In order to grow a carpet cleaning business, it is important to have strong referral sources. We have found Realtors to be among the best.
When Realtors obtain a listing, they usually do a “walk-through” with the Seller, pointing out things that need to be improved, repaired or cleaned in order to prepare the home to be sold. Since the carpet is out in front for all to see, it can be the most obvious “eyesore”! It is then up to the Realtor to point this out to the Seller.
– Wouldn’t it be nice for him/her to have a stack of your business cards available?
– Even better, how about a “special offer” to the homeowner making the Realtor look like the “hero”?
Here is a Step-By-Step plan to get Realtors to refer you to their listings:
PUNCH #1 !
#1) We get our local Sunday Paper “real estate section”, writing down the names of the real estate offices.
#2) We then write down the names of all Realtors who have their name in the various listings. We also do this with Harmon Homes magazine, again making a heading for the offices as well as the people whose names are on the listings.
– Why not just get a list of all Realtors and be done with it? Because the top agents (the real “movers and shakers”) constantly market their own listings. You only want to do business with agents who have 15 to 40 homes on sale at any one time. Just working off a big list wastes your time dealing with “part-time” Realtors and people who are not even active anymore.
#3) We then send to each of them a letter, explaining the “benefits” we have to offer them:
A) Fast response
B) Quick drying time
C) Reliability, etc., etc.
#4) In the letter, we also enclose “gift certificates” they can give to their clients.
This gift certificate offers a Free Trial Offer (up to 200 square feet) with no obligation.
We never use a high pressure sales pitch. There is a space in this “referral card” for the Realtor to insert their name, so it looks like a gift from the Realtor. Realtors are very busy people whose time is at a premium. It is very important to be consistent with your follow up.
PUNCH #2 !
…We don’t just stop at mailings…
#1) We make up a “goody-bag”, one of those little gift bags you see in the party stores.
(We buy ours (4 for a $1.00) at the local Dollar Store.)
#2) We then go to Sam’s Club and buy individual gourmet coffee, candy, pop corn, etc. and put some in each bag along with colorful wrapping paper.
#3) To the bag, we also add:
A) A Brochure
B) A Consumer Info Guide
C) Business Cards
D) A Refrigerator Magnet
My wife fills up a large box with these goody-bags and starts her “route”.
#4) She stops off at a Realtor’s office (being sure she has a goody-bag ready for the receptionist).
The receptionist is always their “first line of defense”. It is the receptionist’s job to filter out all the sales people and vendors. Giving the receptionist a goody-bag is a great ice-breaker! We ask her if we may put these bags on the desks of the agents, which they always say, “Yes!” to.
Now, for the “key”…..
#5) In all of these goody-bags is a Free Trial Offer for the Realtor as well.
We tell the receptionist, we would like to do a complimentary carpet cleaning in her home so she sees our work and has no hesitation referring us to others. We also include this “freebie” in the letter to the agents.
Everyone likes something for nothing, that includes Real Estate Agents!
#6) My wife visits each office every month, dropping off goodies. We go to Dunkin Donuts or the Bagel Shop, giving a dozen to 4 or 5 offices a week.
This is a very low-cost way of getting in front of a great referral source. People always remember those who feed them!
This has proven such a success for us that Realtors call us wanting gift certificates for use in their “farm areas”, whose homes they would like to sell. They are of the same belief that in order to be recognized, it is sometimes OK to give something away. Many Realtors use our gift certificates as a “closing gift” for their clients, making it a win-win situation for everyone.
Others use it in their listing presentations.
Most importantly, we have never been “burned” by giving away a free room in this manner. We get our price for the rest of the home, as well as adding protector sales.
#7) We always give the Realtors a follow-up phone call to make sure they received our goodies and information.
KNOCK OUT !
We have now expanded the above program to include:
A) Maid Services
B) Beauty Salons
C) Doctor’s Offices
D) Veterinarian’s Offices (who we supply with lots of Odor Removal information)
If anyone would like samples of what we do, just e-mail me.