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Thinking Outside the "Relo" Box

May 01 2017

moving boxes family 1

Want to try a new niche for drumming up business? Consider specializing in relocations. Not only can you capture new clients who are moving into your area, you can generate passive income by referring leads moving out of your area to other agents.

Jumping into the relocation game can be easier than you think—provided you have a plan of action. Local small to mid-size organizations are the key here, says ReferralExchange, a company with years of experience in helping Realtors refer their clients to trusted out-of-town agents.

To find out if your market is a good place to grow a relocation business, ask yourself if your area has any of the following:

  • Military base
  • Boarding school
  • Regional retailers
  • Local pro or semi-pro sports team
  • Universities and colleges
  • Small to mid-sized companies

Most areas do, and agents can build partnerships with these organizations to find new clients and outbound referral opportunities. Here's how.

1. Know their needs, know your value. First, let's understand why organizations like those above may want to partner with a real estate agent. Many of these companies are constantly moving employees in and out of the area, but aren't big enough to have a relocation department. You can fill this void at no cost to the company by offering to act as their in-house relocation company.

2. Speak to the benefits manager. The next step is knowing who to talk to at the company to get your foot in the door. Typically, this will be whoever manages benefits in the Human Resources department. Benefits are expensive, and as competition for top job candidates intensifies, companies are looking for extra benefits that cost them little (or no) money. Go in and offer to be their relocation expert. Not only can you help new hires and transfers, but you can build a reputation as a real estate expert by holding home buyer/seller events on site.

3. Put together an expanded listing/buyer presentation. You can sell yourself to the benefits manager like you sell yourself to your clients—just make your current listing/buyer presentation is more corporate focused or focused on more than a single neighborhood to cover the area where most of the company's employees live. As an added bonus, include testimonials from current employees if you have them.

4. Get to work! Once an organization agrees to partner with you, figure out how you'll offer your expertise and services. You can host on-site "lunch and learns." This is a great way to give employees a break without having to leave their office. You can offer knowledge on a specific topic—buying a first home, for example—and answer any questions workers might have. Provide lunch—either an easy brown bag option, or bring in pizza or sandwich platters.

ReferralExchange has even heard of one agent that has a cubicle at a local company. They hold regular office hours so that if employees have questions about buying or selling property, they can just go down to the agent's cubicle for answers or set an appointment. The agent posts their in-office hours on the company's intranet site so that workers know they can get the information they need right at their office.

5. Refer out extra business. With enough time and effort, agents may find themselves with too much business. Of course, you'll refer out clients leaving your area, but don't be afraid to refer excess leads to other agents, especially if those leads don't fit your business (e.g., you prefer working with sellers over buyers). You can earn lucrative referral fees from doing this. ReferralExchange is a platform that makes referring clients to trustworthy agents simple. You can learn more here.