How Loan Officers Can Build Trust with Realtors
January 16, 2019 |
If you’re a mortgage lender or thinking of becoming one, it pays to build relationships with real estate agents.
Real estate agents and mortgage lenders often work closely together. More than just showing potential places to live, realtors, and real estate agents help buyers throughout the entire process. That includes guiding them on how and where to finance the purchase.
Statistics show that the majority of home buyers (especially millennials, Gen X, and younger Boomers) will work with a real estate agent. When it comes to finding a mortgage loan officer, many purchasers trust and depend on their agent’s recommendation. With a little work, you could be that recommendation!
Referrals are crucial for building your business and growing revenue. To gain a steady stream of referrals, you should develop a trusting relationship with some successful real estate agents.
Here are some of our top tips for building and nurturing trusted relationships with real estate agents and brokers:
- Put Yourself Out There – A little research and some networking can go a long way in real estate lending. 82% of Americans rely on recommendations from friends and family when purchasing products and services. For a large purchase like a new home, this is as true as ever! Find agents through social media, open houses, or sites like Trulia and Zillow. Then let them know about your services and that you’re available to work with clients.
- Give (at least) as Much as You Take – Like every relationship, your lender-agent partnership is a two-way street. It’s bad form to just take without giving anything in return. If you can reciprocate leads, great! If not, try to provide other valuable resources like information, education and great customer service.
- Be Responsive – Home buyers and real estate agents need to move fast. Don’t let them miss out on a great deal because you didn’t respond quickly enough. Make sure all your contact info is current and let partners know the best way to get in touch with you. Establish yourself as a partner who’s available, responsive, and timely, and you’ll have no problem getting repeat recommendations from real estate agents and brokers.
- Be an Awesome Partner – Being proactive is one of the best ways to prove yourself as a lending partner. If you can save a real estate agent’s time, they will instantly love you. As soon as you know whether a loan has been approved or denied, inform the agent. Don’t wait for them to call you. Show up at the closing if possible. Be accountable when something goes wrong. The more you can do to go above and beyond, the more your partners will appreciate you. And the more leads they’ll send you.
- Make it Personal – You’re not the only mortgage loan officer out there trying to connect with real estate agents. To stand out, try to have a unique message or offer. Craft your pitch to the specific person or niche if possible. If you work with HSA or jumbo loans, for example, target agents who work with customers in need of those specific loans. Instead of just giving away company marketing swag, make gifts sincere and thoughtful.
Although agents and lenders work in the same industry, their roles are far more complementary than competitive. The real estate business has always thrived on relationships and referrals. Thus, the better your relationship-building skills (and relationship maintenance), the more profitable your business can be!