An average Realtor does 12 transactions a year and earns less than $50,000. Agents need a reliable sales funnel with more active realtors than homes for sale. As a lender, you should note that 39% of first-time buyers and 27% of repeat customers work with a realtor to select their lender.
Keeping these stats in mind, one might wonder why it seems so difficult to forge a successful relationship with our realtor partners.
Before we dive into some techniques of how you can better market yourself when looking into finding a referral partner, we'll outline the importance of the lender-realtor relationship and help you understand what realtors want.
Once you have all the fundamentals nailed down, you can begin working together to create a strategy to best co-market.
The Lender-Realtor Relationship
How often have you thought you were feeling the cold shoulder from your realtor partner? You wonder what you are doing wrong. All the other lenders in your network seem to be getting all the referrals, but you're left behind.
Or perhaps you've been burned by weak referrals of customers who aren't ready for a loan?
You aren't alone if you've thought about one or more of these questions.
Unfortunately, the feeling is mutual with your realtor partners.
Did you know that they too often feel like they are getting burned by lenders who seem to take, take and take, can't help their customers, or make empty promises?
Closing the gap and ensuring it's a win-win situation for both parties doesn't have to be as hard as it sounds.
So, how can you market to realtors as a loan officer so that you can increase your production and double your realtor's business simultaneously?
Can you really afford to lose a relationship when 21% of mortgage referrals come from realtors?
What Realtors Want From Loan Officers
The big-hairy truth is everyone wants commitment. And, no, we're not talking about the type where you are constantly walking on eggshells, wondering if you are about to walk into a breakup. We're talking about a real commitment that adds value to everyone's businesses — a 2-way commitment.
In an integrated partnership, you show the true value of your relationship towards one another. Think about all of those power couples you love — like Pippen and Jordan and Beyonce and Jay-Z. You and your realtor partner can be the next super couple.
How to Market Yourself to Realtors
But, how do you begin to market to your realtors without a 4th of July fireworks show?
It's all about cultivating integrated relationships, so you remain united no matter what the market throws your way. The more you can learn to understand what your realtor partners want from you in a partnership, the easier it will be to work in tandem.
But, if you are looking to add some simple approaches on how to begin to "get noticed" by potential partners, here are some channels you can look into:
Social Media - What's the best part about going to the movies? Some would argue the trailers. Prepping yourself so your prospective partner gets the low-down on who you are in as few words as possible will be vital to proving your worth. Circulating videos on social media is a great way to begin. Followed up by group conversation and commenting on posts on all social networks. Don't be afraid of social media marketing, loan officers!
Pop by open houses - Research open houses and attend them accordingly so you can determine if a prospective partner might be a good fit. Remember, not everyone that looks good on paper will necessarily be the perfect partner.
Offer them high-level technology - Lenders who invest in an automated borrower retention system will lure realtor partners through proven results. For example, a system like Sales Boomerang scours mortgage lenders' customer databases for missed loan opportunities.
Sales Boomerang alerts have enabled lenders to close more than $150B in additional loan volume that may have been overlooked and achieve retention rates of 3-5X. Being in the right place at the right time is vital, so lenders must have a mortgage customer retention strategy.
With a proven solution, you'll be able to:
- Respond to leads in minutes
- Pay less than $300 per acquired loan instead of $1200+ per lead
- Close 20-40% more loan volume per month
What do you think your prospective realtor partners will say to that?
Once you have a few prospective partners in the pipeline, do your research. Start by determining how many transactions they've completed in the past 12 months.
Are you ready to start marketing to your realtors?
We hope we nailed down how important relationship building is to the success of any co-marketing initiatives. When you don't spend the time to vet your potential partners and lay down the foundation for a two-way relationship, you won't be serving yourself or your partners. Before starting any relationship, you'll want to triple-check that both parties are adhering to RESPA's guidelines, and then the fun can begin: strategy building and implementation.