Did you know that 41 percent of first-time homebuyers said a Realtor had a “major influence” on their choice of lender, compared with 33 percent of repeat homebuyers? While more homebuyers start online, the first person they talk to is a Realtor. This is especially true for new home buyers. For this reason, real estate partners remain an excellent source of referrals. You can earn more referral business by building your network and providing a seamless mortgage process to each Realtor you work with, every time.
Establish a Plan
Relationships are the most important asset for retail mortgage lenders and loan officers. Identify the top Realtor in the markets where you want to grow your business. Look at what listings they’ve sold, and find out their personal interests and any other details that might help you establish a relationship.
The goal is to set up in-person meetings. When calling, loan officers should make the conversation or voicemail about the agent, not themselves:
Hi Liz, I’ve been hearing great things about your work. We have some common connections and I wanted to see if we could help each other out. Can I take you to coffee?
They should go into the in-person meeting with a game plan, ready to give the Realtor a referral first. They are more likely to think of you if you also have business for them.
Be the Perfect Partner
Enable your loan officers to establish lasting relationships that grow referral business. Each referral source should be seen as an extension of your sales force that has the ability to generate new and ongoing business. Give loan officers the tools to keep real estate partners engaged with timely and continuous communication that helps them connect, communicate, and follow-up effectively with Realtors, as well as escrow officers and other third parties.
The home buying experience is a major milestone in each customer’s life. Unite your sales force so that they can get the information they need to share with borrowers quickly. If you can help real estate partners delight borrowers, they are more likely to share your name with other agents as someone they need to work with.
About the author: Chris Backe is the director of financial services at Velocify, and a sales automation expert with more than 20 years of experience offering technology solutions to multiple industries. Chris has spent the last 10 years in the financial services industry, holding various positions at industry leading technology companies including Ellie Mae and Salesforce. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.