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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   April 2010

Build Business by Helping Others

Sharing your contact list could win partnerships and new clients

Growing your referral network doesn't require extrasensory perception. All it requires is the ability to offer potential partners what they need. Consider the following scenarios.

  • Scenario No. 1: A man walks into your office, makes small talk and asks how business is going. He says he's with a local title company and would like to start receiving some of your business. He tells you about his company's great service and low fees. Before he leaves, he gives you his business card and a rate sheet.
  • Scenario No. 2: A woman walks in, shakes your hand and without sitting down tells you she represents a local title company and would like to start referring borrowers to you. All she asks is that you give her company a try on title work. From there, she outlines a program that will help increase your marketing punch and that seems likely to generate new business and new connections.

Although the first scenario might seem more likely, the second almost certainly would make a stronger impression. Now consider how you go about trying to make your own industry inroads. When you introduce yourself to real estate agents, do you ask for business or do you offer to deliver business?

Your list of contacts represents an untold amount of business -- to you and those with whom you choose to partner. Although you might not want to give away the list, one great way to connect new referral partners with your contacts is to write testimonials about them. You also can give referral partners space to advertise or write in newsletters or other communication pieces you send out.

Another way to build partnerships and extend your reach is to start going to lunch with small groups of others in the real estate industry. These don't need to be pricey affairs, and all people can pick up their own tab. The idea is to share time with like-minded professionals. The more real estate professionals you know, the better.

Helping others with their business development also can lead to good things for brokers. One way to do this is to introduce potential clients to a real estate agent and work together to fill the clients' needs. While the real estate agent discusses what the clients seek in a house and begins looking for the perfect match, you can help the clients get into the best-possible position to afford the home when the time comes to apply for a mortgage.

This might seem simplistic, but many brokers and real estate agents fail to work cooperatively despite sharing clients and delivering each other referrals.

These suggestions represent a few ways mortgage brokers can set themselves apart when it comes to establishing new referral partnerships. Remember, it's not about what others can give you but rather what you can offer others. Take care of that, and the rest will follow.

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