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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   January 2012

Top 10 Tips for Working with Realtors

Stand out from the crowd when you forge new relationships

Savvy mortgage originators know that the key to a steady loan pipeline is forging relationships with top-performing real estate agents. If you are struggling to build and maintain relationships with Realtors, consider the following 10 tips.

  1. Get creative when contacting a real estate agent with whom you want to do business. When you call them, be sure you have something of value to offer. Just mentioning your name and the company you work for isn’t enough. For instance, you may offer to co-host a first-time homebuyers’ seminar.
  2. Seek new offices or new agents and send a handwritten congratulatory note. This will make the agents more receptive to a follow-up meeting request. If your first attempt doesn’t work, try something different, such as offering to help advertise by developing a co-branded listing in a well-known magazine.
  3. Ask real estate agents with whom you are friendly if they know of anyone you should be calling. Mentioning a colleague or a friend who referred you to potential Realtor partners may encourage them to consider working with you.
  4. Don’t underestimate the power of your marketing dollars. Offer to split ad costs with agents and co-brand marketing collateral. Many agents are strapped for ad dollars, and by providing materials they need to do their job better, such as sign riders, you can increase your value to them.
  5. Show that your service goes the extra mile. When you get the opportunity to help Realtors’ clients secure a mortgage, you must come through and take care of their customers. Before you get that chance, you must take care of the agents — they are the gateway to closing deals.
  6. Use the multiple-listing service to find agents with deals processing. You can save this information and prepare open-house fliers with a few different rate and loan scenarios customized especially for them, or you can send collateral like “Just Sold” or “Just Listed” mailers. Bring these marketing tools to events to show other agents how you can help them.
  7. Optimize your chances of gaining Realtors’ attention at trade shows by giving out treats like popcorn or candy. Once they have stopped to pick up a snack, offer a coupon for your services such as a free one-hour consultation. Have them sign up for free marketing literature as well, which you can drop off at their office in person at a later date.
  8. Use social media to find real estate agents in your market. Facebook offers reasonable advertising that can be directed toward a highly targeted market. You can spend less than $100 per month on advertising and garner hundreds of thousands of ad impressions to real estate agents in your area.
  9. When you work with agents to close a deal, send a handwritten thank-you note for their business. Technology consumes so much of our communication these days; a handwritten note will always seem more sincere than an e-mail.
  10. Contact your local newspaper and offer a regular mortgage-advice column. It will help get your name and your company’s name in front of the community as an expert source. In addition, real estate agents advertise in these same local outlets and are bound to notice you.

By following these tips to build and maintain relationships with Realtors, mortgage originators and brokers likely will see their referral business soar. Remember to take care of your partners — and they’ll be more likely to take care of you.


 


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