Attracting Realtors as referral sources - Mortgage Agent Training

Attracting Realtors as referral sources - Mortgage Agent Training
Realtors can certainly be one of the best referral sources for mortgage agents.  Real estate professionals, especially realtors on the buying end of a deal, can have influence and the trust from their clients to make introductions to other professionals in the industry.  An example may be a lawyer, contractor and of course mortgage agent.  
When mortgage agents ask me about growing out my realtor network I categories realtors into categories, based on my years of experience working with some of Canada's top ranked realtors. These categories include; Prospects, Targets, Friends & In Need.  Ill explain these subjective,  "made up" categories and how we work together and how you can attract similar relationships.  
Prospects are real estate agents that are typically newer to the industry, focused on buyers which is great for mortgage agents and and don't necessarily know lending overly well.  Our value add is advise and service which go a long way for a new realtors.  The realtors are typically easier to get a meeting with since they are newer to the industry and looking for synergetic relationships. 
  -I love helping new realtors and usually ask my top realtors to introduce me to the young up and coming realtors that would benefit from a mortgage partner.  The experienced realtor endorsement gets the meeting and normally already seals the deal. I support events, marketing initiatives and provide more round the clock service than are banking partners would. I always have a few prospects Im considering connecting with that I think can grow and with my support be even better. This takes some confidence but I know the broker community is the best fit for realtors and our team has the best infrastructure to support these agents. 
Targets are real estate agents that I consider more tenured.  They have the bulk of the signs in your neighbourhood, are considered influential in real estate and are harder to get in front of.  
  -I get in with these realtors one of 2 ways.  
1. Endorsement from friends, family, clients etc. The stronger the endorsement the better.  When I did my first multimillion dollar mortgage I immediately asked the client to introduce me to his real estate agent.  The client was an executive who had influence and therefore I leaned on that influence to make introductions.  By the end of the deal I knew the buying agent, selling agent, lawyer, his accountant and they all opened up to working with me.  If this executive can trust me with his personal data, his large mortgage and real estate purchase obviously the others in the deal that earned the clients same trust put me in the same category.   
  2. Solution Based Lending: By being up to date on products and niche lending solutions I differentiate myself by creating solutions.  Being the singular point of contact for any need and more importantly any problem earns trust and future support and therefore deal flow and ideally the easier deals in the future.  I always focus on being there for the top agents and being at the top of their rolodex when problems arise.  This takes continual education, up to date on market news and products and having the confidence you are the person to call to solve the next problem that arises.  Trust me, in real estate problems arise.
Friends are real estate agents you've  developed a friendship with.  You may have meals together, perhaps have met each others families and you do business together because you have established a bond.  Not all working relationships need to be this intimate but its nice to work with people you care about and vice versa. 
  -I strive to be friends with my referral sources.  We don't have to be best friends and not all referral sources are but when you get that small group of 5-10 referral sources with a few of them being real estate professionals your business can explode.  This takes nothing more than perhaps having something in common, listening more than you speak, finding out ones interests and being there for them.  Of course, this may not matter if you cannot broker so its why you need a good team around you so you can help your friends with their mortgage needs.
"In Need" real estate agents call you when they have a problem.  Perhaps you haven't earned their trust or they are testing you with tough clients but they don't send you every deal, they send you the ones others can't get done.  
-I love "in need" realtors.  its how I get a lot of my top realtors and referral sources.  I add value by asking them for the tough deals.  I pride myself in solution based lending and therefore do well in these circumstances.  Of course it takes some experience to have the ability to work the tough files but when you can, you can convert some the top agents to your friends or more consistent referral sources by being trusted with the tough and earning your way to the easier day to day deals.  
In short, I find the easiest way to attract top realtors is through endorsements. Cold calling may work, finding leads for realtors is trendy, especially through digital media and marking.  Endorsements work all the time and build long lasting relationships.  You get the introduction and then its up to you to close. When Im not getting endorsed, I become the problem solver and earn the easier files.  Ill create solutions for tough deals and position myself as the person to call when in need, I don't necessarily need to be the day to day broker but will earn that with time...  When I can I build relationships and friendships and hang out with people I like to do business with.  I then lean on CRM, tools and technology to stay connected, top of mind and always offer up support with events and marketing when it makes sense leaning on sweat equity over financial. "activities drive results" I always say, so what can you do today to get in front of that next Prospect, Target, Friend or In Need real estate professional?
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