fully represent buyers referred by us,” NAEBA Executive Director Kimberly Kahl said in a statement.

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(Alvarez pointed to the National Association of Realtors’ Accredited Buyers Representative credential as an example of a designation that would prompt NAEBA to possible add a nonmember agent to the network.)

The firm launched its referral service in October 2014 with a vendor, but has decided to take over operation itself. Since it’s been live, NAEBA has sent approximate 1,000 referrals to its network with roughly 70 of those turning into deals, according to Alvarez.

NAEBA, a nonprofit organization, believes consumers are harmed when a single agent represents both the buyer and seller on the same deal, and advocates for both those agents who solely represent buyers in transactions and buyers who are concerned about not getting fair representation from agents who also represent sellers.

“Our national headquarters often receives phone calls or emails from homebuyers who are unhappy with their real estate agent,” said NAEBA President Chris Whitehead in a statement. “One of the most common complaints is that their agent is only showing them homes listed with their agent’s brokerage. We know that won’t happen if their agent is an Exclusive Buyer Agent.”

Email Paul Hagey.