Partnership Marketing

Remodeler and builder, Scott Sevon, CGR, CAPS, GMB is a natural networker. Over the course of a long career operating a residential construction firm in the suburbs northwest of Chicago, he has come to build a great reputation among past clients and has also become acquainted and friends with a number of remodeling contractors throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.

When calls come in that Sevon does not want to handle for any number of reasons — they are too far from his geographic base, or it is a job that is too small for his target project size — he sends them to qualified remodelers who he knows will do a nice job for the prospect.

Typically this is a geographic dynamic. Sevonco, for example is not set up to do business in the city of Chicago, but his longtime acquaintance and Qualified Remodeler columnist Michael Menn, CGR, AIA, does a lot of business in Chicago, so Sevon will send Chicago leads to Menn. In turn, Sevon will sometimes get a prospective client that comes in through Menn’s company, Design Construction Concepts.

There is, in fact, nothing unusual about these types of ad hoc referral relationships between remodelers operating in the same region.

“It is just the way things get done,” says Sevon, who was named Graduate Master Builder of the year by the National Association of Home Builders in February.

Specialty remodelers, those who focus on one or two types of remodeling projects, can be a very good source of prospects for remodelers who occupy different specialties. The same concept has led many remodelers to launch separate companies that specialize in handyman work or in just kitchens and baths as a way to complement an existing full-service business. The lead flow between the two companies can be synergistic — driving the whole enterprise to greater profitability.

Sevon and others in his area have observed that real estate professionals seem further along when it comes to partnership marketing. Real estate brokers have a system for sharing commissions that helps drive business for all players. For his part, Sevonco envisions a day when remodelers will be able to do the same as real estate professionals. A system like that would “make sense,” says Sevon.

Until then, remodeling professionals who tend to keep to themselves might want to reconsider; join their local remodeling association and get the lead flow from networking going in their favor.

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