More leads is the key to securing work in the water damage restoration industry. It’s the reason entire companies exist to generate connections between loss victims and restoration experts. Lead generation websites are certainly attractive, as is the idea of having warm leads delivered to your email inbox each day.
Unfortunately, these services aren’t always what they seem. Often, the leads they offer aren’t exclusive and they haven’t been vetted in advance. Before you open your wallet and sign up for one of these services, consider how a referral system could create a steady source of exclusive leads for your business that could turn into profitable jobs.
Partnering with Plumbers for Referrals
For the water damage restoration professional, building relationships with plumbing contractors in the area is essential to business growth. These relationships often become the largest referral source, generating the most water damage leads.
We know that 19% of home insurance claims are non-weather water damage, which typically means plumbing or appliance problems. When this happens, homeowners typically turn to plumbers first to resolve the issue behind the water damage. Most plumbers don’t take on major water removal jobs and will refer the homeowner to another contractor for cleanup and damage repairs.
Hopefully, this is where you and your water damage restoration company comes in. If you have established a trust-filled relationship with that plumber, they will comfortable connected you with the homeowner. And, if you have your referral system set up well, they’ll get a little kick-back when the job closes.
The Challenges of Partnering with Plumbers for Referrals
Even as one of the most lucrative sources of referrals for restoration professionals, plumbing contractors are not just “easy leads.” These are not jobs that are going to land in your lap, there are certain challenges that come with securing work in this manner.
First, it is important to expect relationship building to take time. It is their professional reputation on the line when they recommend another contractor. It isn’t realistic to expect them to trust you right away. It will require networking and regular communication before they start sending leads your way.
Plumbing contractors are also in the business of making money and they understand how important the leads they provide are for water damage restoration companies. For this reason, referral fees are on the rise in their industry. This can create budgeting challenges that are hard to navigate.
Referral fees also offer other contractors the chance to compete for leads. It is pretty easy to see how leads from a plumbing contractor could be “poached” by another contractor who is willing to pay a higher fee for referrals. This can create a competitive market that makes work feel scarce.
How to Address Referral Challenges
Should the challenges that come with building a referral relationship with plumbing contractors scare you away from the practice? Certainly not! It will take creativity to address these challenges but once relationships are established they will become a consistent source of income and that is definitely worth the effort.
Prepare to be persistent. It is easy to underestimate how many strategies you will need to establish a few strong connections. At More Floods, we help our members use as many as 20 different marketing tactics to create referral relationships.
Don’t ignore the basics. When it comes to marketing to both homeowners and referral sources, brand recognition is so important. You want your business to stand out among your competition and one way to do this is to make sure they are seeing your logo over and over again and that branding is consistent across all materials and communications.
Lastly, make sure you are being upfront and honest with potential referral sources about some of the challenges that come with referral relationships. For example, they may not yet understand that one of the downsides to high referral fees is that restoration professionals are less likely to refer back to the plumber because they feel the relationship is more transnational than mutually beneficial.
At More Floods, lead generation through referrals is one big way we help our members grow or scale their businesses. We connect business owners with the tactics and resources we’ve created and used in the growth of our own restoration business and offer support for troubleshooting and making our system work for your needs. To learn more about becoming a More Floods member, click here or call 1-866-667-3356.