By Lindsay Smith/Real Estate Columnist
How many times have you heard this line in your lifetime? I have a guy… hairdresser, mechanic, carpenter, handyman. Many times the “guy or gal” turns out to be someone that might have the skills a person is looking for to help with whatever challenge you are dealing with. And sometimes they amaze you.
This thought came to mind when I toured a home we are in the process of getting on the market. The home was a new build, three years old and when the couple moved in they asked Wendy and me who we used to create our kitchen. We referred the woman who owns the cabinetry company, and she built an amazing office for the client. We found Lindsay, who co-owns Interior Woodcraft Designs (https://www.interiorwoodcraftdesigns.com) as a referral from a friend who had used her along with several other of our friends. Referrals are so critically important, especially when we are dealing with a pandemic and many people have moved into the gig economy, so finding a trusted professional has become a bit more difficult. Let’s dig into this idea and see how it fits into real estate.
Having sold real estate locally for over 30 years, part of my “tool kit” is having a list of trusted professionals I can refer to clients to help them with their homes. Recently we were asked by a client looking to do some basic work at their home and we sent along the name of our favourite contractor. Alas we may have lost him, he has been working in their home for months and it looks like he will be several more months before he is finished. Our list of contractors, painters, handymen, stagers, interior designers, plumbers, electricians is a long one and we are thrilled to be able to help our clients find professionals they can trust.
What really had me thinking about referrals came from a client we recently started to work with. We last did business about 15 years ago, however they reminded me that I referred one of their kids to a downtown Toronto condo agent who ended up finding a home for them. They have since moved to B.C. and the condo agent is still in touch with them. They developed a trusted relationship that may have been difficult to build without some direction. One thing that comes from three decades of experience is a list of trusted real estate agents we have met that we can connect with our clients. Truly, the list covers all of North America. In the past year, we have referred clients to Halifax, New Brunswick, Peterborough, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Chatham, Fenelon Falls, Kawartha Lakes, Kelowna, and Belleville.
Our most recent referral was to Panama. A friend is looking to buy a home in Panama, and Wendy Starr reached out to a friend she has (a realtor) who moved to Panama a few years ago. She contacted our friend and is helping them to find not only the right property, but a property in an area that best suits their needs. This truly is, “feet on the ground” advice you can only get from someone who lives in a community. Along with being a realtor locally, Wendy Starr is also licensed to sell real estate in Arizona, being a native of Scottsdale.
I was fortunate to be a speaker/trainer for a USA based real estate training company and the group of trainers has stayed together to inspire, help, bring new ideas to all, and also to be experts in finding the best realtors in all of North American and Central/South America. This referral network is such an integral part of making a move, pretty much anywhere, an easy and stress-free process, ensuring in the end the client gets exactly what they are dreaming about or picturing. Anyone who has taken a cruise, or a beach holiday knows how sideways things can go when you accept a gift certificate for a “no-pressure” time-share presentation.
If you are thinking of a move locally, out of province, or out of Canada, my recommendation is to find a full-time realtor who has many years of experience to help guide you to your next home. This may be the difference of meeting a professional who is an expert in their area or doing a fingers-crossed-hope-it-turns-out experience.
If you have any questions on the above information, need help out of town, or if you can see a real estate emergency on the horizon, I can be reached at email@example.com.