By Referral Only? Hardly

avatarthumbnail.jpgEvery now and again an e-mail will come to my Inbox titled “By Referral Only.” Entire seminars are devoted to the concept of a referral-only business model.

In all honesty, it’s probably a viable way to do business. But it’s also not for me for a couple of reasons.

I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time and energy to my websites – to this blog, to my neighborhood sites for Westbrook Village, Arrowhead Ranch, Ventana Lakes and Phoenix Retirement Real Estate. It would be somewhat dishonest to continue trying to grow my client base through these sites even as I claim not to accept clients that weren’t referred to me. And it also would be somewhat daft.

One of my clients asked me today if I enjoy my job and the answer – the real answer, not the sarcastic, knee jerk “of course I don’t” – is that I do. I’ve met a tremendous number of wonderful people through my business and look forward to those I’ll meet in the future.

When past clients e-mail me to discuss the NHL free agency period because they know I cover the Phoenix Coyotes on a free-lance basis, it’s clear something went right in our working relationship.

My other reason for avoiding the By Referral model is it appears you spend your time hounding the same few dozen people, trying to squeeze every last ounce of business, and at some point there will be no new business to be had.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s no greater compliment than to be recommended by a past or current client to friends and family. But it’s also not what I consider the firm foundation needed for a viable business. There’s far too much competition to sit back and wait for the business to arrive on your doorstep.

But Jonathan … couldn’t the time you spend prospecting be used to serve current clients? Maybe, if I wasn’t doing the bulk of my prospecting on the Internet. Through all of the websites I’m available 24/7 even when I’m not really available 24/7 … I don’t need to be in front of the computer screen or on someone’s stoop banging on their door to attract new buyers and sellers.

It is the way in which I prospect that allows me to provide top service to my clients while looking for additional clients in need of such service.

And it’s also because of electronic prospecting that I’ve had the opportunity to meet as many Canadian buyers as I have. Which has been enjoyable, aside from those rubbing in the Coyotes’ lack of movement in the free agent market.

Nothing’s perfect.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

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