Working with Real Estate Agents

11 replies
Hey guys,

I run a professional moving company, and while I'm doing pretty well with leads from organic/paid search, and have a great referral system for previous clients, we have absolutely no connections with realtors.

I've been making a list of agents that have active listings on the market.

But I'm not sure what makes them tick (yes, I know, $$$, but what else?). Or how to get their attention.

Do I offer some sort of commission program (10-15%? more?)
Do I help provide value to their customers? I have plastic moving boxes that I rent out, maybe offer free rentals exclusively for clients (or $25 gift cards)?

Has anyone had any experience with working with real estate agents?

Appreciated!
#agents #estate #real #working
  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Find yourself independents, who have an open house coming up -- access to MLS if you're in the US comes in handy - design a flyer for their open house property, put all their contact info on it, put your contact info and slogan/offer, call them and tell them you've created a flyer for them and how many do they want you to print. You'll deliver the flyers a couple of days ahead of the open house.

    Find a mortgage broker, do the above, except now you have a mortgage broker info on the flyer and a mortgage broker paying for the flyers and a mortgage broker who knows real estate agents.

    When you talk to the mortgage broker, you ask him how he'd like it if you helped him spread the word and make at least one real estate agent friend for (whatever the price of 100 color flyers.)

    Agents are very concerned about having quick closings. They only get paid at closing.

    They are concerned about finding non-flaky buyers who have enough money, decent credit and a good enough job for the type of property the agent sells.

    If they represent the seller, they're concerned about the pre-approval not being real (loan officer didn't check anything or not enough about the would-be buyer).

    Originally Posted by jonlefave View Post

    Hey guys,

    I run a professional moving company, and while I'm doing pretty well with leads from organic/paid search, and have a great referral system for previous clients, we have absolutely no connections with realtors.

    I've been making a list of agents that have active listings on the market.

    But I'm not sure what makes them tick (yes, I know, $$$, but what else?). Or how to get their attention.

    Do I offer some sort of commission program (10-15%? more?)
    Do I help provide value to their customers? I have plastic moving boxes that I rent out, maybe offer free rentals exclusively for clients (or $25 gift cards)?

    Has anyone had any experience with working with real estate agents?

    Appreciated!
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    One thing you can do is do a presentation at the Broker's Meetings on Tuesday mornings (this is were you will find the bulk of the Realtors, together... at the same time). If you can offer some kind of benefit for the Realtors while giving your presentation, you can then try to sell your services afterwards.

    Bring flyers, business cards, etc. What benefits do you offer over Two Men and a Truck? Why is your moving company the best?

    Definitely offer the free plastic moving boxes. Free rentals on trucks??

    Do you have a tip sheet? "7 Important Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring A Moving Company..." etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author azTechnique
      One of the big things to do is make it easy for real estate agents to refer clients to you. Create a flyer or brochure that lists the benefits of using your moving company. Leave a space on the document for you to add the agent's information and picture/logo (makes it about them, not you). Client's are always asking agents if they can recommend a service to them. Agents want to be viewed as the go-to-agent that knows everything to help their clients. Do you have any testimonials and a good reputation? The last thing an agent wants is for their client to have a bad experience and that's their last impression of the agent (keep in mind this pain point).

      Keep in mind, not every agent is the same, in regards to what makes them tick.
      Feeding their ego and making them look good in their clients eyes, is a good route to take. What can you do for them? The agent.

      Do you own your own moving trucks? Some moving companies have made additional income by selling ad space on the sides of the trucks to real estate agents or their companies. It has pictures of them and a just sold sign in front of a house, for everyone to see while driving around town moving clients.

      One more thing, you are missing out on the other side of the transaction. Some agents work with buyers exclusively.

      The easiest thing to do is to drop off brochures at different real estate offices. Some offices have a dedicated space for brochures of real estate related services.

      Partner with some listing agents to sponsor their open house event.

      (I am a licensed real estate broker. Feel free to ask me any other questions.)
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      • Profile picture of the author jonlefave
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        Find yourself independents, who have an open house coming up -- access to MLS if you're in the US comes in handy - design a flyer for their open house property, put all their contact info on it, put your contact info and slogan/offer, call them and tell them you've created a flyer for them and how many do they want you to print. You'll deliver the flyers a couple of days ahead of the open house.
        I'm in Canada, so I have Realtor.ca to work from... which you can sort by "Open House Only"

        This is a great idea; creating a flyer for their open house and slapping my offer on it. I'll create some samples for some upcoming open houses and email them to the agent and see what they say. Thank you.


        Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

        One thing you can do is do a presentation at the Broker's Meetings on Tuesday mornings (this is were you will find the bulk of the Realtors, together... at the same time). If you can offer some kind of benefit for the Realtors while giving your presentation, you can then try to sell your services afterwards.

        Do you have a tip sheet? "7 Important Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring A Moving Company..." etc.
        Great idea! How do I get my foot in the door for these meetings? Contact the brokers' receptionist?
        (Side note: Luckily I'm an internet marketer turned small local business owner, so I have tones of marketing ideas that 90% of these realtors aren't using. )

        I'm working on a moving "awareness" guide as we speak -- implement that into the brochure?

        The moving boxes are an icing on the cake for some people; if they call a month before their moving date, I know they haven't started packing yet, so we help them save time and money by dropping off the plastic moving box rentals before their move. That way, it locks them in for using us as a mover, and it's a bit of an extra side-income if they need the boxes for more than a week.

        I'm also working on a USP for the business, since when I took over the company, it was just like every other moving company out there.

        Originally Posted by azTechnique View Post

        One of the big things to do is make it easy for real estate agents to refer clients to you. Create a flyer or brochure that lists the benefits of using your moving company. Leave a space on the document for you to add the agent's information and picture/logo (makes it about them, not you). Client's are always asking agents if they can recommend a service to them. Agents want to be viewed as the go-to-agent that knows everything to help their clients. Do you have any testimonials and a good reputation? The last thing an agent wants is for their client to have a bad experience and that's their last impression of the agent (keep in mind this pain point).
        The company I took over has been around for almost 50 years, and I've got about 20 testimonials and put in a "feedback" system to collect more.

        That's actually really interesting about what you said about client's are always asking agents if they can recommend a service to them. I had the idea of creating a "new home" coupon booklet of local reputable service companies, like carpet cleaners, painters, roofers, etc.

        What I'm still not quite clear with is -- should I offer commission on referrals? The average move is $700 to $1000... so is a 10-15% cut "worth it" to an agent? Or does that just complicate things?
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    Contact the Broker directly or speak to one of the admins and tell them you would like to do a presentation... here are the benefits your agents will get out of this... etc.

    Yeah, I'd put it into a brochure or a little guide.

    Maybe you can start selling info-products to Realtors for marketing they don't know about!! :-)
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  • I used to be in the real estate industry and my family still is. One thing that realtors look for like any type of business are referrals, repeat business and any way to benefit their client. If you can work out a referral exchange for the realtor or give a real estate office a benefit for their clients you would like to work with, that speaks louder than $$$ even.

    Many people when in their business try not to get side tracked by anything, even money if it is not coming from their current business, they often feel it is a distraction. One thing that I have used in the past that works very well is a coupon book.

    Join a solid networking group in your area and connect with some real estate agents, painters, handy men, carpet cleaners etc, all in the home industry and put together a discount book for all of your current clients and future clients.

    If you don't include real estate agents in this book you can take the coupon book to real estate offices providing them with a benefit for their clients when they are moving to save them money on the essentials of selling their current home and moving into a new one.

    This always works well because realtors do a great deal of referring and many of them don't know people for everything their clients need, but if they have a handy coupon book that provides them quality people with a quality product at a discount rate they will be happy and their clients will be even happier!

    hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author baxterblue
    All good suggestions in this post!

    I don't think a Realtor can take a commission for a outside service they promote to their clients. I could be wrong but something tells me it would be against their "Ethical Contract" or whatever it's called now.

    Have you thought of going though the Realtor's / Broker's web site and search their listings? Have a nice post card designed promoting your services and do a mailing every week to the newly listed homes.

    Another avenue would be to talk with the building managers at Retirement housing complexes. Ask the manager if you could place a nice display with brochures in the lobby, where all the Retirees visit before the showing of the property.

    I would think that property managers would love to work with moving companies since you know what your doing and damage to the property would be at a minimum, if at all.

    The older demographic would seem to be perfect fit for you since hiring a moving company is more or less a necessity for them.

    One other quick thought... Maybe talk to the Mortgage Brokers in your area. With the housing market starting to come back, I am sure they are looking for "closing incentives". "Borrow with us and save on your moving expenses". - You get the idea.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author ItsMikeyC
    Hi Jon, I'm in real estate for my day job, so I thought I'd let you know what the fastest growing moving business in my area is doing to stay at the top of mind with the local agents.

    A rep from their business popped by our office with a 'bottomless box of mints'. The box looks like a moving truck in their colours with the top cut off, and a brochure stand on the back. Printed on the inside of the bottom of the box is 'call us on xxxxx when you need more mints'. The box has pride of place on our reception bench, and I've seen the same in most of my competitors offices too. Every two or three weeks, they pop back in for a chat and to top us up with mints.

    Then the 'law of reciprocity' kicks in. They top up the brochures too, and ask us if we can pass the brochures on to any buyers we meet, and if we can display their brochures at our open homes. Of course we can't say no, they've just given us freebies!

    It takes a bit of work, but it works! I've sent a few buyers to them now, and I'm starting to see their vans everywhere.

    Hope this is useful.

    All the best,
    Michael.
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    • Profile picture of the author jonlefave
      Originally Posted by ShawnAndrewWalker View Post

      One thing that I have used in the past that works very well is a coupon book.

      Join a solid networking group in your area and connect with some real estate agents, painters, handy men, carpet cleaners etc, all in the home industry and put together a discount book for all of your current clients and future clients.
      I'm definitely a coupon book now; it just makes sense, and the connections we'll make is invaluable. Thanks!

      Originally Posted by baxterblue View Post

      I don't think a Realtor can take a commission for a outside service they promote to their clients. I could be wrong but something tells me it would be against their "Ethical Contract" or whatever it's called now.

      Have you thought of going though the Realtor's / Broker's web site and search their listings? Have a nice post card designed promoting your services and do a mailing every week to the newly listed homes.

      Another avenue would be to talk with the building managers at Retirement housing complexes. Ask the manager if you could place a nice display with brochures in the lobby, where all the Retirees visit before the showing of the property.
      I figured about the commission thing... good to know!

      I thought about doing a 3-step mailing to houses listed on the MLS/Realtor sites, but in my area alone there's almost 1000 listings. The average house takes 6 months to sell here, so a weekly mailing could get quite expensive. I suppose I could narrow down my target audience to houses >$175K? I think a weekly would be more effective since it's A) target market and B) keeps us fresh in their minds. 3-step might be too narrow of a window.

      My area especially is an aging population. 1/4 are seniors and is projected to be 1/3 by the decade end. You're very right, that's an excellent target market.

      Originally Posted by ItsMikeyC View Post

      Hi Jon, I'm in real estate for my day job, so I thought I'd let you know what the fastest growing moving business in my area is doing to stay at the top of mind with the local agents.

      A rep from their business popped by our office with a 'bottomless box of mints'. The box looks like a moving truck in their colours with the top cut off, and a brochure stand on the back. Printed on the inside of the bottom of the box is 'call us on xxxxx when you need more mints'. The box has pride of place on our reception bench, and I've seen the same in most of my competitors offices too. Every two or three weeks, they pop back in for a chat and to top us up with mints.

      Then the 'law of reciprocity' kicks in. They top up the brochures too, and ask us if we can pass the brochures on to any buyers we meet, and if we can display their brochures at our open homes. Of course we can't say no, they've just given us freebies!

      It takes a bit of work, but it works! I've sent a few buyers to them now, and I'm starting to see their vans everywhere.

      Hope this is useful.

      All the best,
      Michael.
      Brilliant!!! I love the law of reciprocity. What a minty fresh idea. Appreciate it Michael!
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      • Profile picture of the author nikosmarlin
        Besides making a checklist for your moving home business, you will need a good moving company that can take all your belongings safely to a new place. All you will need is to choose it wisely.

        moving company dubai
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  • Profile picture of the author davidtrounce
    I like mickey's answer. Good marketing. You might also like to offer them a link on your website in exchange for some advertising on their printed material or on their website.
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