As a business owner, you’re continually monitoring your painting company’s bottom line. Through your marketing efforts, one-off jobs are plentiful—but once a home is painted, your customers likely won’t need your services again for a few years. While satisfied customers will often provide word-of-mouth referrals to their friends and family, these often don’t result in consistent jobs coming in. This begs the questions, how can you generate a steady stream of painting leads year after year? The answer is simple: build relationships with realtors looking for painters.
While real estate agents aren’t going to be your direct customer (in most cases!), they work with hundreds of homeowners each year that they can connect you with. They’ve built a relationship with the homeowner, and their client is often going to trust the agent’s industry knowledge to guide them when choosing any contractors they need to spruce up their new home.
Many real estate agents have a select group of painting companies that they will recommend to their clients. Once you’ve solidified your spot on their recommendation list, your painting company will have steady leads coming in. But that is easier said than done. How can you ensure local realtors are consistently recommending your painting company in your area? Let’s look at three ways your painting company can generate more income from realtor referrals.
1) Reach Out to Realtors You Have a Connection With
Whether you just opened your new painting company and you’re trying to break into the market or you’re an established business, the easiest way to form a beneficial relationship with a realtor is to reach out to your personal connections first! Who do you know in the real estate industry? It could be your second cousin twice removed, your neighbor down the street, or a member of your partner’s book club. No matter the connection, we recommend reaching out to anyone who could help get your foot in the door. Using a personal connection will be much more effective than blindly reaching out to different agencies in your area.
If you don’t know any Realtors personally, you’re not out of luck yet! Many real estate agents are looking for reliable painting companies to recommend to their clients. Give a call to a few local agencies letting them know about your painting company and the services you offer. It’s very helpful if you have a professional-looking website and are well-rated on Google My Business —pointing these out can help give you a leg up! Let them know that you’re available for any painting jobs they might have coming up.
2) Leave Marketing Materials at Local Agencies to Reach New Realtors Looking for Painters
Apart from making a sale, a realtor’s primary goal is to have a satisfied client. If their client buys the perfect home, but in the wrong color scheme, the agent will be looking for a painting company they can recommend to keep their client happy. When this happens, you want your painting company to be top of mind so you’re the only company they recommend.
If you have marketing materials like brochures, pamphlets, rack cards, or business cards, you’ll want to drop these off at a few agencies around town. This will help keep your painting company on their mind and helps you stand out from other painting contractors you might be competing with. However, this method isn’t as strong as the personal connection so it’s best to only take this route if you have extra marketing materials to spare—rather than printing up flyers specifically to do this.
Keep in mind that most realtors are looking for painting companies that can provide high-quality, quick turnaround paint jobs. If your painting company is often booked out a few weeks in advance, the realtor route might not be a cost-efficient plan for you. If you’re going to drop off marketing materials at local agencies, make sure you have a painter who is always available to take on the job when the call comes in.
3) Provide a Discount for the Real Estate Agent’s Client
Another incentive you can offer is a discount for the homeowner! Realtors looking for painters will often recommend a company that offers a benefit to their clients—they’re always looking for ways to keep their clients satisfied! This benefit can be something like a fast turnaround time or a reduced rate on the painting job. Your discount can be as simple as 5% off the entire paint job or can be more elaborate like buy one room, get one room painted for free.
Similar to the realtor commission, you should only offer a discount if your painting company will still profit from the job—you can determine how much you need that profit to be. While any sort of discount or incentive is a sure way to get your painting company to the top of an agent’s recommendation list, a discount isn’t going to be the best solution if your company can’t afford to give them.