Aside from the occasional cash buyer, home buyers lean on mortgage loans to provide them with the necessary financing. Obviously, this means the involvement of a loan officer like yourself. In order to become THE loan officer that real estate agents send their mortgage referrals to, you must put forth the time and effort to build these relationships.
Learning how to bolster these relationships can put you first in line for these referrals. Increased referrals mean increased volume and production for your mortgage business. For that very reason, we present to you the five ways to increasing mortgage referrals working with real estate agents.
1. Teaming Up
As you may have heard or experienced, some real estate agents can be a nightmare to work with. This is relevant in almost any profession, there are going to be people you’d prefer not to work with. On the other hand, you will meet some that make your job a breeze. Regardless of the situation, you need to understand that both parties are working together to achieve a common goal.
The best way to establish this understanding is to approach them as your teammate from the jump. Make it known that care about their success as much as you care about your own. Make it known that you are there to assist them throughout the entire process. This sort of selflessness can go a long way in showing them the quality of service you are capable of providing.
Position yourself as a resource for both the agent and their client. Ultimately, these agents want to see their clients happy. If you are able to help them achieve this, then they are more likely to hand you mortgage referrals moving forward.
2. Being Transparent & Reliable
Arguably, one of the most frustrating parts about being a loan officer is the number of factors that are out of your control. No matter how much you want to help your real estate counterpart, you won’t always be able to deliver what they desire.
Depending on experience, most real estate agents will be forgiving and understanding of the limitations placed on you. In this case, you want to be transparent about what you are able/unable to accomplish. Setting proper expectations allows for your relationship to grow regardless of the end result.
Aside from being transparent, it is also crucial to deliver on your promises. Having a high level of accountability can only help you establish long term relationships with your real estate connection. But the benefits don’t stop there…
Once you’ve established a reputation of being transparent and reliable with one agent, you’ve vastly increased the chances of them referring you to other agents in need. Just like in the mortgage business, real estate agents face uncertainties. Taking away the uncertainty of having a reliable loan officer is what will set you apart.
“Under-promise and over-deliver!”
What you want to avoid is setting lofty expectations for your real estate partners. The last thing you want to do is promise you can get a loan approved and have it fall through. No matter how much you want to impress an agent, you need to be realistic. Being reliable and transparent will earn you the trust of any good real estate agent.
3. Establishing Effective & Frequent Communication
One factor that plays a large part in developing strong relationships with real estate agents is effective and frequent communication. Usually, the real estate agent will serve as the primary point of contact. Thus, in order for them to pass on updates to their clients, they rely on your constant communication. By failing to follow up frequently, you make the real estate agent’s job much more difficult.
We understand the hesitation to communicate when there are no updates, or when there is bad news. However, without communicating, you leave the agent and their client wonder what in the world is going on. Simply communicating the loan status via email or text once per week is the least you could do. Reaching out by phone once a week demonstrates an even higher level of service and professionalism.
Establishing and maintaining a system of communication with the agents you work with will set you apart from the everyday loan officer. Effective and organized communication makes life easier for both you and the agent. Something as simple as this can lead to future referrals.
As a safety measure, you want to have a plan of attack if you run into difficulties with a particular loan. This involves communicating alternatives with the real estate agent and the client. Ultimately, this shows preparedness and drive to find a successful resolution. Once again, proving that you care as much about the agent’s success as you do your own.
4. Using Social Media to Promote Growth
Although we don’t advocate using social media for lead generation, we strongly believe in its ability to generate brand awareness. Even more so, it is an outlet that provides unlimited networking opportunities. The sheer number of loan officers and real estate agents active on social media make it a breeding ground for fruitful business relationships.
Constant activity and interaction can drive exposure for both you and your real estate counterparts. Engaging with an agent’s post by sharing or commenting associates your name with theirs. This puts your brand in front of their real estate connections that are interacting or simply viewing the post.
Additionally, publicly sharing relevant and helpful content with each other only serves to benefit both parties from an exposure standpoint. The industry-relevant content attracts other real estate agents and loan officers, increasing the potential for new connections.
5. Generating & Distributing Exclusive Mortgage Leads
As we mentioned previously, we generate thousands of exclusive mortgage leads for our clients each month. Of those leads that close, we see about 50% with no realtor representation.
Generating your own exclusive leads put a whole different kind of power in your hands. In a way, this can be looked at as a shortcut into lucrative real estate relationships. Imagine being able to deliver pre-approved buyers to any agent of your choosing. This is arguably the most valued gesture you can make when attempting to establish long term relationships. Effectively, you are handing them a commission check.
This positive impact on a real estate agent’s bottom line will make it hard for them to go elsewhere with their mortgage referrals. This is a type of value very few loan officers fail to add, giving you the upper hand on building favorable connections with these agents.
Increase Mortgage Referrals by Developing Fruitful Business Relationships
Improving your ability to establish and maintain these types of relationships will allow you to move mountains with your mortgage business. Just remember to approach real estate agents as your teammates. Be accountable and transparent, remembering to set proper expectations. Communicate effectively and frequently to keep every on the same page. Make the most out of social media to promote growth for both your agents and yourself. Finally, generate your own exclusive leads to use as bargaining chips.
As always, thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the top!
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