• Julie Nelson

A plumber, an electrician, and a painter walk in to a bar: a facebook strategy that works!

Updated: Jul 11

Stop asking your Realtor® friends for plumbers, electricians, landscapers, painters etc.

I am on various local Realtor Facebook groups and I see this sort of post all the time:


“Hey Realtor friends! Who can recommend a good plumber (roofer, electrician, etc)?”

Stop it! You are missing a prime opportunity to build your business.

Any time you need some kind of service provider recommendation, this is a KEY OPPORTUNITY to reach out to your sphere. Here's what you post on Facebook:


'Hey folks, need your help! I am always looking for really good service providers ,,, electricians, plumbers, handymen, deck, landscaping etc. Who do you like?

They do not have to be cheap (in fact that tends to be a bad idea). They need to be good and reliable. I am very particular. Any time I give out a name, it is an extension of my reputation … so I screen folks carefully.


Today I am specifically looking for [xyz]. Whatcha got?


And what do you need? If I do not have a name, I’ll find one. Anyone I recommend to you is usually either a strong recommendation from a friend or client, or I have personally used them."


And then anyone who responds with anything, private message them and type this:

"What's your cell?"


Then call them immediately and ask them all about the person they just recommended. And then before you get off the phone, make sure you ask the power question:


“Hey, real quick before we get off the phone ... I would not be doing my job if I did not ask this question ... but are you anticipating any real estate needs this year or know anyone who may need my services?"


And then you get to call the recommended service provider with this:


“Hello. I wanted to introduce myself. We have a mutual friend (or client) and they were just raving about your services. My name is X and I work with Y Realty. Are you currently taking more clients? Great. Tell me a bit about your business. Let me ask you this real quick … most [electricians] know a lot of Realtors. Do you have a go-to Realtor when someone you know has a real estate need? I like to build those relationships in my business where we help each other. What is the ideal client you are looking for? I’ll keep my eyes open. Let me get your email real quick so we can stay connected. I hope to send you some business soon.”


Of course there are many variations on this conversation, I think you get the point.


This whole conversation is a HUGE opportunity for you. It is so simple and easy and look at all the conversations and engagement it creates. Have you ever run out of people to call? This is such an easy solution to that problem.


I recommend that you actually post something on this topic at least once a month. Here is a slightly different version you can post monthly:


“Hey folks, it’s that time again where I am looking for your recommendations for various service providers. Plumbers, painters, roofers, handymen, landscape designers, stagers, carpenters … you name it. If you think they’re good, qualified, and reliable, then I’m interested. Who do you know?


And what do you need? I usually have a name or two and if I don’t, I’ll find one for you. Any name I give out has been vetted … either by my friends and clients or I have used them personally myself. Consider me your go-to for anything related to keeping up with your home.”


So now you have an awesome list. Here are a few more tips to make this work at a high level:

  • Handyman - If you find an amazing handyman and then you give that name out to a bunch of Realtors in your office, that handyman will no longer have availability. I learned this from experience. Best handyman ever, gone. I have shared a lot of service provider names to other Realtors over the years and continue to do so, but I kept my best handyman names to myself.

  • Calendar – Put it in your calendar as a repeating task to post your monthly who-do-you-know post. And remember, any single person who comments on the thread, they get an immediate phone call from you to learn all about the person they are recommending. And then that recommended person gets a call from you. (You are in the business of talking to people about real estate, right?)

  • Timing – If you post your monthly post in the middle of the work day, you are limiting the visibility. Recommended Facebook post times are often referred to as 7-12-7, the times when most people are on Facebook … before work, lunch time and the wine hour. Choose your timing carefully.

  • Sharing Your List - Friends and clients will ask you if you can email over your list. Or you may be tempted to post your amazing list online. I do not recommend this for a number of reasons. Namely, if they have your comprehensive list, then they stop calling you when they need something. You want to remain the go-to resource. Here’s what I say when I get that request:

“Hey, I get that request a lot. My list is always changing and it is super long so I do not give the full list out. What do you need? What’s up?”


A plumber, an electrician, and a painter walk in to a bar …


What other tips do you have for working service providers in to your business?


512-848-5881

Career strategist, connector of people,

agent whisperer, general enthusiast.

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© 2020 by Julie Nelson & The Nelson Project, LLC; all rights reserved.