By Kevin Sears, MAR Past President and NAR Director
In my 17 years as a REALTOR®, I have come to rely on the referral networks that I have developed and cultivated to provide me with a constant source of quality leads. There are several types of referral networks that, while different, can all work together to complement each other. Whether it involves your sphere of influence, industry colleagues, business professionals, or the general public, you need to be readily available and responsive to their needs.
Your success may be determined by your involvement and your willingness to grow and expand your networks.
When I was a new REALTOR®, my broker (and father) sent me to our local REALTOR® Association and he instructed me to sign up for three committees. And so it began. Who’d have known then that 16 years later I would have the honor and privilege of serving as president of the
Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®? The involvement in the local
committee meetings and events introduced me to experienced local REALTORS®, which allowed me to build a foundation for successful future transactions. This also exposed me and my area of expertise to them. Lastly, I was able to establish relationships with affi liate members, which built a mutually beneficial source of referrals. Repeat these steps at the
state and national association levels, and before you know it, you are the
go-to REALTOR® in your market, and then your state.
Involvement in the REALTOR® associations impressed upon me the importance of being politically involved. This led me to attend many political events, whether to support a candidate or to attend a town hall or state house meeting. When meeting with politicians, it is important to stick to housing-related issues and offer your opinion as an expert in the field. Have facts, and rely on them to build your credibility, then you can become the REALTOR® that elected officials will turn to for the answers they need.
The more I got involved with the Association and politics, the more exposure I received from the local media. As you build your credibility as an expert, establish media relationships and be readily available to them. Be concise, know the facts, and become a trusted source that they will want to come back to for future interviews.
Join other types of clubs, whether it is professional, social (Chamber, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.) fraternal, church-based, athletic (for your children’s sports), or ethnic. Get involved there as well. Let your involvement, along with your increased media exposure, build your business and keep the
referrals coming in.
Lastly, and most importantly, you must continue to work your sphere of influence. Because if you don’t, somebody else will!