Painters usually get hired by customers for one time jobs. When it comes to big painting projects, such as exterior house painting or even a full interior paint job, people are likely to only need this done once or it may be many years before they need it again. In this way, painting companies differ from other types of service providers who rely on repeat business from customers; think lawn care or pool services.
And while many professional painters who do great work get work through referrals from happy past customers, we all know that referrals can only take your business so far and may not provide a consistent source of leads to keep your busy all of the time or keep your income more predictable.
So how can painting companies tap into other sources for continual leads?
Well, they can leverage the power of referrals by connecting with key members of the community who have a continual need for these services and an evolving network of people.
Real estate agents learn early on that one of the secrets to success in their field is to cultivate a large network of people they know and communicate with. They often have many contacts across the city in just about every industry. Not only this but they have a continual stream of clients who are on tight timelines and may need painting services in order to sell their home in a timely manner.
It’s definitely worth your time to connect with real estate agents to cultivate a referral partnership with them. Being super-responsive to their requests for service and doing great work for their clients will keep them referring you for years to come.
Property managers are another untapped source of jobs and referrals that painting contractors should definitely look into. As you can probably imagine, property managers oversee multi-unit properties. This means people are moving in and moving out and this also means that they have communal areas of the property that may need painting services and upkeep.
Cultivating a good relationship with them can help you be their go-to person for their painting projects.
So, how can you cultivate relationships with these two groups of people?
One easy way is to just make yourself known to them. One way to accomplish this is to visit their offices to let them know about your business. A good way to get the conversation started is to learn as much about what their needs are as possible. You can ask them questions about how they refer service providers to their clients and what they are looking for in service providers? You can also ask them what type of painting projects are most common for their clients to need? This information you gather can help you when you are networking with other real estate agents and communicating about possibly creating a referral partnership.
The same can be done with property managers. Make the time to visit their offices and talk with them about their needs. Leave flyers and business cards and then just keep touching base with them so you stay top of mind and so you build that familiarity and trust that is so important when networking and getting referrals.
To truly wow them upon meeting them, make sure that you bring along testimonials from past clients and an idea of your prices. It may also be a good idea to show them pictures of your past projects and to even “shout them out” on your social media pages to give them some exposure too. This lets them see that you are not just wanting to take for the relationship but are also looking at ways you can provide value above the good painting work you will do for them.