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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    So its that time of the year again. As we are nearing the end of the year I always like to review my sales numbers, agents worked with, where sales are coming from etc.... as it came to my mind...I wonder how many RE agents I worked with over the year and how that number reflects my sales numbers for referrals over the past year. A trend I noticed over looking at the past 3 years of numbers is that the more agents I create relationships with the more sales and ultimately more $ I made. So how many agents do you work with and if you do an average how many pieces of business do they send to you in a year.

    For example if you work with 40 agents and get 120 inspections/yr from referrals each agent gives you approximately 3 pieces of business. What do you think is a good number of agents to be working with to be successful? Because if you look in depth and think about it if each agent gives you an avg. of 3 pieces of business a year and you want to increase your number say another 60 inspections a year through RE referrals, well that would roughly mean you have you to add another 20 agents.

    By the way the agents I work with give me approximately 4 pieces of business a year, but this number has come down from the previous year.

    Any and all input is appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    I can honestly say that I have about 2-3 agents that direct their clients to me and the rest of my business comes from past client referrals and my website. Simply put, I don't depend on agents to send me business. It's not that I don't want them, I just don't solicit them.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    What Scott said.

    rick


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    My business solely is by referral, reputation and repeat customers. I do not solicit Realtors and haven't done so since the early 90's.

    I do however interview my perspective clients. If they have been referred to me by one of the unfriendly Realtors on my list, they are not entertained as clients.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    I have 56 agents who have used me more than once this year. The top 5 agents have referred me 58 times.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    When I started this gig a few years back my mentor said that a home inspector needed about 20-30 realtors feeding leads.

    He figured each realtor gave 1 referral month. 20 weekdays a month you would need a min of 20 agents. Some agents will be low performers or drop you for some reason so you need 30 and always looking for a few more to keep the pipeline filled.

    I have two agents who each gave me about 10 referrals each over the year. All the rest were from other sources.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  7. #7
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    3-4 agents max, a few insp each per year. I don't solicit agents, don't care to and don't think it is necessary for my business. Agents tend to hate me anyway. Something about slowing down and complicating their deals with my lengthy reports. Also I can't help but be courteous enough to correct them when they tell the client some dumb BS.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    How many people find the 10 inspectors next to google maps putting a hurting on the amount of calls coming in. I use to be in the top three for Fort Worth Home Inspectors or inspection or anything else that brought the map up for a home inspector in Fort Worth.

    That got screwed up by a marketer and I deleted it for a week getting him detached from my map listing. When I put it back up it was about 5th to 8th and has slowly slid off the charts. In the mean time my organic search under the same key words is still number 1 to 4 and the calls have about stopped.
    I now have a letter into google to correct the matter with the Marketing agent (like thats going to do any good. But in all this mess my phone stopped ringing.

    I also have excellent organic placement for Keller, Southlake, Irving, Mansfield etc etc. All in the top few organic search placements and due to the lengthly list of inspectors next to the map they never make it to the organic searches anymore in my area. You type in any city with key words that bring up the map and the clients now have a plethora of inspectors to call with out any further a do.

    Besides trying a marketer and paying a few hundred a month to be in the top 3 to 5 placements, anyone have any wonderful advise. One man that is in the top placement does not even have a website and never use to be seen on the map. Now for several months months he is glued to the top map location.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    I've had 3 agents refer me more than once in 2009.

    In contrast, at least 50% of my clients told me that an agent wanted to recommend "their" inspector. This spooked the clients which led them to me.

    BTW, what is this "my" inspector crap the agents talk about?

    How many of you are in that "owned" category? What a bunch of BS.

    A couple of inspections back I had a pair of agents tell me that they just fired "their" inspector and said they were looking for a new one. In my mind I busted out laughing and said, "keep on lookin".

    I haven't heard back from them. Darn


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    A lot (not all) of the guys on here throwing mud at inspectors that get a lot of referrals from agents are likley very envious. In reality, it's tough to get a good agent to use you... usually because they have a really good inspector or two or three that they use. The guy is likely not wasting time pissing and moaning on an internet forum about agents that won't give him work. Just an observation....

    Of couse, it's a fine line to walk and to me no agent, no matter how big or sucessful, is worth changing what comes out of my mouth. If you stick to that you'll automatically lose the agents you don't want to work with and keep the ones worth working with... it's really pretty easy.

    As for numbers, I don't keep close track but most of my work comes from past clients (themselves and friends/family) and agents.... yep, not afraid to say it. I get A LOT of work from agents but wouldn't lie down or screw a home buyer for anyone of them.


  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    99.99% of my busines is agent referral. I work with about 150-300 agents. This sounds like a lot but we have been at it for a very long time now, so we've managed to meet many agents. Most agents are "now" part timers and may only do 1-2 deals a year. The agents who are movers and shakers will refer me up to 4-6 inspections a month. I just did 4 last week from one agent for example. I know you guys frown on agent referrals but it keeps us slammed weekly. We're usually booked a week in advance, because agents refer us.
    I may do 10 inspections a year from client referrals, but no more. I do not get referrals from my site because it was 100% flash, but I just invested a bunch of money to have a new SEO friendly site created. Ca is unique however.
    It's interresting to see how different it is from coast to coast.

    Last edited by Marc M; 12-16-2009 at 09:37 PM.
    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    By agent referrals you mean you are one of the three names which the agent provides for his client to choose from, right?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    60 percent of my business is agent referrals. 25 percent is customer referrals and 15 percent are same client "referrals". Where the client ended up not purchasing the first home I inspected for them and I ended up inspecting 2 to 4 other houses for them.

    Believe it or not some agents actually care about their clients. They want them in a good house and refer me because of my ability to give them an honest review of the home. I don't get into technical jargon or cite code to the clients, unless my client happens to be an engineer or construction litigation attorney. I'm not a "grand stander" looking to impress anyone. I just tell it like it is.

    I have run in to a number of agents who only wanted to make the sale. I've had them call me before an inspection to tell me they need this deal to go through. I've had them tell their none English speaking clients that everything was fine (I speak a little Spanish but never tell the agent that). I've had agents go right behind me repairing things in the home as I'm inspecting it. Heck, I've even had agents call me after the inspection demanding I change the report to say the roof was in good condition when it was actually shot. These agents get black listed. We keep their names on our system and when they call we're "unavailable". We don't "work" for any agent, but we are friendly, courteous and professional to them. And yes, I market to them.

    Why market to agents? Before the bottom of the market fell out I inspected 54 houses in a year for 1 agent. She did 90 transactions that year. In fact, I did 5 inspections in one week with that agent...3 times.

    Do I pay for referrals? No. Do I take them out for lunch every now and then? You bet. Do they take me out for lunch? Some of them. Am I on a preferred vendors list? Actually I am, but I never asked for them. Just showed up there.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    By agent referrals you mean you are one of the three names which the agent provides for his client to choose from, right?
    Yes. That is how its done out here. But I think they say something like, "here are three names but this is the one we suggest"...

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    Thanks for the responses so far gentleman, I'll be honest didn't think I would get that many so quick. For those of you who have been in the business for some time and have the ability to survive off past referrals I comend you. However, I would have to agree with some of the latter statements. I work with over 30 agents in my area and I am always professional to them but never "soften" or lessen a report for them or anyone for that matter. My duty is to my client but my duty is also to provide my services to as many people as I can regardless of whether or not that business comes from agents. One of the things I think many people forget is that there is MANY ethical and professional RE agents too. I would beg to bet that about 85-90% of the agents I work with on a repeat basis over the course of the year are extremely ethical and are truly looking out for their clients best interest. The reason I asked this question is to see the trend away from RE agents, and marketing to them. It is very important nowadays to direct marketing efforts outside of agents and to diversify your company as a whole in order to not rely on any one area, but in my humble opinion RE agents are still very much the low hanging fruit for referrals and the potential for business. I think the day will come soon enough (in the next 3-6yrs) that most of our business (for those of you who have online marketing efforts) will come from online efforts and past referrals, but today don't forget ALL avenues of business and referrals. Thanks again for the responses and please feel free to keep posting away.


  16. #16
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    A few agents refer me if, and only if:

    (1) The buyer is an attorney.

    (2) The seller is an attorney.

    (3) The buyer will not be present for the inspection.

    (4) The buyer is a relative of theirs.

    (5) The house is worth over $500K.

    (6) The house has EIFS cladding.

    (7) The agent is the buyer.

    (8) The sales transaction is already in litigation.

    (9) The home is in the process of being constructed.

    Other states may have different RE regulations that alter the landscape somewhat, but for the most part, and in my personal experience, HIs who cater to RE agents are situationally-ethical sycophants pretending to be otherwise.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    I think there is a huge difference between having agent refer you, and marketing to them, and/or catering to them.

    I have many agents that use me when they are buying something, or a family member or close friend is buying something, but never for their clients.

    I have a hand full of agents that just tell their clients to use me.

    The most common thing these days is "The List". Many Real estate Brokers are asking their agents to only give out a list, NOT refer one inspector, and NOT be at the inspection. It's kind of a hands off, limit your liability tact.

    Like others that have been in business a while, I get most of my referrals from past clients.

    I also get a lot of referrals from:
    Mortgage companies
    Title companies
    Attorneys
    BNI
    Tradebank
    Web site
    and yes, even some from the yellow pages.

    Oh, I forgot. I really don't keep track of how many inspections I get from which Realtor. I know the ones I get lots from, but an exact count? Not sure. Its not a statistic I care about.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    A few agents refer me if, and only if:

    (1) The buyer is an attorney.

    (2) The seller is an attorney.

    (3) The buyer will not be present for the inspection.

    (4) The buyer is a relative of theirs.

    (5) The house is worth over $500K.

    (6) The house has EIFS cladding.

    (7) The agent is the buyer.

    (8) The sales transaction is already in litigation.

    (9) The home is in the process of being constructed.

    Other states may have different RE regulations that alter the landscape somewhat, but for the most part, and in my personal experience, HIs who cater to RE agents are situationally-ethical sycophants pretending to be otherwise.
    So are you saying in instances where you're referred because:

    "(1) The buyer is an attorney.

    (2) The seller is an attorney.

    (3) The buyer will not be present for the inspection.

    (4) The buyer is a relative of theirs.

    (5) The house is worth over $500K.

    (6) The house has EIFS cladding.

    (7) The agent is the buyer.

    (8) The sales transaction is already in litigation.

    (9) The home is in the process of being constructed."

    That you're "situationally-ethical sycophants pretending to be otherwise." Or are you only being offensive to the rest of us?

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  19. #19
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    KR: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: How Many RE Agents Do You Work With?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    KR: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
    LOL

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