I work with a lot of Realtors and one of the first things I ask them for is their list of alliances. (By the way this applies to all businesses and professionals.) More often than not there is not only no list, but no understanding of how alliances can play a major role in improving your business.
I can almost guarantee that if you spend as much time writing down allied businesses and seeking new businesses to be allied with as you do looking through the phone book, your business will improve dramatically. How?
Allied businesses refer business to each other. If a florist you do business with hears about someone moving into the neighborhood they can either alert you or give your name to the newcomer.
People love to refer their friends to an exceptional company or service so they can experience the same good feeling they had. In turn their friend or acquaintance holds them in higher regard and will try to return the favor.
“Espionage” or Early Warning
In the case of Realtors, one of the first people to know a house is going on sale is often a repair service of some kind. “No we don’t want a new furnace because we will be moving in the Spring. Just fix it as best as you can”. Now your Furnace Repair alliance calls you and gives you the heads up.
If you do business and refer business your alliance will frequent your business and recommend you to their friends.
If you want to get in touch with customers you have not spoken with in a while and need a good reason to contact them, why not send a list of recommended businesses and services. They will appreciate your list and think of you the next time they require your product or service. Now they are reactivated as a prospect or as a source of referrals.
Here is a partial list that a Realtor should work on. I have a more complete list in the article called Building Your Sphere of Influence.
PC Software Training
Home Detail Installations
Power Washing Company
Moving & Storage