I am sure it’s not a news flash to anyone reading this article that 2017 will be the transition year we have all been waiting for ( or dreading) for where move from refinance business to purchase business.
Personally I have always focused on purchase business as have many of the most successful originators in the country.
SO WHAT DO REALTORS REALLY WANT?
This is the question that keeps so many of us up at night and frustrates us on a daily basis. Here are some of the ideas that many originators “think” are correct and some actually are. But please stay with me until the end because I believe there are ONLY 2 reasons they will continually do business with you .
The key word in the last sentence is continually so keep that in mind.
WHY YOU MAY THINK REALTORS WILL DO BUSINESS WITH YOU.
Here are the most common reasons and some feedback on each.
1. You provide excellent service and are always available.
Sorry but this is a given just to enter the conversation with a Realtor. If you don’t provide good service and have good communication skills you simply should find a different profession.
2. You have the lowest rates in town.
Sorry but this is simply not even true or believable to most agents. They don’t truly care about giving their clients the lowest rates and no company can ever consistently have the lowest rate in the marketplace and stay in business.
What you need are competitive rates and most lenders do offer competitive rates. Realtors want to ensure that their buyers are getting a good rate ( not the best) and that they are dealing with an originator that will get them to closing quickly , efficiently and with the least amount of hassle.
3. You have some creative and unique programs.
This is always a good thing and Realtors do often want lenders who work with self employed buyers, reverse clients, new construction, grant programs, 203k and Renovation loans and of course my favorite which are buyers who have had a bankruptcy , foreclosure, or other credit challenge.
While they will seek you out for your expertise if you have it , they will not necessarily ever come back to you with their other deals until you discover the “real” hook I will soon reveal.
4. You are willing to do Zillow or other ads with them.
Yes, Realtors do love this and they will work with you as long as you continue to pay and they are getting buyers. I am not opposed to doing this personally with some agents, but generally this is NOT a business model as much as it is a form of extortion.
5. You are willing to pay the desk rental fee.
Real –Estate Brokers and company owners love this and they should. It’s additional revenue. But once again, I do not personally do this and never have. To me this is also a form of extortion. But more importantly, national statistics show that the in-house originator only generates 23% of the business in the offices they are in.
Maybe even worse is the fact that if you have one bad deal you are pretty much finished with that group ever sending you more buyers.
Then of course there are the other ideas that we use to get Realtors to do business with us.
– Open House forms and visiting open houses on the weekends.
– Sponsoring Broker Opens and going to them.
– Lunch and Learns with Realtors where you teach.
– First time home buyer workshops and seminars.
– Charity events with the Realtors.
There are dozens of other techniques as I am sure you know but the truth is, as I mentioned before , there are really 2 things that Realtors want and need that will make them loyal to you and create great long term mutually profitable relationships.
First I will give you the simple easy one which is giving them a pre-approved buyer. Yes, you read that correctly. If you are able to generate buyers and get them pre-approved BEFORE they have met with an agent than you can control the transaction.
You can do this with social media, and with many of the systems I have created to turn renters into loans as well as helping the 7.3 million Boomerang buyers who are now able to purchase again.
Getting to the buyers first is actually more important than making Realtor relationships when you think about it. Once you can produce a consistent flow of new buyers you are in total control of your income and your production.
But there is also a second component of getting and maintaining Realtor business. It’s very under the radar and very few if any others ever discuss this aspect of the Realtor /Loan Officer relationship.
THEY MUST KNOW – LIKE AND TRUST YOU!
Let’s break each of these down separately. Once you truly understand this you will quickly be able to grow your business. More importantly, you will have a loyal group of referral partners and you can start enjoying this business again.
TRUST YOU – This is the easiest one. Simply tell the truth always. When there is an issue communicate it and tell everyone that you are on top of it and getting it worked out.
Do what you say you are going to do and do it when you say you are going to do it. Communicate- Communicate- Communicate and always return your phone calls.
While that is just common sense I don’t need to tell you how many originators don’t return calls and then run and hide when problems come up. Don’t be THAT originator!
THEY MUST KNOW YOU and LIKE YOU!
This is truly the key to long lasting Realtor relationships and partnerships. The truth is that we have become a culture that relies on text messages, e-mails, social media and other forms of quick communications. But the people cannot really get to know you and vice versa thru these communications.
Nothing can replace a good old fashioned phone call or in person meeting. As an example, you can e-mail your borrower and the Relators to wish them good luck at closing. But it would be better to at a minimum call them and even better to actually show up.
Much of human persuasion is based on what people see not hear. Opinions are formed based on visual cues we each give off and receive. These can not be formed on Facebook or Linked in nor can they be formed with e-mails or text messages.
I cover an entire course on persuasion called the LO UNFAIR EDGE and I named it that because it truly does give you an unfair edge over any and all competition.
So what should you do about everything you just learned?
Make a conscious effort to meet your referral partners in person. Get to know them. Learn about their business but also learn about what’s happening in their lives and what their passions are.
Just before writing this article I called one of my agents to see how he was feeling because when I spoke with him last week he said he was sick. After that I called another one of my Realtor partners to see how his son was doing after the surgery he had last week.
Take your referral partners to lunch. Have cocktail parties and invite them all so you can meet them in a non –business setting.
Become friends with them. I can’t tell you how many of my personal friends are also Realtors. This is NOT a coincidence. I have attended their family functions and they have attended mine.
Many times they call me to discuss things that have nothing to do business but simply conversations one friend has with the other.
Write this down- People care about what you know – but they need to know you care before they do business with you .
Want to discover the real “psychological” triggers that give Loan Officers an Unfair Edge