DO LISTING AGENTS SELL HOMES TOO?
You finally get that Realtor to speak with you and the first thing that comes out of their mouth is the infamous “I’m just a listing agent.” If you are a seasoned originator or just someone starting out your first week it’s likely that you have heard this comment.
Many years ago, when I first heard this from a Realtor I didn’t realize that this was just a script they have to avoid being pestered by loan officers. But let’s dig a bit deeper and I will share with you how to respond to this comment and turn this agent into a loyal asset.
I REVIEWED MY LAST 100 LOANS AND HERE’S WHAT I FOUND.
To prepare for this article I actually reviewed my last 100 transactions to see who the referring Realtors were. By the way I hope you keep these records too because it’s always important to know where your business is coming from.
We tend to ignore and take for granted those agents that refer us regularly and just focus on adding new partners which is a big mistake. Keeping records and reviewing them allows you to focus your efforts properly.
What I found when I checked my last 100 loans was that 21 of them came from agents I had met because they were the listing agents on my transaction. Think about that for a minute. You could be increasing your production 21% or more per year by what I am going to share in this article.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF WAYS TO HANDLE THE “I’M JUST A LISTING AGENT” OBJECTION WHEN YOU HEAR IT.
On the surface the comment itself is a silly one. Don’t most people selling their homes also look to buy either a bigger home or downsize from their existing homes. You could simply say that you would be happy to qualify their sellers so they are pre-approved before they even list their home for sale. This way they can be comfortable moving forward the home sale process and know that they will have a loan in place when their home is sold.
I once met with an agent who used this excuse and I said “ WOW , I am so sorry to hear that because I wanted to share a pre-approved buyer I am working with who is in need of a Realtor. But I guess since you are just a listing agent you won’t be able to work with them right?”
The look on this agents face was truly priceless and yes, I did give him the referral and he did sell them a home.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO ASSIST THEM WITH THEIR LISTINGS?
There are a number of ways that you can assist Realtors with their listings and assist them with obtaining listings. For example there are lists of FSBO’s and EXPIRED listings available that you could provide them on a daily basis. This will help them get more listings and help you get more buyers.
Sponsor and Promote Broker Open Houses. This allows the agents to expose their listings to other agents in their office and other offices in the area. The benefit to you is that being there allows you to meet other agents in a non-threatening and casual environment.
PROVIDE A WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS.
There are a number of programs on the market that allow you to provide a website and mobile site for the agent’s listings that is branded with the agent’s information and yours. There are also a number of home search apps on the market that can also be co-branded and allow you and the agent to get the leads that are generated.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND EXPERTISE
Do you offer any special programs or do you have any specific area of expertise that can help your agents sell the homes faster?
As an example, the company I work for, HomeBridge Financial services has special expertise with condominium projects and approvals. There are several challenging condominium projects in the Baltimore area that we have been able to get approved because of this while some other lenders in the area aren’t able to lend in these projects.
I did a bit of research and found that 3 agents controlled most of the listings in these buildings that are all located very close to each other. I contacted them and explained to them that we are able to lend in these projects and they have since referred me to the agents and buyers who are purchasing their listings.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL PROGRAMS THAT WILL HELP THEM SELL THEIR LISTINGS FASTER?
This is very similar to expertise but let me share another example with you. There are a number of agents who specialize in working with bank owned homes and foreclosures.
These homes are often not in great shape and with sellers who will not make any repairs. This obviously limits the amount of buyers who might buy the home since FHA and VA financing would not work.
That’s where you come in if you offer Renovation loans. Contact these agents and let them know about your expertise in the renovation program. Let them know that they can now offer FHA and VA and Conventional financing on their listings and that it will allow them to sell that listing faster.
I marketed to these Listing agents and they now hand prospective buyers and their agents my contact information. They tell agents who sell their listings that they strongly suggest using me for the mortgage since the home will likely come back with repairs and their seller will not make those repairs.
By the way- this doesn’t only go for bank owned homes. There are many homes on the market that need work with sellers who simply do not have enough equity or cash to make them.
HOW CAN YOU IMPRESS THEM WHEN THEY ARE THE LISTING AGENT?
Every loan you originate provides you with the opportunity to speak with the listing agent. In my top originator mastermind program ( toporiginatormastermind.com/mmm) I recently provided our community with the entire sequence of how to turn the listing agents into referral sources. Here’s what this process looks like when a new loan is turned in.
1.An e-mail is sent to the listing agent introducing us and letting them know we have taken the application on their new listing.
2.A letter is sent to them stating we have taken the application and a packet of information on programs and tools we offer.
3.Every week the listing agent is sent a status update.
4.When the loan closes the listing agent is called and wished good luck at closing and also tells them how much we enjoyed working with them and suggesting a meeting.
A package is sent to them with our programs and tools and again thanking them for working with us. We also suggest in this letter that they call to schedule a meeting with us to see if it would make sense to work together going forward.
BOTTOM LINE- Don’t accept the “I’m just a listing agent” excuse. You now have many reasons to pursue a relationship with these realtors and you should ! Think about what increasing your production 21% in the next 90 days would look like in your business.
Try this and let me know your thoughts by posting below.
Brian Sacks is a nationally-renowned mortgage expert who has career closing of more than 5,924 transactions for more than $1 billion. He has trained, consulted and coached, tens of thousands of loan officers and company owners over the past 31 years on how to close more loans, make more money, and still have a life.
Brian is the host of Top Originator Secrets which can be seen weekly on Mortgage News Network and on his blog. For Your FREE 4 PART VIDEO Series on How To Finally Close More Loans , Make More Money and Have the Time To Enjoy Life visit