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Real estate professionals are busier than ever. And as the day-to-day demands on their time continue to increase, it’s more important than ever for real estate professionals to focus on specific areas—and services—that will not only make them money but increase their business.

Ryan Ford, a REALTOR® with Watson Realty Corp. REALTORS® in St. Augustine, Fla., decided to use ReferralExchange for this very reason. ReferralExchange is a service that enables real estate agents to refer clients and leads outside of their preferred price point, area, or property type into a nationwide network of 13,000 hand-selected REALTORS® from large and boutique brokerages.

“I saw it as a big potential increase in my business,” says Ford who was intrigued by the concept behind the service from the beginning. As a result, ReferralExchange has enabled him to dramatically increase his business while also helping him keep up with today’s global marketplace.

Ford takes comfort in knowing that a large number of potential customers (due to an influx of buyers coming to the St. Augustine area) are being taken care of exactly as he would take care of them through ReferralExchange. The service has also been a boon to Ford in helping him handle the 8,600+ telephone calls, emails, and other forms of communication he received after being featured on an episode of HGTV’s “Beach Front Bargain Hunt.”

“It’s comforting to know that I’m sending a potential customer to an agent who is considered to be the best in the area,” says Ford who goes on to explain that one of the biggest benefits in using ReferralExchange is his ability to connect with the best agents in the business.

Ford notes that 80 percent of everything he’s sent through ReferralExchange has either closed, or the prospect is still actively looking. “Consumers are doing their research upfront, looking out at a longer timeframe, taking the time to prepare further in advance of establishing relationships with real estate professionals,” says Ford.

Ford has also sent close friends and family members through the network, and notes that his No. 1 goal is to make sure they benefit from the referral. “I want the customer to be happy,” says Ford. “The referral fee is great, but the satisfaction of knowing the customer is happy comes back to me 100 percent.”

Thanks to ReferralExchange, the lines of communication are constantly humming. “I receive notifications every time there’s an update regarding a referral I’ve sent through the program,” says Ford, which keeps him in the loop as to where each and every one of his referrals stands. In addition to the status updates, Ford also establishes connections with the agents who send referrals his way through the service. “When a referral comes in, I call the agent and talk to him or her personally in order to find out more about the customer before I make contact,” says Ford who is not only interested in gaining a deeper sense as to what the client is looking for in a home, but also their hobbies and the names of their children so that he can establish a deeper connection from the start.

The demands placed on real estate professionals show no sign of slowing down and the real estate industry is evolving along with these demands accordingly. This is precisely why Ford encourages real estate professionals to take advantage of ReferralExchange to work any leads to which they can’t fully devote their time.

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