Posted over 11 years ago

3 Ways For Loan Officers to Be a Real Estate Agent Magnet For Referral Business

If you’re a mortgage loan officer scrambling for business, you may already know that your efforts are better spent on landing referral sources (i.e., real estate agents) that are a pool of repeat business for you rather than targeting individual borrowers offering business here and there. The problem you’re probably facing is the “how” of creating and building relationships with real estate agents as a source of repeat business.

Use these three tips consistently to build and solidify your relationships with real estate agents and you’ll see a major boost in your bottom line.

Use Open Houses as Your In

More real estate agents have returned to basic marketing tactics, which means one of the primary tools an agent is using is open houses. The best part about open houses for you as a loan officer is you know your target markets – the agent and homebuyers – are there. Since real estate agents are not the type to sit behind a desk all day, it can be difficult to meet agents, but attending open houses removes this problem from your marketing equation.

When you enter the open house, do not run up to the real estate agent, introduce yourself and start your sales pitch (one of the biggest mistakes loan officers make). Instead, introduce yourself and let the agent know that you’re a loan officer. Talk with the agent about some of the problems they’re currently experiencing in their business, which allows you to gather information by listening to what the agent is saying. You can then use this information (at a later time) to present yourself as the solution to their problem. Once you’ve built a rapport with the agent, schedule an appointment with them for a later date to discuss the details.

Once you leave the open house, send the agent a handwritten thank you note expressing how nice it was to meet them and letting them know you’re looking forward to your scheduled meeting. Then go back to your office and do your homework on the agent and research the ways you can be the solution to the problems they’re experiencing in their own business – preparing you for your meeting.

When you call to confirm the appointment, mention to the agent how much research you’ve been doing and that you’re excited to share this information with them.

Before your official meeting with the agent, you’ve created a lasting impression because you didn’t try to sell them the first minute you met them, you listened to their needs, sent a handwritten follow-up note and let them know that you’ve been researching solutions to their problems. You’ve built a rapport with the agent that sets a positive tone for your face-to-face meeting where it’s time to convert them into a referral source.

E-newsletters are Highly Effective Tools

According to a Nielsen Norman Group study conducted on the effectiveness of e-newsletters, 69% of the newsletter recipients said they anticipate the arrival of the newsletter. When you create e-newsletters with the right content, e-newsletters are a highly effective marketing tool.

The five characteristics of an effective e-newsletter:

  1. An intriguing subject line that compels them to open the email
  2. Provides useful and informative content that is relevant to the audience (real estate agents)
  3. Uses a soft-sell approach by providing information (advice, tips, etc.) rather than sales copy
  4. Uses an aesthetically pleasing design that is easy to read
  5. Has a consistent distribution schedule

Joint Venture Programs

When two businesses come together for one specific event or initiative, this is a joint venture. For you and an agent, it may be co-sponsoring an open house, where you split the costs and work involved in hosting it. You’re also the recipient of all the leads that come in from the open house. Even if the lookers at the open house do not buy the house featured, they’re looking to purchase a home, which means they are a business lead worth pursuing.

Co-sponsoring an open house is one approach to marketing your business and building a business joint venture relationship with an agent.  Here are some other ideas:

  • Exchange text links or online banners with agent websites
  • Exchange testimonials or endorsements for each other’s services
  • Combine your services into one package
  • Insert a promotional ad for the agent in your service package and vice versa
  • Team up to create an e-book, include your ads in the e-book and give it away for free
  • Host a teleseminar together

Marketing to agents is a process that needs to continue whether the housing marketing is good or bad. Use these three marketing techniques to market your services to real estate agents. When done right and consistently, all three techniques are effective marketing tools for boosting your business.