When serving the mature client, Certified Senior Housing Professionals (CSHPs) often encounter situations where they need to refer to professionals who handle things outside the scope of the agent.
It is good practice to prepare for this in advance so that you can make a smooth and confident referral rather than scrambling at the last minute to locate someone who fits your criteria. Here are a few key service providers to have on speed dial and a few qualifying criteria to consider as you look for whom to align.
- Professional company vs. someone who does it “on the side”
- Have an antique appraiser on staff or retainer
- Long term experience with estate sales in the area
- Will work together with the client and REALTOR to insure critical timelines are met
- Willing to refer buyer leads to you when people inquire about the house during sale
- Uniformed with names on their shirts or name badges
- Will stand behind their bid and estimate - no increase in fee the day of the move
- Workers are preferably employees vs. contractors or day laborers
- Call the client by Mr. or Mrs./Ms. and last name if requested
- No profanity, smoking, or use of the client’s phone or computer
- Are patient placing furniture at the new location & are willing to move it multiple times
Move Managers/Transition Coordinators
- Posses the delicate balance of patience and assertiveness
- Insured (liability insurance)
- Have a track record of multiple successful moves with references to back them up
- Communicates effectively and follows through on what they say
- Offers services that are a fit with your client’s needs
- Has a written contract for the client to sign
Below is an additional list of criteria that I use when considering any alliances or referral relationships and before I make a referral.
- Use empowering language and are not condescending
- Understand and appreciate senior living options as positive alternatives
- Looks the client in the eye and speaks directly to them vs. you or their adult children when in their presence.
- Advocates for the client when they see a potential concern
- Stands behind their work
- Fully appreciates that their work directly impacts your reputation also
- Is willing to be flexible
- Have a heart for seniors
- Provide written estimates (legible and detailed)
- Have references that provide positive responses regarding their work & character
- Is insured according to their professional requirements (with proof)
If you are a REALTOR just beginning to build your list of trusted advisors, consider asking senior housing community representatives, other agents, past clients, and people in your sphere of influence for names of people with whom they have experience and would recommend.
Be sure to review your list of vendors regularly and follow up with those whom you recommend them to so you can insure they are still a fit.
Give your vendors feedback...both positive and not so positive. Help them become the person you want them to be!
|Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation. A veteran REALTOR® of over two decades, she holds a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Nikki is committed to empowering, equipping, and educating real estate sales and senior housing professionals seeking to better serve the mature market segment.