This is a quick blog on marketing carpet cleaning to realtors and real estate offices, specifically in using preferred vendor programs. This marketing strategy is geared towards the residential market and I wanted to introduce the idea, most cleaners probably don’t realize that these programs exist locally and can be a great opportunity in some cases.
How does a preferred vendor program work? Basically we pay a fee, usually a monthly installment of $100 to $300 depending on the size of real estate office. For this fee we get exclusive access to the realtors with contact information, access to the public office, events and maybe even a listing on their website. Exclusive depends on the individual company, most will try to keep contractors to 2-3 in each category.
Is it worth it? YES, can be if you set up a routine to introduce yourself and stay in touch over the long term. In general referrals come from personal contact more than anything, so attending events and even speaking at a breakfast meeting will be the most effective. But real estate sales agents run around a lot and a good follow up routine can be very effective.
This can be a great idea especially for email marketing but even creating a business card just for realtors including the address. This way you have a dedicated program to send people, request information, answer questions, create a blog and of course get estimates. The information drops right into our CRM and notifies you. Here is an example for property managers >>> http://methodcleanbiz.com/2016/01/12/carpet-cleaning-landing-pages-for-property-managers/
How do I find a real estate preferred vendor program? Google of course…. Just start to google realtors, real estate offices, etc and start going through the company websites. Now, for the most part only larger offices will have a dedicated vendor program but some medium sized one’s might also. These are private businesses so what the fee is and what benefits are included can vary greatly but I bet you will see some patterns. Most industries copy off of each other to some degree.
Now in the example in our video you can see they might not even call it a preferred vendor program. To them this is value added service and most of the website will be dedicated to selling houses. Might have to look around a little bit, in our example they had a branded name that you wouldn’t understand unless clicking on the link and reading the page. A lot of offices will call it a concierge service, so look for that word also.
What can you do? Attend events, leave flyers in the office mailbox, email, speak at morning sales meeting, make introduction phone calls, mail reminder postcards, leave information in the lobby. Here is a sample flyer I have used in the past for marketing >>> http://methodcleanbiz.com/2016/02/02/door-to-door-realtor-referral-marketing-program/
What I wouldn’t do? Just advertise in a publication, to generate a lot of referrals we really need to develop a personal relationship. Agents are sticking their neck out when referring a carpet cleaning company and none of us want to look bad in front of our customers and friends. You can make an argument for the right price a link on a popular local real estate website might have some SEO value.
Overall signing up with preferred vendor programs for carpet cleaning can be worth it and definitely a marketing strategy worth exploring.