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Savvy real estate professionals are always looking for that one thing that will set them apart from the growing competition in the ever-evolving real estate industry. And having the right people by your side is a surefire way to differentiate yourself from the sea of competition. For those looking to provide an even greater value proposition, establishing a trusted relationship with Contractor Connection—management company of a national network of contractors—is an integral piece of the puzzle that can’t be overlooked.

Originally created as a network to service the insurance industry by performing restoration repairs for policyholders, Contractor Connection was founded on the premise of providing a service where people are vulnerable and devising a trusted business around this area, offering a strong solution.

In 1999, Crawford & Company acquired a small start-up company and appointed Larry Thomas CEO to lead the Contractor Connection division. Since then, Contractor Connection has grown into a leader in the insurance restoration and consumer home improvement industries, offering everything from bathroom and kitchen remodeling to home repairs that include services for roofing, flooring and plumbing, in addition to emergency repairs such as water removal and property protection.

“Over the course of the last 15-plus years, Contractor Connection has evolved from what it was to include everything from emergency services for water mitigation and board up to multiple service trades that require a general contractor,” says Gregory C. Johnson, vice president of national sales & business development for Contractor Connection. “We started with a handful of contractors, and now we have 4,800 network members across the U.S. and Canada.”

Today, Contractor Connection is a national leader in home renovation and improvement services, matching homeowners with the best professionals for the job at hand, removing the hassle of having to meet with multiple contractors and go through the exhausting vetting process.

“All of the contractors in our network go through an extensive background check, and we check their financial stability, licensing and insurance,” says Lance D. Malcolm, chief operations officer for Crawford Contractor Connection. “When you use Contractor Connection, you can rest assured that you’ll have the peace of mind that your project will be completed by a qualified professional with the highest quality possible. And it will be done by a contractor you can trust.”

Contractor Connection holds its contractors accountable not only through its stringent credentialing process, but also through ongoing performance management. In fact, a team of over 250 individuals are responsible for providing contractor management oversight on behalf of the consumer. And there’s no tenure for contractors; they’re checked out every single year to ensure they continue to meet the high standards Contractor Connection has established.

As the demands placed on real estate professionals continue to increase on an almost daily basis, more and more agents are fielding questions from clients regarding home improvement projects and changes that should be made within the home to make it more presentable to prospective buyers, or when a home is acquired. Having the ability to confidently refer your customers to a trusted source can be a valuable tool for growing your business.

“A lot of real estate professionals have people they can refer to their customers, but they do that at great peril, with liability exposure and without the insurances that our model provides them,” says Malcolm. “In many cases, some of the companies they are referring to clients aren’t held to the same standard.”

Real estate agents need someone they can trust. Using Contractor Connection not only gives you the ability to trust, but you know that Contractor Connection will be there to verify that your customer will be taken care of from start to finish of their project.

This is where Contractor Connection ups the ante. “Contractor Connection provides access to a proven, credentialed, warrantied network of contractors you can use while preparing a home for sale or after a purchase as a way to offer ongoing client support,” says Johnson. “Our model provides opportunities for all these channels.”

As real estate professionals across the board continue to incorporate processes into their business to stay in touch with clients long after the transaction is complete, Contractor Connection is a key piece of the puzzle in keeping the lines of communication open. In addition to checking in on homeowners, real estate professionals can raise the bar even higher by highlighting their access to the Contractor Connection network, an added benefit for homeowners considering a home improvement project in the near future—or at some point down the road.

Real estate professionals can also take advantage of their partnership with Contractor Connection via the traditional welcome packet they provide after a sale.

“Our research shows that there’s a significant amount of home improvement that goes on after a real estate transaction,” says Johnson. “The reality is, after the sale is closed, the agent has the ability through a relationship with Contractor Connection to provide the new purchaser with a source for that work, but to do so in a way that’s already been vetted and credentialed, with a warranty surrounding it.”

Because of the background checks that are incorporated into the process, Johnson reiterates the point that when someone uses Contractor Connection to find a top-quality professional for their home improvement needs, there’s an added level of confidence. Not only does the homeowner not have to worry about the project being completed on time, they can rest assured that the work will be of the highest quality possible.

And last but not least, Malcolm believes that the Contractor Connection network can go a long way toward motivating both buyers and sellers who may be on the fence to move forward with the home-buying or -selling process.

“Potential sellers are looking to make properties more attractive and buyers might want to do some work once they move in,” says Malcolm. “This can be a motivating factor for either party to go through with the transaction.”

As the real estate industry continues to improve, homeowners are taking a closer look at their to-do list and investing in their homes again. Now’s the time to truly leverage any and all relationships and establish yourself as the go-to person for all of your clients’ real estate needs.

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