One of the things I love about the vacation rental industry is networking. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world and a good portion of my business now comes from referrals from those people.
In the early years of my vacation rental real estate career, I didn’t see it necessary to network with agents across the globe. I honestly thought it was a huge waste of time - after all, how many agents do you know that genuinely enjoy working with other agents?
You hear them say stuff all the time like:
“I can’t stand agents, they’re all flakes” or “What is wrong with these listing agents, they never pick up the phone. Don’t they want to sell their listing?”
The industry is generally divided and somewhat anti-social.
In the vacation rental niche, it’s quite the opposite. The more social you can be and the more agents you connect with, the larger your chances of getting more referrals, both locally and from abroad.
How would you feel if you could establish such a large and reliable list of agents all over the globe that sends you business, that if you decided to never spend a dime on marketing again you could still earn six figures just from this network you’ve created.
I know this can be done because I’ve done it myself and have spent a good part of the last 6 years making contacts in overseas countries that send me business.
In fact, in many countries, you don’t even need a real estate license to sell real estate or receive referral fees so your market opens up to even more people!
So where do you start?
Social media is the most obvious and easy place for everyone to start. On your laptop, while sipping some hot tea and lounging around in your pajamas. . . well, some of you.
Linkedin is an excellent place to start joining international referral groups or seeking out people with influence in the countries you’d like to get more business from.
You have your credentials and resume already on there so they see you are qualified. All you have to do is start a conversation and find out how you can help them grow their business while they help you grow yours.
Remember, even though you might all be from different parts of the world, everyone speaks the universal language of money. I haven’t met too many people that don’t like to earn extra money just by talking to their friends while on the golf course about real estate.
You need to find 10 really influential people that are master-networkers; that believe in your product and are willing to share it with others.
Not everyone they talk to will be interested but you can bet that at least 1 out of every 5-10 people will want to know more about what you’re selling.
Overseas property expos are a great way to meet and network with other property agents from around the world. While many of them may have already pledged their loyalty to someone else in your area you will also meet some that have been burned and are looking for a new contact or don’t have anyone yet they trust to send their business to.
These events can be costly to attend but if you’re going to do it make sure you include networking in your agenda. It’s worth the time invested.
Your clients all have a favorite Realtor back home who helps them buy and sell. I bet that Realtor would have loved to have earned a referral fee when their clients bought a house from you but did they?
They didn’t because they probably don’t even know their clients were interested in one and they wouldn’t know where to send them to even if they did. Getting in touch with their Realtor and introducing yourself might feel awkward at first. . . like being the “other woman” but it’s definitely a smart business move.
Once they understand that one of their clients purchased a vacation rental it’s easy for them to understand that may be doing the same thing and they’re not getting a piece of any of it.
Reach out to these agents and work out a referral with them and encourage them to start marketing your area to their clients as a second home option. You can bet that both of you will be very happy in a year when you’ve closed several deals and both got paid on it.
While there are a plethora of other ways you can go about networking such as your local board, job forums, and paid ads, these are three proven ways that have worked for me and I know they will work for you.
Remember, when forming new relationships try to always be genuine. Don’t just be concerned with what you can get out of the other person, also try to find out how you can help them also. It should always be a genuine win-win scenario for all three of you.
You, the other agent and your clients.
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'25 Statistics To Help Sell The Vacation Rental Concept'
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