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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   July 2016

Become the Hunted, Not the Hunter

Successful originators create enough demand so that homebuyers seek them out

As an originator, odds are good that you have had title-company reps, or other potential referral partners, trying to meet with you. The reps say they want to learn more about your business, but it’s obvious that they really just want to get referrals.

These meetings go as you expect. You hear about the potential partners’ great companies and great service, and what they will do to set themselves apart. Maybe they try to pitch you on sponsoring or hosting an event together. They give you all sorts of flyers and giveaways, and seem to get a bit frustrated when nothing really works on you.

You are polite, and you listen. When they leave, however, you are grateful that you can get back to what you were doing. They leave feeling like they have just started a relationship, but few will ever follow up and try to build the relationship. Then, they sit back in their office and wonder why the partnership hasn’t paid off.

This has likely happened to many originators. The sad truth, however, is this is exactly what many originators do with Realtors.

Creating demand

Many strategies employed by and taught to originators are about ways to build partnerships with Realtors and other referral sources. Yes, some work and some don’t. As a whole, however, this approach puts originators at a huge disadvantage, leaving control of their incomes to others.

No matter how good your service, prices or marketing efforts are, there is really only one thing that allows originators to control their own income and production. That secret ingredient is pre-approved buyers who are ready to buy and whom you can then refer to your agent partners.

Realtors want to sell more homes, title companies want to close more deals and originators want more loans. If your business only comes from relationships with Realtors, then your income depends on these relationships. These relationships are still a vitally important part of your success, but they should never be the only way you generate business.

Think about how you react to salespeople. It is human nature to move away from anyone who is chasing you. Whether in person, by phone, e-mail or social media, no one wants to be chased. People are, however, attracted to things that they see benefiting them — especially if there is only a limited supply of those items.

To be at their best, then, originators should be creating a level of demand for their services that exceeds their supply of time. There are several ways to create this type of demand, and to generate a steady stream of pre-approved buyers.


Key Points

Ways to reach more prospective homebuyers

  • Use direct mail, especially with renters.
  • Host a local radio show.
  • Become a trusted expert for local media.
  • Find nontraditional referral partners.
  • Write a monthly newsletter.

Mailed marketing materials are an effective way to do just this. Direct mailers can be targeted to buyers who may only be eligible for one type of loan, such as state bond programs, reverse mortgages, jumbo loans and more.

Targeted apartment mailers can let renters know that they could buy a house and be paying roughly the same for their monthly mortgage payments as they do on rent. By having a solid follow-up sequence in place, these cold leads turn into prospects, which turn into pre-approved buyers that you can refer to agents.

Alternative approaches

Plenty of nontraditional referral partners are available that will provide you with homebuyers whom you can then refer to Realtors. By working with a credit-restoration company, you will find clients who see their credit scores increase and are suddenly eligible for a mortgage.

When working with divorce attorneys, you can have one spouse who needs to refinance a current mortgage and one who is looking to purchase a new home. Several financial and legal professionals can offer similar situations. The key is knowing all of the clients’ potential problems, and knowing how you can provide solutions.

Local media is a great way to reach prospective buyers while also boosting your profile. Many local radio stations will sell a half-hour of weekend airtime for just a few hundred dollars, which gives originators a chance to host a weekly show focused on real estate and financing. You can even bring in some of your partners and sponsors or guests, which means your show is suddenly paid for, and your Realtor partners can go on the air to discuss their open houses for that weekend.

In addition, call local radio producers, television producers and newspaper editors, and offer to be a resource for them on all real estate and mortgage-related matters. By regularly sharing your expertise and mortgage tips in this manner, you can reach wide swaths of prospective borrowers while establishing yourself as the “go-to” expert in your region.

Writing a newsletter is another way to be known as the mortgage expert for your community. You can write not only for your own newsletter, but also offer to write for any newsletters that your referral partners send out — and encourage them to also write for yours. These newsletters should be e-mailed and mailed physically, to increase the chances that your clients will read them.

• • •

In real estate finance, the bottom line is that the person who controls the buyer controls the transaction. To take it even further, the person who controls the buyer controls the income of everyone in the transaction. Shouldn’t that person be you?


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