These days, a lot of people are on the move. A dynamic job market, rising home prices, and lifestyle changes have sparked new migration patterns across the country. Referrals are an excellent way to take advantage of this trend, as we’ve touched in a previous post. Since these moves often involve two transactions—the sale of an old home and the purchase of a new one—referrals allow you to earn income on both transactions, even if you aren’t directly representing your seller during the new purchase.
Relocations, often called “relos,” are essentially long-distance referrals. They are structured referrals that can generate very profitable business for your brokerage. You share the commission with the referrer but gain a qualified and motivated lead.
While some markets have a much higher relocation volume than others (think major metro areas, military bases, etc.), every town or city has transferees who need to know you’re there to help. How can you tap into these abundant leads and earn fee income for relocation leads you refer to others?
Here are five tips for building a relocation network and becoming the go-to brokerage for relocations in your market.
Every market has a relocation driver: a nearby business on a hiring spree, a military base, a college or university, and more. Some large companies have so many relocations that they have a dedicated department coordinating relocation services for their employees.
Once you know whom to target, you can focus your marketing efforts. Whenever possible, contact the relocation director, human resources director, or new hire coordinator to introduce yourself, share your expertise, and sell your services. Some relocation departments even sign exclusive agreements with local brokerages. Treat each relocation referral like an audition, because when your clients are satisfied, they are likelier to send even more referrals your way.
In addition to corporate departments dedicated to relocation, there are also entire companies that focus solely on relocation solutions. Some of these companies operate in specific markets, while others work nationally and even globally. These companies can be a major source of relocation leads for brokerages.
Many relocation companies have programs that allow you to become a registered relocation partner and receive leads that match your market and areas of expertise. Connecting with the relocation companies that frequently work in your area is another great way to boost your relocation business.
Many brokers are already familiar with trade organizations for real estate professionals like NAREB, NAR, and others. But did you know there are also organizations and associations for relocation professionals?
In the United States, the largest and most important of these associations is the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, which helps relocation experts learn and network. Membership in an association like Worldwide ERC® also makes you eligible for certain relocation certifications that can add credibility and professionalism to your marketing and work. There are also a variety of regional and statewide relocation associations you could join for local networking opportunities and more leads, such as the New England Relocation Council.
Transferees aren’t the same as typical brokerage consumers. They are often used to moving around and are familiar with the homebuying process, since they’ve usually completed the process at least once before. What they DO need is local expertise, and this is where you can stand out. Their priority is starting off on the right foot in their new hometown and finding a good home at a competitive price. Who better to ask than you?
To help market your service and demonstrate your expertise, create a packet for potential and current relocation customers. This packet might include helpful insights and tips homebuyers need, such as:
Relocations add an additional layer of complexity to already complicated real estate transactions. For starters, there are more parties involved in a relocation transaction: you might be dealing with a referring agent, a relocation company, a corporate client, or a combination. Each of these parties will likely require different types of forms, agreements, and fee structures, and you also have to manage communications between dozens of leads, agents, and relocation coordinators. In short, there are a lot of things to keep track of.
With dedicated relocation software, everything you need can be accessed and managed in one place. You’ll never miss an important email, skip signing or sending an important document, or have to follow up with a transferee to get additional information. You can create customized reusable plans to apply to each referral to standardize your workflow and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Some software will even connect you with other users so you can refer leads more easily. With the right software solution, you can handle more relocation business and close more deals for your brokerage.
Constellation1 Relocation is a web-based application that allows relocation directors and agents to manage all residential relocation and referral leads in a single app. Capture relocation leads from across the country, customize and streamline all referral agreements and forms, set up tailored action plans, and automate the lead management and follow-up process. Constellation1 Relocation processes more than 150,000 relocation leads annually and manages and sends more than 2 million relocation emails each year. To learn more, schedule a call with our Relocation experts today.