If you’ve got a ghostbuster in your little black book of preferred vendors, kudos to you, because that’s pretty spectacular. You never know when a client will need a good ghostbuster – more often than not, though, they’ll need a reliable plumber, painter or general contractor, and when they call on you for people you know and trust who can help them, you’d better have your little black book ready.
Earlier this year, I bought a new home – and quickly realized just how important it is for every agent to have reliable affiliates they work closely with and can recommend at a moment’s notice. I needed a good water-sealing company, sump pump repair, electrician, roof deck expert and trash compactor repair, one after the other – and I haven’t even been in this condo a year! Luckily, its positives outweigh the annoying repairs I’ve had to do (I’m knocking on wood right now), and with everything I’ve had to fix, it’s only made my place better.
Now, I used a newer agent with my transaction, so he hadn’t really built up a big network of affiliates. He did give me a few referrals when I asked him who I could call for some of these repairs – one of whom was a general contractor who had problems returning my calls in a timely manner – but I mostly relied on referrals from homeowner friends of mine. I was lucky many of their referrals panned out, but it would have been nice if my agent could have referred me to more reliable tradespeople he knew of instead of referring me to ServiceMagic.com.
Agents who think that their job once the home is sold and the keys are in their client’s hands is done are mistaken – well, if they want any referrals from past clients, that is. Even though ServiceMagic.com is a great site to find companies to help, if that’s the only place I found experts from, I wouldn’t have rested easy…it’s a little bit easier and more comforting knowing that an electrician or water-sealing company comes highly recommended from my agent because he or she knows of their work and reputation firsthand.
You have to keep up the customer service and be ready with whatever past and present clients need in order to gain future business. Is it me, or does it seem like an agent’s work is never done?