Home > Networking > Who's in your business referral network?

Who's in your business referral network?

As many of you know, I'm trying to get into brokering used manufactured/mobile homes in leased lot communities (sort of like a real estate agent).

As I work on the business plan, I want to note that I will be building a long-term, mutually supportive business referral network as a vital part of my marketing.

These are the people I will be working with to create that network:

Community Park Management: These are the people that hear about homes being sold possibly quicker than anyone else. They are motivated to network with me to facilitate a quick sale as empty homes and lots distract from the community. I'm planning on offering a referral fee for both sellers and buyers.

Real Estate Agents: I can refer customers that are looking to move up to a real estate after they sell their park home. Perhaps they've got a client that just doesn't pre-qualify for anything they've got listed. We could work together to help a customer buy a manufactured home from me, and move it to land bought through the real estate agent.

Manufactured Home Dealers: I'm hoping for referrals of buyers that just don't quite qualify for a new home, and aren't interested in their trade-in stock. I will recomend them to potential buyers that aren't interested in my listings.

Mortgage Brokers: I can send interested buyers to them to get prequalified. They'll be able to offer my services to their customers if they don't quite qualify for more expensive real estate.

Insurance Agents: Again, I'll refer my interested buyers to them with the hope they'll refer business my way.

Repairmen and Contractors: Again they'll hear concerns about selling a manufactured home before others. Mutual referral of business.

Moving Companies: Both household movers, and manufactured home movers. I'll add link these on my website, and have a print version of local movers, in the hopes that they'll do the same.

Self Storage Facilities: Again a link and print list in the hopes of recomendations if they hear anything that could send business my way.

I'm sure they'll be many others (I'll happily accept suggestions), but you get the idea.

So, who's in your business referral network?

Pam - by LadySmith
Community Park Management: These are the people that hear about homes being sold possibly quicker than anyone else. They are motivated to network with me to facilitate a quick sale as empty homes and lots distract from the community. I'm planning on offering a referral fee for both sellers and buyers.
In most of the manufactured housing communities that I work in the parks have their own sales team. The park manager is my competition.

So, who's in your business referral network?
I have two parks that don't have a sales team that send me business once in a while. I should build a bigger network. :sa - by Thomas
In most of the manufactured housing communities that I work in the parks have their own sales team. The park manager is my competition.
One of the wonderful things about the crazy laws in WV. They have to jump through the same hoops I do...and almost all chose not to. ;bg

Pam - by LadySmith
Smart thinking Pam. Don't go it alone if you don't have to. You might go through a few people before you find the real allies but that's to be expected. - by WobblyBox
Smart thinking Pam. Don't go it alone if you don't have to. You might go through a few people before you find the real allies but that's to be expected.
Yes, I suspect I'll go through a number of people before it becomes a reasonably cohesive group that understands the mutual benefits of
networking like this.

Ideally, I'm hoping that eventually, it becomes a group that will be comfortable enough to loosely get together occasionally for coffee and brainstorming.

Pam - by LadySmith
One of the wonderful things about the crazy laws in WV. They have to jump through the same hoops I do...and almost all chose not to.
Ah, the benefits of high barriers to entry. ;sm - by Thomas
Ah, the benefits of high barriers to entry. ;sm
Thomas,

Barriers are for climbing!;dnc

Given that you have a barrier to parks because they have their own sales team, how can you still effectively work with them to create a mutual business network?

I suspect referral fees are out because you have similar laws to real estate agents. If you bring a buyer to them, will they have to split their commission? Can you specialize as a buyer's agent?

Do you have a list of movers, repairmen, supply stores that deal exclusively with manufactured homes, insurance agents, etc.? Are you actively using this list of people for mutual referrals? How often do you spend time with the people on your list reminding them of the benefits of mutual networking?

I'm sure you have senior citizen organizations in your area? Do you give talks about the benefits of community park living?

Lots and lots of options. ;bg

Pam - by LadySmith
Given that you have a barrier to parks because they have their own sales team, how can you still effectively work with them to create a mutual business network?
I can't. The parks don't co-broke so they won't sell my homes and I can't sell theirs and split a commission.

Do you have a list of movers, repairmen, supply stores that deal exclusively with manufactured homes, insurance agents, etc.? Are you actively using this list of people for mutual referrals? How often do you spend time with the people on your list reminding them of the benefits of mutual networking?
I don't. :sa

I'm sure you have senior citizen organizations in your area? Do you give talks about the benefits of community park living?
There are senior citizen organizations around but I'm sure they already know about park living because it's such a big thing around here. - by Thomas
There are senior citizen organizations around but I'm sure they already know about park living because it's such a big thing around here.
I'm sure they do too, however, I'm also sure they would be very happy to have someone come in occasionally and give a talk about definative benefits beyond the fact that it's such a big thing. At that point, you become the "go to" guy when they have questions as they decide to sell their house and downsize. You also become a name that they can recomend to their friends who are considering selling.

You might also consider that not everyone that is thinking of retiring to your area knows these benefits. Perhaps think of creating a short video/internet dicussion of the benefits, and find some real estate agents in the most popular "snowbird" states to share with. You give them an added benefit to their customers and they will share referrals with you.:thu

Pam - by LadySmith
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