Supporting My Referral Based Networking with Online Activities: One Man's Plan
So I was thinking about the value of the personal connection I have with all of my referral based networking partners. The lunches, the phone calls, the weekly networking meetings and the excited phone calls when you have a referral to share with them.
Over the past year Mark Madsen and Mark Green have opened my eyes to the world of blogs and social networking and I’ve started to look at ways to integrate these ‘new’ tools into the very personal relationships I take great pride in building with my referral partners.
At first glance it would appear that the lack of that personal touch with referral partners would be detrimental to a strong referral based relationship. While I agree that the building of those relationships has typically been an ‘in-person’ process I am looking at ways to supplement those relationships, and leverage my time to develop more of them.
With everyone’s lives being so hectic I am finding that short, more frequent interactions with my referral partners is preferred to taking large chunks out of their day for what they may view as a sales call. I am also finding that most of my referral partners are extremely interested in getting up to date information on a regular basis that will help them to better serve their clients and grow their own businesses.
One of my primary goals for the next year will be to develop my online interactions via blogging, social networking and other endeavors to achieve the following four goals:
1. Enhance the relationships I currently have with my strong referral partners. I will provide timely and accurate information that will save them time researching important items and help them build their businesses by identifying new clients and new opportunities to serve current clients.
2. Offer opportunities for joint marketing and online presence to bring more business to my strongest referral sources. I love to give back and I’m always looking for ways to do this. I see an improvement in my online presence as a great way to do just that!
3. Enhance relationships with my current and past clients. We always try to create such a great experience that they become referral sources themselves.
4. Become a known expert in the field and develop ways to create new business from borrowers and new referral sources so that they seek me out when they have mortgage needs. Wouldn’t it be great to have people seeking you out instead of having to ask them to give you some of their time?
Being new to the online scene I am, of course, a bit nervous about not doing this correctly. Luckily I have some great mentors and a thirst for wanting to do this correctly. As we all know – in Real Estate there are only 3 things that matter: location, location, location.
My mantra for my new approach will be 6 things:
Quality, Quality, Quality
Content, Content, Content
I’m looking forward to learning more from all of the masters in this field. I am especially excited to meet everyone in person at The Mortgage Revolution! (Hmmm, I believe many of the masters have already achieved goal #4 – they’ve become experts and they’ve been sought out. Now I’M excited to meet THEM! Now that’s what I’m going for with new referral partners!!!) Imagine if we could get referral partners to find us online and get excited about meeting us . . .
So now comes the hard part – getting over the anxiety and just doing it. I always want to do things ‘right’ from the start but I’m learning that there really isn’t a ‘right’ way to do this. There are definitely some wrong ways but if I stay on track I don’t need the perfection, I just need to get going!
I’ll leave you with a thought from an interview with Linked In founder Reid Hoffman. When asked about starting Linked In and getting something out instead of waiting until they had achieved perfection out of the gate he remarks:
“I frequently tell Internet entrepreneurs, “If you’re not somewhat embarrassed by your 1.0 product launch, then you’ve released too late.” There’s value in launching early, getting engaged with customers, and learning from them. That can direct your progress.”
VERY transferable advice!
See you online!!