7 things you can do to get Realtors to eagerly give you mortgage leads
I’ve only been a loan originator for about 5 to 6 months now, but I can tell you that hands-down my very best mortgage leads come from Realtors.
There are two simple reasons why that is:
- Realtors deal with people every day who need your services!
- Realtors themselves can’t make any money unless their client gets financed (which means you are needed by them)!
In this post I want to show you exactly what I’ve been doing to cultivate good relationships with Realtors in my area and tell you some of the results. Keep in mind, these are not magic bullets… you’ll get good response from some Realtors and no response from others. But you only need 4 to 8 good relationships to have you swimming in loan work month after month.
1. Go to their office and meet them
There is no substitute for face to face contact. Good relationships happen more in PERSON than they do via the internet or phone.
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When Realtors see your face, hear your voice, get a feel for WHO you are in a person to person meeting, they will be much more apt to trust you and want to work with you. And don’t go into their office unprepared. Have your business cards ready, have fliers ready showing your programs and lender options (they may want a handful to put in their “rack”). Be ready to sit down and talk… you’ll be surprised how many might invite you to. Don’t be sales-y or high pressure… just be friendly, interested in them, and eager to help them be successful. Let them know that you understand that their success depends on you doing a good job for their clients. You can call ahead and make an appointment, or you can just drop by. Either way, you’ll be glad you did.
RESULT: I’ve had more than a handful of good, long, in-depth conversations about my products and the things I can help the Realtors accomplish. I found out needs they had that I can try to meet. And… I’ve had a Broker/Owner offer me a trade-off of sorts to get me an office INSIDE HIS BUILDING! Can you imagine the mortgage leads that will come from being in the same office with 5 to 6 Real Estate agents?
2. Give them helpful resources via email
This is a touchy one, but I did it and it has been working well. I went through the areas surrounding my office and wrote down all the realtor offices. I searched them on the internet, found every Realtor’s email address I could, and made my own emailing list of local Realtors. I started by sending a quick introductory email, letting them know who I was, that I was a local lender, and that I was available to answer their questions, help them with scenarios, and even to meet with clients to discuss loan options. I also started sending them fliers that I knew would be helpful to them and their clients (HERE’S A SAMPLE: The 5 FASTEST ways to increase your credit score ). My goal in these emails is not to be high-pressure but to be truly helpful .
RESULT: I’m having Realtors thank me for sending them emails. Can you imagine that? They are THANKING ME for sending them unsolicited emails! Why? Because they are emails that are truly helpful to them… and when they think of a client who needs financing, who do you think they will think of? Me! BANG! – THERE’S A NEW MORTGAGE LEAD!
3. Ask them what their biggest headache is when it comes to finding financing for their clients.
You may not think so, but they will gladly tell the answer to this simply question. Why? Because they want somebody… ANYBODY to solve their biggest problem! Once you know what their headaches are… find solutions! When you finally do, let them know (and remind them of the conversation when they told you about it).
RESULT: I’ve discovered that every Realtor in my area is frustrated about the lack of loans available for Manufactured Homes. So what do you think I’ve done? I’ve become the
Manufactured Home go-to-guy! I have two lenders that specialize in MHs and I’ve learned their requirements, built good relationships with their representatives, and am able to speak authoritatively on the subject every time a Realtor brings up the issue. I’m already closing some of these previously “un-do-able” loans… and the Realtors in the area are taking notice. To drive it home even more, I’m sending a brief email to my list announcing these D-O-N-E closings every time one happens. Those, my fellow loan officers, are mortgage leads and closed loans I wouldn’t have if I had not asked a simple question that the Realtors were dying to answer.
4. Once you’ve struck up a preliminary friendship, take them to coffee and ask, “How can I help you sell more homes?”
As Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything you want in life if you help other people get everything they want in life.” Meeting with Realtors is not really about your mortgage business, it’s about helping the Realtor be successful. When he/she is successful, you will automatically be successful too. You’ll be amazed the creative ideas the two of you might be able to come up with.
RESULT: I’m in the process of working with a handful of Realtors to put together some land-home packages in cooperation with a local modular home guy. The Realtors will meet the clients and suggest the product… the modular home distributor will provide the custom home… I’ll provide the financing. It’s a win-win-win situation! The idea came from me having coffee with a Realtor.
5. Send people to your Realtor friends
When you hear of someone thinking about buying a home, give them your card… AND point them to one of your Realtor friends. You want them to have the best experience possible in buying a home, so send them to the best Realtors you know.
RESULTS: The client will think super well of you for giving them a recommendation to a great Realtor, and the Realtor will be super grateful and point them back to you for the financing piece. When Realtors begin to see that you really aren’t in it only for yourself, they will more inclined to send people your way.
6. Keep your client’s Realtor in the loop!
I ask my clients at the outset if I’m authorized to communicate timeline and process issues (not financial issues) to their Realtor on an ongoing basis. If they say, “Yes” then I make sure I do it. Realtors are waiting for that closing to get paid, so I want them to know where we are in the process of getting them paid. I want them to know if there are problems, if there are hurdles, if there are victories! I want them to know that I care about THEM – the Realtor… and that I want to make their job easier. So I’m working hard to keep the Realtors in the loop.
RESULTS: After copying one Realtor on an email between me and a mutual client, she said, “I like you! You shoot straight but do it kindly and with a positive attitude. I’m going to refer everyone to you from now on. ” Did you hear that? Good communication with the Realtor is going to result in more mortgage leads!
7. Provide informational seminars/meetings for your Realtor circle
Do you consistently find areas where Realtors are not well educated? Put together a seminar and ask if you can present it to the agents in the local Real Estate Office(s). Set up the meeting, provide snacks, and plan on Q&A. Some topics might be: Manufactured Housing, Credit Improvement, Dos and Don’ts of getting a loan, How the Loan Process Works… all of these will help the Realtors be more intelligent and knowledgeable when they are asked financing questions.
RESULTS: I have yet to do this one… but you had better believe it’s on my list of things to do in the next 6 months! I’m building relationships now that will make it possible to accomplish by then. And as those relationships grow I can ask the Realtors themselves what topics would be of greatest benefit and interest to those in their office! I want what I’m providing to be the very BEST help to them.
These are only 7 ways I’ve found to build good Realtor relationships and maximize my mortgage leads! What ways would YOU suggest?