How To Recover When A Vendor Doesn’t Come Through

Do you really know who you’re recommending? While many agents have a list of preferred vendors, it can be a disaster for your clients and damaging to your reputation when a referral doesn’t do his or her job well.  When you refer a vendor to a client, it’s more than just a referral. It’s an endorsement of their skills by a trusted professional. Sometimes this works out perfectly, but in the event that a contractor backs out, fails to do their job well, or something else goes wrong, what should you do?

Be On Your Client’s Team

If you are the first to know about the problem, share it with your client immediately and apologize for the misstep. If you are embarrassed by the contractor’s business practice and stay silent, your client may view you as part of the problem. By being open and honest about the disappointment with your clients, you are showing them that you are on their side first. If the client alerts you to the problem first, share in their frustration as a team member would. Your job is to be their advocate.

Talk To The Vendor

If the problem is fixable (i.e. lack of communication, price quote is too high, etc.) talk to the contractor to see what can be done. Most vendors would like to keep their referrals happy and you can work together to find a solution to the issue. Being able to solve the problem is ideal. It lets the client know you are working hard for their investment, it keeps the contractor’s business reputable, and most of all, it moves the process along for everyone. If nothing else, you may be able to reach some sort of agreement either with financial restitution or a credit towards another service.

Be Proactive

As soon as you know there’s an issue, begin scouting out other options, even if you’re still working on things with the vendor. Knowing that you have other options will ease your mind and it may help move things forward with your current contractor if he or she knows the job is on the line. Show your clients that their transaction matters to you by doing everything in your power to correct the issue or find a new vendor.

Disassociate Yourself

You are who you do business with. When a vendor disappoints, it’s a reflection on your business. If the problem was not resolved, or if you feel like this could be an issue in the future, remove the contractor from your preferred vendors list. If other clients have received your preferred vendors list but haven’t chosen their providers yet, let them know that you have to rescind your endorsement.

Moving Forward

When expectations aren’t met, it’s disappointing for everyone involved. While some agents want to fill their list of preferred vendors in order to look experienced and connected, adding someone you haven’t worked with often can be a bad idea. If you don’t have someone to recommend, don’t recommend anyone. It’s important to note that you can be held personally liable for referring non-licensed or unethical contractors. With this in mind, give your clients more than one option for contractors and add a disclaimer to the bottom of your referral list. This removes some of your liability and puts the decision in the clients’ hands.

Should You Outsource Your Work?

There’s a frustrating, in-between place in running a growing business. You may find that you are too busy and successful to keep up with your regular tasks, but just not quite busy enough to justify a new hire. For almost any agent, more business is the goal, so finding a good balance is key. You can use outsourced employees on a recurring basis or for a project at a time. If you find yourself struggling to keep up, here are a few ideas for outsourcing help that will help you stay on top of your business without losing your mind.

 

Data Entry

Whether you’re looking for someone to input your information into the MLS or clean up your email database, a data entry professional can help streamline your work. A freelance data entry contractor can charge between $12-20 per hour, depending on their skill and experience.

Graphic Designer

Even great tools and apps like Canva and Snapseed can frustrate the technologically-challenged agent. Graphic design professionals are available at a variety of rates and skills. If your needs are simple, you may want to hire an art student to whip up Open House flyers in their free time. If you’re looking for more consistency in your look, an independent graphic designer will usually charge between $45-75 per hour, but may be available for less on a retainer.

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can do a lot of things to help you take better control of your business. From screening calls and following up with leads to managing your schedule and handling paperwork, you can expect to pay upwards of $25 per hour for a virtual assistant.

 

Got 10 Minutes? We’ve Got 25 Ways Give Your Social Media A Boost!

If you’ve got 10 minutes today, you can improve your social media presence.

You don’t have to drive yourself crazy with your social media schedule. Just a few quick, focused minutes each day can make a big difference in driving traffic to your page, your website, and ultimately, your inbox. Social media is growing every day and becoming the most affordable and effective way to build your credibility. We’ve gathered 25 quick ideas for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn that can make an impact today.

Facebook

  1. Updated your Facebook page profile picture.
  2. Update your Facebook page cover photo.
  3. Share an article that reflects your business and knowledge.
  4. Ask your followers an engaging question.
  5. Post two photos of different style homes and ask your audience which they prefer. Getting people to engage with your posts is a great way to make your page more visible to others.
  6. Schedule a few posts ahead of time through your Facebook page or through a service like Hootsuite or Buffer.
  7. Follow fellow business pages as your page.
  8. Comment on other business pages as your page (city and government pages, local businesses, restaurants, and schools can give you great visibility).
  9. Send a friendly message to a former client.
  10. Post a review of a business you love.
  11. Search for neighborhood groups you can join and connect with.

Instagram

  1. Set up an account (if you don’t already have one)!
  2. Update your profile information.
  3. Connect your Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages.
  4. Post a picture that tells your followers something unique about you.
  5. Research the best hashtags to use for better engagements. Emojis are searchable on Instagram, too!
  6. Search for and follow former clients.
  7. Follow local businesses.
  8. Follow agents you admire, locally and in other cities, for inspiration.

LinkedIn

  1. Connect to colleagues and friends, both in your industry and beyond.
  2. Update your profile. Remember, everything on LinkedIn should be written in first person.
  3. Share an article that reflects your industry knowledge.
  4. Write personal notes to recognize birthdays, promotions, and job changes – you never know where these little conversations may lead!
  5. Find groups that inspire you to grow in your industry.
  6. Find agents that inspire you and look through their pages for motivation.

4 Great Blogs To Post This Summer

We know, we know. It’s the busiest time of year for most agents. Still, there’s no excuse to let your website and social media slide. We’ve got 4 great ideas to get your creative juices flowing on your next few blog posts.

Fun And Free Ways To Explore Your City

Summer has many people thinking of ways to spend their leisure time, especially if the kids are home from school for a couple of months. Think about your favorite things to do during the summer months and share those ideas with your audience. Whether it’s a great way to keep the kids busy, fun weekend activities, nearby road trips, or the best foodie spots in town, share your perspective on the best ways to enjoy the area. Focus on the things that you like best and it will come across as transparent and authentic – something all consumers crave right now.

Home and Garden Maintenance

People are more likely to have time and energy to pay attention to needs around the home during summer. Help your audience take care of their home by posting a checklist of important things to get done around the house. They’ll appreciate your know-how when it comes to protecting their largest investment.

Home Safety for Vacationers

We all worry about safety when we leave for vacation, so this is a perfect time to share some tips on how to keep things secure at home. You can do a little online research to find some great advice to pass on. This kind of post shows that you are truly invested in the well-being of your followers, friends, and clients.

Back To School

From posting about the best private schools in the area to preparing the home for the back-to-school rush, there are a wealth of topics to share on your blog. Consider tips on how to handle the stress of getting ready in the morning, getting the family back in a routine, how to make a room study-friendly for kids with homework, or ways that your followers can help kids prepare for school with a school supply drive.

 

DOWNLOAD NOW: Goal Setting Worksheet

There’s never a bad time to set or examine your future business goals. Think about what’s worked for you in the past 6 months to a year, and of course, consider what needs to change. It’s not too early to start thinking toward the far-off future. There are steps you can take today to become the agent you want to be in 10 years.

Start with a baseline and a clear understanding of where your business is today, in its philosophy and its financials. Identify your strengths and weakness honestly so that your picture of your business and it’s potential is clear.

We’ve created the worksheet below to help you get started. Click on the image to download in PDF form.

 

Goal Setting

Marketing Your Business In July

With Independence Day behind us and the start of school just a few weeks away, it’s time to plan your next move. What can you do this month to strengthen your future business?

Celebrate With Some Fun Holidays

Holidays can be the perfect excuse to connect with current and potential clients, and August is full of them – if you know which ones to look for. There may not be any big, widely recognized holidays in August, but there are a few good once that make connecting a breeze. Look ahead to Friendship Day (August 6) to be your perfect icebreaker. And who wouldn’t love to receive chocolate chip cookie mix in a jar as a pop by on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on August 4. Other fun holidays include National Garage Sale Day (August 12), National Relaxation Day (August 15), and National Dog Day (August 26). See more at www.NationalDayCalendar.com

Back To School

August means kids are heading back to school, and unfortunately, some are heading back with a lot less than others. A great way to give back and encourage others to do so is by holding a back to school supply drive. You may want to collect traditional school supplies, or think outside the box and collect money for school lunches, or ask for donations of new shoes. Add your office as a drop off point and you’ll be able to connect to new friends as well.

Block Party!

If your neighborhood doesn’t already have an annual block party, it might be time for you to get the ball rolling. There are some great ideas here to get you started. Use the opportunity to help your neighbors get to know you and each other. You’ll love being seen as a connecting point for others.

Social Media Challenge: Neighborhood Know-how

Part of selling yourself as an agent is selling your expertise about the areas you live and work in. This month, use social media to highlight your favorite parts of town, from restaurants to museums to family spots to free activities. You want your audience to know that you are the best source for information! And when they’re ready to buy or sell, they’ll certainly want an area expert like yourself to guide them through the process.

 

The Resource: July’s Social Media Plan

We often hear our real estate friends say they’re short on time and can’t handle regular posting to social media. So, each month, we collect a full month’s worth of posts for you to pass along to clients, friends and family.

Texas Living

Hidden Texas (Texas Monthly)
Meanwhile In Texas (Texas Monthly)
This Truck Bed Pool Liner is the Ultimate Summer Accessory (Wide Open Country)
8 New Texas Craft Breweries to Visit in 2017 (Tour Texas)
Fascinating Stories Behind Texas Hill Country Names (Texas Hill Country)

Just For Fun

16 Crowd-Pleasing Summer Pies (The Spruce)
5 Natural Ways To Stop Snoring (Good Housekeeping)
9 Adorable Bed and Breakfast Homes for Sale Right Now (Elle Decor)
Watch This Woman Pack 200 Items In A Suitcase (House Beautiful)
Simple and Delicious No-Bake Desserts (Better Homes & Gardens)
Perfect Summer Hostess Gifts (Veranda)

Around The House

Flowering Bulbs for Summer Blooms (The Spruce)
15 Front Porch Ideas for Lazy Summer Days (Good Housekeeping)
10 Things To Clean Every Week – and 5 Things You’re Cleaning Too Much (House Beautiful)
12 Outdoor Shower Ideas To Steal For Your Yard (Better Homes and Gardens)
The Most Annoying Things About Summer, and What To Do About Them (HouseLogic)
Introduce A Water Feature Into Your Garden (Houzz)
How To Defrost a Freezer (Realtor.com)

Decor Inspiration

The Best New Summer Color Combinations (The Spruce)
20 Spaces That Master Bohemian Decor (Elle Decor)
The Pros and Cons of Exposed Brick (Elle Decor)
Peek Inside These Romantic Gardens and Courtyards (Houzz)
9 Famous Women and Their Sofas (Veranda)
10 Decorating Mistakes You May Be Making (Real Simple)

Buying And Selling

Job Change? You Can Still Get Approved! (The Mortgage Reports)
6 VA Mortgage Myths  (The Mortgage Reports)
4 Reasons To Buy A Home This Summer (Realtor.com)
Surprising Reasons To Go To An Open House – Even If You’re Not Buying (Realtor.com)
Why Pending Home Sales Go Bad (The Balance)
Curb Appeal Projects To Max Out Your Home Value (HouseLogic)
Newbie Mortgage Mistakes That Are Easy To Avoid (HouseLogic)