5 Ways to Supercharge Your Referral Pipeline



Ashley Bedard is a go-to real estate resource – and you can be, too

By Vicki Martinez

After Ashley Bedard jumped to RE/MAX from a local boutique firm in 2014, she and her assistant spent a year overseeing construction of a new office building in North San Diego County.

Fast forward to 2018. Bedard’s RE/MAX Regal office now boasts 11 agents, a director of operations and property management, a director of marketing and technology, and a director of client relations.

Here are five ways she’s established herself as a go-to real estate resource:

1. Meet people – constantly

Bedard keeps a robust, detailed database of friends, contacts and service providers. “The people I've met through the years -- business owners, city officials, council members -- enable me to be a valuable resource for my clients,” she says. Clients, associates and other agents know who to call when they need a dependable service provider for just about anything. As Bedard says, only half-jokingly, “The only referral I don't have is an elevator-repair person.”

2. Join strategic groups

Bedard manages her vast network with methodical intention. She’s a member of Business Network International – which has a strict attendance policy – and she plans vacations and other events so that she rarely misses one of the group’s 6:45 a.m. Wednesday networking meetings.

She has also been a board member, executive board member, co-chair and chairperson for the Vista Chamber of Commerce as well as a member of the San Marcos chamber. The result: Doors open – doors that may have been more challenging without key interactions and introductions. “The opportunities to speak at city council meetings on behalf of our chamber members helped me grow my network, be more visible and become more ingrained in the community,” she says.

3. Get involved in the community

On Memorial Day weekend, RE/MAX Regal is hard to miss at the local Strawberry Festival -- an annual event that attracts more than 100,000 attendees.

“We take the RE/MAX balloon and have tethered rides for the kids,” Bedard says. “We also have a raffle with all kinds of prizes -- Teddy bears with RE/MAX T-shirts, beach balls, gift certificates, gift baskets ... a ton of raffle prizes. To be a part of the raffle, people are asked to donate money to the Children's Miracle Network. Not only is it great exposure for RE/MAX, but it's a chance to collect funds for our hospital here in San Diego.”

4. Take caring even further

For Bedard, connections and relationships generate more than referrals. “Seeing people I work with regularly give from their heart is such a blessing,” she says, citing an annual blanket drive for the homeless she organized. The final year Bedard coordinated the outreach, they collected so many blankets that enough remained to give to the homeless in a neighboring community.

“People can be amazing, and meaningful efforts build a lasting bond,” she says.

5. Use the RE/MAX referral network

Bedard also values the RE/MAX agent-to-agent referral system, where opportunities are exchanged with no corporate fees or interference.

“What makes the RE/MAX referral network so fantastic is the back-end system that streamlines the entire referral process,” Bedard says. “We can find out the languages an agent speaks, their hobbies, how many years they've been with RE/MAX, what kinds of awards they have, how many listings they have, what their listings look like -- do they have iPhone pictures, or do they use professional photography? I love it!”

Bedard gives an example of the referral network in action: “A few years ago, I had clients who were interested in a historic property in Oregon,” she recalls. “My first reaction was ‘Who do I call? I have no idea.’ Then I jumped on the back-end and found a fantastic agent who specializes in historic properties.” Bedard reached out, made the connection, and stayed in the loop the entire time; the agent took superb care of the clients, and Bedard earned a referral fee. “After those clients moved to Oregon, they referred business down here because we took such good care of them,” Bedard says.

Referrals from the RE/MAX network are especially beneficial to RE/MAX Regal in the high-priced San Diego market, as many homeowners relocate to more affordable areas but still turn to Bedard for advice.

“It’s all about helping people,” she says. “When you do that, the business part flows.”

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Husband deployed, RE/MAX mission accomplished

What makes Ashley Bedard’s development of RE/MAX Regal all the more impressive is the personal upheaval the RE/MAX Broker/Owner endured while building her brokerage. Just as she was putting down roots with RE/MAX, her new family was being uprooted: In 2016, just four months into the marriage, her husband Ryan was called to serve his country – becoming stationed in Japan and living on a ship for 28 months.

Still, as with RE/MAX Regal, the adversity didn’t prevent the family from thriving – and expanding. Following a rare three-day weekend visit from Ryan, the family grew to three when little Audriana was born in October 2017.

After more than two years of making it work as a long-distance family, the three were reunited in June 2018, as now-Lieutenant Commander Ryan Robertson returned home to be with Ashley and Audriana. “We’re pretty much newlyweds,” Bedard says with a chuckle.

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