As a real estate agent, you are an influencer. Your clients work with you because of your industry experience and local knowledge. They want you to influence the important decisions that they’re about to make when purchasing or selling a home.
But your influence extends beyond helping people choose where to live or how much to pay. The relationship you’ve cultivated with your clients uniquely positions you between homeowners (consumers) and the local businesses that support your community. This is where your local knowledge and influence can continue to support your clients post-close, as well as support your local economy.
Why should I care whether anyone shops locally?
Hopefully this is not a question you need to ask … but just in case, I’ll answer it. Supporting local businesses creates jobs for residents and preserves your community’s character. A vibrant local economy will keep your community a desirable place to live and ensure that your market continues to be a fun and profitable one for you to work in.
There are compound effects at work here, too. Studies show that dollars spent locally are more likely to get spent locally again and again.
How much of an impact could I possibly have on your local economy?
The answer is “a lot.” Do you know that homeowners in the United States spend $400 billion annually on their homes? New homeowners make up a huge piece of that; they spend between $4,000 and $5,000 more than existing homeowners in the first year after purchasing a home. That’s a lot of cash that needs to be spent somewhere.
Do my clients want to hear what I think?
Absolutely! Purchasing a new home and moving into it are stressful times. It becomes even more stressful if they have to struggle to find quality home service providers they can trust. It can take years of living in a community before you fully develop your Rolodex of dependable home service providers. Your clients will be thrilled to know that you’ve already done that work for them.
Do they need a contractor? You probably know several who are trustworthy, will charge a reasonable rate and can provide a high level of service to your clients. Are they purchasing new furniture or window coverings? Are they looking for some kid-friendly restaurants? Put them in touch with the local businesses that will take care of them and their families the way that you did.
Will all this altruism pay off?
You are performing an incredibly valuable service for your clients. This is a low-effort, high-reward service that cements your status as “local expert” and will keep you “top of mind” for years after you’ve sold them a home. You’ll also be providing an incredibly valuable service to the local businesses and service providers that you recommend. They will be grateful for the business you are delivering to them, and in turn, they will recommend business back to you.
Most importantly, by supporting your community and the local economy, it will demonstrate to your community that you are invested in it and that you are doing your part to support local prosperity.
How do I begin?
Start by compiling and organizing your list of local businesses and home service providers that you or past clients have worked with and love. Start with 20 and expand it from there. Make sure this list is readily available and you are able to easily distribute it to your clients (preferably electronically, using software that you can update regularly).
Make sure your clients have this list even before they purchase their home. It will provide comfort to know that they are moving into a community armed with the resources that you’ve accumulated over your career.
And make sure the local businesses know you are recommending them. They’ll appreciate the support and will be sure to treat your clients with the high-level service they deserve.
Rob Morelli is the CEO and co-founder of HomeKeepr, a Realtor-branded platform that connects homeowners to a network of trusted local businesses.