So many agents are leaving money and opportunities on the table when it comes to B2B relationships with local businesses. These businesses work with homeowners and home buyers in your community, every single day. If I told you that, becoming friends with these business professionals can fill your pipeline with little to no cost to you, would you? Having close relationships with local shop owners, or individuals that are active in your community, can lead to a strong referral pipeline which can potentially double your bottom line. B2B development is so overlooked and under priced, yet your competition still doesn’t utilize it.
Per Parkbench.com, a Real Estate marketing platform for community interaction, the top 20 business professionals that give the most Real Estate referrals are as follows:
1. Hair Stylists, Barbers
2. Massage Therapists
3. Dog Walkers
4. Personal Trainers
7. House Cleaners
11. Wedding Planners
14. Car Salesman
15. Dance Teachers
18. Director of Local Chamber of Commerce
19. Directors of Local Charities
20. Local Event Directors
The true key to developing a strong B2B relationship with local business professionals is providing them value and expecting nothing in return. It’s not going to give you short term rewards, but nurturing the relationship can pay well, long term. Talk to your local business professionals solely with the intention of getting to know them and their business. Find opportunities to provide them with value. Use Social Media to help provide them with that leverage! If they’re a barber, take a picture with the owner and post it on your Social Media. Using Social Media can really jump start this process. It’s a simple strategy that costs little to no money and has an incredible ROI.
Interview the owners and their employees. Act like you’re a journalist and write a blog about their story and their ties with the community. Publish that story on your website and promote it on your Social Media accounts. This is a great way to show your potential clients that you have an emotional attachment with your community. Homeowners and first time home buyers are looking for experts that have a strong local market presence… What better way to build your brand in your neighborhood than interacting with local businesses? Constantly providing their business with value can earn you top-notch leads and a great referral base for the future.
Business owners always have 1 or 2 local agents in mind, it’s your job to make sure that you’re always their #1! Research suggests that it takes 32 touches in a 12-month period to build a strong referral based relationship. Some great ideas for touches are birthday cards, calls, emails, texts, taking them out for some drinks or meeting them for coffee. Social Media can also make this process a little easier! Comment on their posts, share and promote their content, make a connection with them anyway you can! Another great way is referring some of your clients or friends to them. After you’ve developed that relationship in the first 12 months, 16 touches per year after that is all it takes to maintain that relationship. B2B relationships should be the cornerstone for your business and brand in the future. Start by making a list of places you visit regularly in your neighborhood and start finding ways to provide them value. Meet with them, get to know the owners, their history, and fall in love with the process that B2B relationships take.