Jason O'Neil | December 2, 2022
Every great movie gangster has their inner circle.
Don Vito Corleone. Tony Montana. Nicky Santoro. Henry Hill.
They all had inner circles.
Building a gangster empire doesn’t happen overnight and it cannot be done alone. It requires an inner circle of experts, all of which have a specific knowledge of something that helps propel the leader to the top.
In the case of Henry Hill (you remember Goodfellas, right?) his inner circle consisted of a small group of men, all of whom had a very niche function.
Just like the movie gangsters, real estate agents should have an inner circle of people they can rely on. These people become a foundational element to success because they create opportunities for agents, just as much as an agent creates opportunities for them.
In the competitive streets of real estate, there are 4 people every real estate agent should have in their inner circle, and today, I’m going to tell you who they are and how to find them.
Let’s talk business…
Financial advisors have a sixth sense when it comes to the real estate market. They are always privy to deals going down and people who are looking to buy. Usually, they are the first point of contact for most buyers and sellers as they are the ones helping navigate the financial portion of the transaction, so having them on hand is always helpful.
Financial advisors get a lot of business done through referrals, so if you can be the first person to take action and start referring them, you will position yourself to get referrals back.
Let me remind you, that not every financial advisor is going to want to be your friend. Each one has a different management style and approach, so spend some time researching the ones around you. Doing so will help you find the best fit for your business faster and get you in the door easier if both you and the advisor are on similar pages.
It only feels fitting to put lawyers right next to financial advisors on this list. Lawyers play a pivotal role in the home buying and selling process, as well as working with many members of the community across different areas.
Not only that but they also tend to be involved with the rest of the individuals you will see on this list making them a perfect fit for real estate agents looking to expand their network of resources.
Here’s a helpful hint: divorce lawyers are a group that has tons of potential.
Think about it, divorce lawyers present the opportunity for a three-shot swing—two spouses and the marital property.
It’s also great because you come into the relationship from a third party (via the lawyer) instead of from one of the spouse’s sides, which in the long run can lead to a smoother transaction across the board for all parties involved.
One more thing, when you reach out to these lawyers, make it easy for them to work with you by offering up a free property valuation for any of their clients. It takes very little time on your end, you get to display your professionalism, and it shows commitment to the lawyer and their client.
Your local banker might be one of the most knowledgeable people in your town. Chances are that they’ve been around for quite some time and have a clear understanding of the major players in your market, which makes them an undeniable resource you should tap into.
On top of their wealth of knowledge, they also have the largest network of connections in the community. Consider this, every person who owns a home needs to go through a bank to buy. Sure there are some people who will go with the big banks and that will work fine for them, but when it comes time to be flexible, best believe the big boys won’t budge.
Small local or regional banks on the other hand are always looking to entrepreneurs for opportunities and offer flexibility in their plans to accommodate such.
Here’s what you should do if you have yet to find yourself a solid local banker:
Go to one of your local or regional banks and be honest and transparent about your situation. Once they know what financial level you are working at, they will partner you with a representative who specializes in that particular financial demographic and or background.
If you have a client that owns multiple homes, say a vacation home in another state, consider asking them who they use for the secondary mortgage bank.
In many cases, clients who own multiple properties run their second mortgage through a local bank where the property is owned because again, they allow flexibility. The benefit here is that you are coming from a referred source (the client) and are offering up potential future business opportunities to them in return.
Oh and by the way, when a local bank needs to liquidate an asset (I am avoiding the f-word here) they are going to call one of the bank’s clients who happens to be a local real estate expert. Why not you?
Every commercial broker has a list of clients and all of those clients need homes to live in.
These brokers don’t do residential real estate so you can help them by coming alongside those clients and serving their needs. When the time comes that your clients need a business location, your referral goes right back to the commercial broker who specializes in this.
This is a great way to build a symbiotic relationship between two real estate agents with different focuses.
On that note, make sure to meet these people in person and get a feel for who they are before you start referring clients back to them. The last thing you want to do is get in bed with a bad commercial broker who doesn’t fit your style.
Tell them you are creating relationships with local brokers because you have clients who ask a couple of times a year about commercial real estate and you want to have someone on hand to refer them to.
Sidenote: you can also get paid for these referrals!
You’re probably thinking, “how the hell do I assemble my circle of real estate gangsters?”
I’m going to tell you…
Hop on that computer of yours and email your top 20 clients and ask if they have a financial advisor/lawyer/banker/commercial broker they would consider a 10.
Some will tell you 5, some 7, and some 10. When I get a 10, I mark down their name and contact information and schedule a meeting with them.
In that meeting, I tell them that I’m looking for someone who can provide this service to my clients buying and selling their homes. In the case of the financial advisor, let’s say, you’d tell him that you have 3 clients looking for a new financial advisor and that he comes highly recommended from X client.
Now you are directly referring him to your clients as well as cementing a mutually beneficial relationship that can be leveraged down the road.
Next thing you know, he’s calling you up with a few clients who are in need of a home and you can deliver for them.
There you have it, the 4 most important people any real estate agent can have in their inner circle. These individuals can quite literally change the game for you if you put in the time, energy, and effort to build a relationship with them.
Spend a few minutes today doing some research on who these people are in your community and start sending out some introduction emails to get your name into the mix. Once you find your people, you’ll be amazed at what can happen.
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