How to Be Relatable: Building Lasting Connections with Referral Partners

How to Be Relatable: Building Lasting Connections with Referral Partners

In a world filled with countless interactions and connections, the ability to establish meaningful relationships is crucial for personal and professional success. One key factor that plays a significant role in building lasting connections is relatability. As a top mortgage loan originator that spent years dialing in the best practices for developing and maintaining genuine referral partner relationships, I have refined many strategies for how to be relatable.

What Is Relatability?

Relatability refers to the quality or characteristic of being able to connect or resonate with others on a personal and emotional level. It involves the ability to understand, empathize with, and relate to the experiences, thoughts, feelings, and perspectives of others.

Being relatable allows us to connect with others on a deeper level, fostering trust, understanding, and ultimately, stronger business partnerships. In this blog, we will explore the key traits that make you relatable to others and the essential factors in being relatable to your referral partners.

business partnerships

Why Should You Want to Be Relatable?

To Develop TRUST…

Trust serves as the cornerstone of any strong and enduring referral partnership. Without trust, relationships lack the necessary foundation for growth and collaboration. To cultivate trust, transparency and integrity are paramount.

Consistency is key—demonstrate reliability and dependability in your actions, allowing your partners to have confidence in your words and deeds. Additionally, trust involves active listening and empathetic understanding. Take the time to genuinely listen to your referral partners, seeking to understand their needs, challenges, and goals. Show empathy and support, demonstrating that you are invested in their success.

Nurturing trust takes time and effort, but it is an essential ingredient for building lasting connections with referral partners. As trust grows, so does the strength of your partnerships, fostering collaboration, shared opportunities, and long-term success.

referral partners


To create a mutually beneficial relationship, it is crucial to add value for others while simultaneously recognizing their unique strengths. Start by identifying what you bring to the table—whether it’s specialized knowledge, resources, or unique insights—and leverage these assets to support your referral partners. Actively seek opportunities to provide assistance, guidance, or valuable introductions that can benefit their business or professional growth.

Simultaneously, appreciate the value that your partners bring. Recognize their expertise, skills, and distinctive qualities, and allow them to play to their strengths within the relationship. By fostering an environment where both parties can contribute and relate to one another, you lay the foundation for a robust and enduring partnership. When value flows both ways, referral partnerships flourish, and success becomes a collaborative journey.

>>> READ MORE: Top 10 Strategies to Create More Value for Your Realtor Referral Partners


What Do You Need to Be Relatable?

1.  Authenticity

Authenticity is the cornerstone of relatability. Being genuine and true to yourself allows others to see your vulnerabilities, strengths, and experiences. People are more likely to relate to someone who doesn’t put up a facade and is comfortable in their own skin. When you embrace your authenticity, it opens the door for others to do the same, building a strong foundation for trust and connection.

2. Active Listening

Listening is an art, and being an active listener is an invaluable trait when it comes to being relatable. When you genuinely listen to others, you show them that their thoughts, opinions, and feelings matter. This creates an atmosphere of respect and understanding.

Active listening involves giving your full attention, asking clarifying questions, and demonstrating empathy. By practicing active listening, you not only make others feel heard but also gain valuable insights into their needs and aspirations.

needs and aspirations

3. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is a powerful tool for building lasting connections. When you empathize with others, you demonstrate your capacity to see the world from their perspective. This enables you to respond in a way that is supportive, compassionate, and understanding. By acknowledging and validating the emotions of your referral partners, you create a safe space for open communication and collaboration.

4. Shared Experiences

Finding common ground with others is a fundamental aspect of relatability. Shared experiences, whether personal or professional, create a sense of familiarity and kinship. Look for opportunities to connect with your referral partners on topics of mutual interest, such as hobbies, industry trends, or even personal challenges such as raising kids as a busy professional.

By highlighting these shared experiences, you can bridge the gap between you and your partners, strengthening the bond and fostering a sense of camaraderie.

5. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It is an essential trait for being relatable and building lasting connections. When you have a high level of emotional intelligence, you can navigate social interactions with sensitivity and awareness. You are attuned to the needs and emotions of your referral partners, which allows you to respond appropriately and build trust.

Emotional Intelligence can be learned and worked on with tools such as journaling and mindfulness meditation, which helps individuals cultivate present-moment awareness and non-judgmental observation of their emotions, fostering self-regulation skills. Seeking feedback from trusted individuals can also offer valuable insights into one’s emotional intelligence blind spots and areas for growth.

By actively engaging in these tools and practices, individuals can gradually enhance their emotional intelligence, leading to improved self-awareness, empathetic connections, and more harmonious relationships.

empathetic connections,

6. Open-mindedness

Being open-minded is crucial for being relatable, as it shows a willingness to consider different perspectives and embrace diversity. When you approach interactions with an open mind, you create an inclusive environment where everyone’s opinions and ideas are valued. This encourages your referral partners to share their thoughts freely, knowing that they will be respected and heard. Open-mindedness fosters a sense of mutual respect and encourages collaboration.

Is Being Relatable a Skill?

Relatability is a skill that can be learned and fine-tuned. Developing relatability requires active listening, empathy, effective communication, and the willingness to bridge gaps in understanding.

Best Books and Resources to Learn How to Be Relatable

There are several books that can help you improve your overall social skills, empathy, and understanding of others. Here are some recommendations:

  • “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie: This classic self-help book provides timeless advice on building relationships, improving communication, and understanding human nature.
  • “The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism” by Olivia Fox Cabane: This book explores the concept of charisma and offers practical techniques to develop charisma and improve your ability to connect with others.
  • “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” by Daniel Goleman: This influential book delves into the concept of emotional intelligence and how it affects our relationships. It offers insights into understanding and managing emotions, which is crucial for relating to others.
  • “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler: This book provides practical strategies for handling difficult conversations with empathy and effectiveness, which can be essential for relatability in challenging situations.
  • “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg: This book introduces a communication framework focused on empathy, connection, and understanding. It offers techniques for expressing oneself authentically and resolving conflicts peacefully.
  • “The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over” by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins: Drawing from the author’s experience as an FBI agent, this book explores the science of likability and offers practical tips for connecting with others.

Reading these books is just a starting point. Developing relatability also requires practice and real-life experiences to truly understand and connect with others.

In my various coaching programs, we always touch on how to best develop relationships with referral partners and build relatability and trust to collaborate and reach your goals. In fact, my 6-week Referral Partner Program is one of my cornerstone guides that give my clients practical tips and easy-to-implement strategies as well as unique ideas for creating genuine relationships.

Learn more about how my coaching programs can help you develop relationship building skills and relatability with your partners and clients… schedule a FREE strategy call today!

How to Be Relatable on Social Media

Nowadays, it’s not enough to learn how to be relatable with your business partnerships in person, you also need to develop your online relatability skills. Not only is that where you can build trust and maintain relationships with your clients, but potential referral partners may discover you through social media as well.

To be relatable on social media, focus on authenticity and genuineness. Share your own experiences, challenges, and triumphs, allowing your audience to connect with you on a personal level. Avoid presenting a perfect or idealized version of yourself and instead embrace vulnerability and openness.

Second, actively engage with your audience by initiating conversations, responding to comments, and asking for their opinions. Show interest in their lives, stories, and perspectives. This interaction fosters a sense of connection and makes your content relatable.

Third, understand your target audience and tailor your content to their interests, needs, and aspirations. Use language, visuals, and references that resonate with them. By demonstrating an understanding of their world, you create a relatable space for meaningful engagement.

Lastly, be a good listener. Pay attention to your audience’s feedback, concerns, and interests. Adapt and adjust your content accordingly. By continuously learning and evolving based on their needs, you demonstrate your commitment to being relatable and responsive.

More support for your mortgage business online…

Conclusion: How to Be Relatable

The relatability factor plays a vital role in building lasting connections with referral partners. By embodying key traits such as authenticity, active listening, empathy, shared experiences, emotional intelligence, and open-mindedness, you can create an environment of trust, understanding, and collaboration. When you are relatable, your referral partners are more likely to see you as a trustworthy and valuable ally, leading to stronger partnerships and mutual success. Invest in developing these traits, and watch as your professional relationships flourish.

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