Balancing Venders

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Island Style Realty Inc. RB-19250

As I get more experience and more recognition in the industry, I get to meet many fine professionals that provide services that can be used by my clients and me.  There are just so many of them.

I have developed a system for venders; that has worked fairly well so far.  I have a services directory that I give clients.  I try to keep no more than three contacts in each category.  It is made up of people I have had good success with or have been working with the agents in my office and consistently have provided top service with reasonable rates.  From time to time I drop a name and replace it with someone else for one reason or another.

vendersThe challenge is saying no 30 times a week to all the loan officers and home inspectors who meet me through out the week.  I know many are really good at their trade, but there are only some many loans to go around and those on my list have brought me to the dance.

I often tell the story about when I first started as an agent; I got the names of few venders from my brokers and the instructor from my pre-licensing school.  I respected their opinions highly and felt that would be a great starting point.

I called the first loan officer on the list with my first buyer.  I guess because I was new he did not seem to have to time to properly return calls and follow up with my client.  Off the list he went!  I called the next loan officer who was working with a couple of the best agents in my office.  A similar experience happened and he cost me a client. NEXT!

A few years later I am doing more than few transactions, and am building my business and reputation.  The first loan officer who had no time for me or my clients was hanging in my office with my brokers one day.  I heard part of the conversation from the distance about how he was a little slow and he wasn't getting any business from me.  My broker tried to help him out by telling me that if I needed anything I should give him a call.  I asked how he was with filing.  Ok I know that was harsh, but think about it.  He did nothing to earn mine or my clients business.  He had no time for me when I was starting out and could have used his expertise to get me up and running quicker.  Now he wants me drop money in his pocket.  I have not even gotten a phone call or visit for 2 years.

Now one of the loan officers on my list has been on it almost from the beginning.  He spent time with me one on one and walked me through the process.  He was not a new loan officer either.  He was a vice president of one of the top mortgage bankers in town.  To this day he has giving my clients and I the absolute best service I could ever ask for.  Should I send business he earns day in and day out to someone else?  Not happening.

I need to make a disclaimer.  I do not tell clients to use a certain loan officer.  In most cases they do not have one and look to me for guidance.  I give them the list of those I have had good experience with and let them know a little bit about my experience with each one, then leave the decision with them.  The bottom line is they can choose who ever they want.  If they choose from the list I am confident they are in good hands.

I run into similar situations with home inspectors, etc.  The pie is only so big.  I do not have enough transactions to have 50 home inspectors on my list.  I would also have to kill an extra tree printing my services directory.

I would be most interested in hearing from others on how they balance working with venders.

Posted by

 

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Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Principal Broker, ABR, AHWD, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

Island Style Realty Inc.

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
574,610
Neal Bloom
Keller Williams Properties, Weston FL - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Randy,

I have a simple small list, if someone needs to be replaced, I do it, but if you can stick with people you know and trust, you should be on the same page.

April 01, 2007 08:04 PM #11
Rainer
97,765
Danny Smith
DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES - Round Rock, TX
OK,OK it's my professional career in a past life bringing this out in me. I was in Procurement for 30 years and the last twelve I was a Global Commodity Manager for Dell Computers. VENDORS!  Vendors sell peanuts and cotton candy at the circus. It's more professional to call them "Preferred Associates." If your in Procurement which we aren't they would be called Suppliers. Sorry...just the way I was trained over the years. 
April 01, 2007 08:32 PM #12
Rainmaker
57,629
Craig Smith
Re/Max Achievers - Frederick, MD
Frederick MD Real Estate
Find the ones that make time for you and your clients and do them a good job. I've used many that if they can't seem to call me back in a reasonable time frame I don't need them. There are too many good ones out there and you will find them. Then just keep them close. I normally only keep about 3 or 4 vendors in my contacts also and use each of them for the right situations.
April 01, 2007 08:57 PM #13
Rainer
9,358
Matt Pendleton
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
Great post!  Like everybody else, I get a lot of phone calls from lenders and inspectors asking for my business.  Picking up a magazine and calling me off my ad does not place you on the top of my list.  I have to have worked with you on a transaction and have had a positive experience with you before I will refer you to one of my clients.  Cold calling lenders and inspectors always get the same response...NO THANK YOU! 
April 01, 2007 09:14 PM #14
Rainmaker
261,430
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
I have a small list of people I know have done a good job. If I hear of a problem, they are off the list. My list has nothing to do with reciprocating referrals. If I got as many referrals from my mortgage guy and inspector as I have given them, I'd be a wealthy man. lol
April 02, 2007 12:06 AM #15
Rainer
15,651
John Wall
CENTURY 21 Results - Long Beach, CA

Thanks Celleste; I just realized that I'm the one who wasnt clear. The referral isn't my goal. Its a strategy that gets prospecting 'vendors' (appologies to Danny) to realize that I'm not just going to give a thumbs up just because they caught me on a good day. I think it puts an emphasis on what Celleste said about having to earn trust. Thats what I mean about asking for their referral, again; it is a trust issue... You know where that goes.

(to Danny: When talking "shop", they're vendors. When talking to clients, they're part of my "team".)

Wow - who would have thought this topic would stir up such a great conversation. My thanks to everyone.

Randy, did we learn anything today? ;7)

April 02, 2007 01:32 AM #16
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Just curious who the title company is on your list? (or not) Sorry, just had to ask. Great Post!
April 02, 2007 02:09 AM #17
Rainer
15,651
John Wall
CENTURY 21 Results - Long Beach, CA

Is there a title rep in the house?  :)

April 02, 2007 02:53 AM #18
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

John - I like the referrals, but what if they are lousy?

Celeste - Great points.  I want refer a client to someone I do not know is real good at what they do.

Desiree - I rarely get a client with a pre-approval.  The few I get come with an online mainland lender.  Hopefully I can get them to go with a local one.

April 02, 2007 04:44 AM #19
Rainer
15,651
John Wall
CENTURY 21 Results - Long Beach, CA

There is no such thing as a lousy referral. Just lousy clients. If you get those, you refer them to someone else who can handle their specific needs. Other Realtors take up a big portion of my referral database. Just have to make sure they know ahead of time the problems you've had. Lousy clients are usually just mismatched with their agent. Finding someone on their 'wavelength' can help.

P.s. If you want I can send all my lousy clients your way. 

 

April 02, 2007 04:50 AM #20
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Roger - I don't think it is broken, but I am always looking at my practices to be sure they are in the best interest of my clients and my business.

John - Good points.  I have never required venders to give me referrals.

Kaushik - I am a loyal kind of guy.  I have a hard time moving around when someone brought me to the dance.

April 02, 2007 04:52 AM #21
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Kelli - You are sticking your neck out every time you make a referral.  You better be sure the person you gave the referral to will make you look good.

Celeste - Thanks for the clarification.  I didn't think you meant a jab.  I know that is not your style.

Jennifer - I looked over my list today and realized in a couple of categories I have less than three.  That is something I will need to improve.

April 02, 2007 04:56 AM #22
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Celeste - Which cute logo?

Neal - I can't agree more.

Danny - Preferred Associates?  I have to think about that.  That sounds a little like we are tied together.  I like to keep a separation.

April 02, 2007 05:02 AM #23
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Craig - I don't get a call back and they are history.

Matt - I seem to get a lot of e-mail and open house visits.

Wayne - I would not have to advertise if I got as many referrals as I have given.

April 02, 2007 05:06 AM #24
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

John - I have learned some.  I am still thinking about what to call them.  I am leaning towards service providers.

Anonymous - I have two escrow companies on my list, I will be updating that to include a third.  I had three and deleted one, because of a messy transaction.  I just forgot to put a new third one up.

John - I am not sure, they were anonymous.  I would say that might be a good guess though.

April 02, 2007 05:12 AM #25
Ambassador
1,832,546
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
Randy, I did not read all the comments, but what I have experienced with the Realtors around here is that they will give out 3 business cards, but they will very often speak more highly of one than the other.
April 02, 2007 04:26 PM #26
Ambassador
1,028,614
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate
The one in your post with all the vendors ....picture....logo of mismatched vendors....lost souls...whatever.
April 02, 2007 06:10 PM #27
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

George - I do not necesaarily speak more highly, but if one has done my personal stuff I may share that.

Celeste - OK, I get it now.

April 02, 2007 07:44 PM #28
Ambassador
1,028,614
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
RA, CRS, Hawaii Mililani Oahu Real Estate

Randy:

Thanks for all your posts that I get to read every day (and I do) and thanks for reading mine. ((I think we have to or one or the other will certainly mention it...haha)

Thanks for inviting me to AR too.  It has been an experience thus far and I have not only learned a lot, but have managed to get a little bit of creative side out of me.  See ya!

April 03, 2007 08:07 PM #29
Rainmaker
620,604
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
Sally - You appear to have caught the AR addiction.  Join the Rain Aholics club.
April 04, 2007 02:10 AM #30
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
620,604

Randy Prothero

Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
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