In today’s market, mortgage professionals must establish relationships with real estate agents to increase their business and connections. If you’re focusing on creating a long-term relationship with real estate agents, you’ll begin to see improvements in volume and a wide expansion within your referral network.
The first step is understanding how to cultivate these relationships. Forming strong business relationships does take time, but they can make a world of difference in your performance and success. Here are 7 tips to help you strengthen and improve your partnerships with real estate agents as well as ways to stand out from the competition.
7 Tips to Strengthen Relationships with Real Estate Agents
1.) Be Proactive
For real estate agents, it can be very frustrating when they have to continuously contact you or reach out to receive a progress update or the status of the loan. When a mortgage loan gets approved, an appraisal is completed or any related milestones occur, be proactive in contacting the agent with these updates.
It’s important to remember to be tactful in how you approach providing these updates and listening to your agent in order to deliver everything needed for them to do right by the client. While you both serve the client, you need to work in harmony to serve each other as well.
“We know when a realtor sends up a referral for a pre-qual, I’ll drop everything to get on the phone with that person because my realtor expects that out of me which is going to continue making that relationship strong.” – Skylar Welch, AIME Member
2.) Hold Yourself Accountable
Working as a loan officer and mortgage professional can be complicated and unpredictable. You may have to learn how to adapt to unexpected situations and experience hardships out of your control. However, any good real estate agent will understand that you have limitations. As long as you are honest about what’s going on and hold yourself accountable, you can still develop strong business relationships even when processes do not go as planned.
It’s important to provide your real estate partners with realistic expectations regarding your ability to get the home loan approved. If it’s going to be challenging, convey that message up front. The last thing any agent wants is a pre-approval letter from you that means nothing. Your real estate partners will appreciate you going out of your way to explain the situation to the buyers and taking that extra step of holding yourself accountable.
Accountability is a key factor toward attracting real estate agents, especially the kind that can make a huge difference in your loan volume.
3.) Establish a System for Communicating
Communication is just as important as accountability. Real estate agents and their clients eagerly anticipate information from you and the longer you go without communicating, the harder the situation becomes for the agent. Ultimately, when a loan officer doesn’t communicate properly, the real estate agent is left to pick up the slack.
If you implement or create a system for keeping communication open with your real estate partners, you will stand miles above the competition. Once you’ve established a connection with them, share your system and always follow through with what you say. This will show the agent you’re working with that you’re not just in it for the transaction or to make money, you’re just as focused to help them get to the final goal.
For most independent mortgage brokers, an effective tool for communicating with your real estate partners is by utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. You’ll be able to directly share customer data, streamline processes together and increase profitability for both parties.
Our Brokers Are Better Network Partner, Lion Desk, is an easy-to-use, customizable CRM platform that features video emailing, text messaging capabilities and lead nurturing tools.
4.) Connect and Communicate on Social Media
One of the best things real estate agents and loan officers can do to communicate more effectively and grow their brands is to have a social media presence. Today hundreds of thousands of people are using social media to stay relevant within the industry.
By using social media, real estate agents and loan officers create opportunities for both parties to be more successful — for example, you can share content that is beneficial to one another or tag each other in certain posts. Some of the real estate agents you work with on a daily basis, who are involved with social media, can also share a link to your website on their own channels and vice versa.
This is highly powerful and a win-win for both parties. The more you help each other expand on social media, the greater chance you both have to see your businesses grow.
If you’re looking for a system that can better help you manage your social media efforts, our Brokers Are Better Network Partner leadPops is an innovative platform that helps you improve your social marketing techniques and create effective lead generation funnels.
5.) Realize You’re on the Same Team
Similar to any profession, it’s inevitable you will encounter individuals you might not get along with. On the other hand, there will also be many people who make it easy for you to win. A surefire way to use your real estate partners to your advantage is approaching them with the mindset that you are on the same team.
It might be surprising how eager real estate agents are to partner with mortgage brokers and grow your businesses together. Both parties are focused on providing for the client and giving them the best service on their home buying journey. If you’re helping them make their clients happy, they will continue to push business your way and you’ll establish trust between one another.
“Anytime we’re closing a deal, we’re marketing for our real estate agents as well. We’re going to let them know, they’re our clients too and hopefully we can have a conversation about continuing to work together moving forward.” – Josh Lewis, AIME Member
6.) Create Value
The days of dropping off rate sheets and sending emails once a week are obsolete. If you want a real estate agent to start sending business your way, you need to give them something of value. This doesn’t have to come in the form of leads, but ensure it is something they will benefit from.
When a real estate agent sees your intentions are to contribute to their success, they will find it easier to reciprocate those feelings. Focus on establishing a business relationship as well as a personal one. If you’re treating them as a friend, it’ll be easier to create trust and effectively build your businesses together.
“It’s our relationship to be able to pick up the phone and be so real with a realtor that it feels more like a friend than it does someone that you’re getting business from.” – Tori Doucette, AIME Member
7.) Take the Initiative to Get to Know Them
As stated above, building trust is one of the most important aspects of creating business relationships — without it there is nothing to build on and nowhere to go. The problem is, oftentimes we want to skip on laying down the foundation and get right to what’s in it for us.
When establishing relationships with real estate agents, you can’t expect them to work with you immediately. You need to build up to that point. We live in a world that runs off of social media, an effective place to start there is finding and following agents.
As you see their posts and interactions, you can start connecting with them more and getting to know them by liking, commenting and even sharing information. The purpose toward building the relationship is getting to know them as a businessperson and evaluating whether or not you would work well together long-term.
When meeting in person, focus on having a good conversation centered around the real estate agent and what their business interests are. It’s important to leave with your contact information and ask for theirs in order to stay in touch with one another.
“Our number one job is to make our real estate partners look good by closing on time and having competitive options so clients are walking away with an amazing experience they will refer to their friends and family.” – Barb Multari, AIME Member
The real estate industry has always been relationship-driven. Whether you’re a mortgage originator, loan officer or appraiser, building relationships is what makes your business thrive. The tips listed above are going to help you transform into a trusted partner in the eyes of your real estate partners.