Often time in real estate, I encounter property that falls outside of my area of expertise. Sure, I could probably talk my way around the problem and attempt to help someone out – but this is putting my interests above the client’s, while at the same time, dramatically increasing my liability and chances of error. This is doing the very opposite of fiduciary duty. If I encounter a property in which I lack the relevant expertise, I refer my client to another more qualified real estate professional with germane experience specific to the individual property or situation.
I am constantly trying to build relationships with other qualified real estate professionals (residential, commercial, property management, condo-specialists), and experts that often are included in the real estate process (inspectors, lenders, builders, etc.). Some agents – generally residential real estate agents – do not like building relationships with so-called ‘rival’ agents, but this is a very short-sighted approach. As a real estate professional, I want as many solid relationships with true experts and professionals within the real estate field. When I encounter a problem, I want to know who to call – and, to even take it one-step further, whose advice and counsel I should pay careful attention.
By practicing referral real estate, real estate professionals both limit their legal liability and truly function as a fiduciary. All consumers of real estate should verify that their agent is qualified to assist in the real estate process of each specific type of property. Referral real estate is an under-used option in the transaction process which should be practiced by every agent on a property-to-property basis.