Residential Magazine

Forge a Powerful Partnership

The originator-Realtor alliance is a cornerstone for success in this business

By Erin Addesso

No matter how good you are at your job, you need help. Realtors are no different. They may have sales chops, people skills and that je ne sais quois that makes people love and hate them in equal measure. Still, they can’t do it alone. Even the best real estate agents need the skills of a talented mortgage originator.

Realtors and originators work better together than apart. Sometimes you need to convince your real estate agent partners of this reality. Show them why they need to make you their go-to mortgage professional.

Credit expertise

Originators excel at a lot of things. One of them is helping clients raise their credit so they can buy a house. Realtors already have a lot on their plate. They don’t have the time to learn 10,000 ways to help their clients raise their credit scores, too. 

Originators are the ones who are working on loan applications multiple times a day. They know exactly what lenders are looking for and they’ve gotten pretty good at helping clients reach their credit goals fast. 

Take, for example, the difference between credit repair and credit improvement. Credit repair often involves tactics that can hurt your credit score temporarily while it builds back up, which is not what a borrower wants when they’re trying to buy a house. Credit improvement entails all of the hacks and strategies borrowers can use for growing their credit score quickly. Realtors are looking for go-to loan officers and brokers who are brilliant at credit improvement. 

Loan specialization

Would you go to a dentist and ask about a torn rotator cuff? No. Would you go to Taco Bell and ask for a burger? No. This is no different in the mortgage industry. 

Mortgage professionals who are great at what they do have different specialties. Don’t say you’re good at everything. That’s a red flag for Realtors. If you’re an originator reading this and you’re thinking to yourself, “But I am good at everything,” pick a specialty, my friend. You’ll find your job is easier and you’ll serve your clients better.

There are many specialties for originators. Specialties could include anything from first-time homebuyer grant programs to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans or being multilingual. Market yourself as loan officer who knows who you are, what your specialty is and who you love to serve. 

When someone buys a house, the glory usually goes to the Realtor, but the final experience is with the originator. If you make a mistake and give the client a bad experience, chances are both you and the Realtor could lose future referrals (and even the current sale). That’s no good. If you specialize, you’ll be able to provide a great client experience and build trust with your referral partner

Underlying trust

Originators will occasionally get this question from Realtors: “How much money will you give me toward leads?” This is not the way to build a powerful working relationship founded in trust, loyalty and great results. Asking for compensation for leads is a transaction. And transactions are fleeting, in-the-moment experiences that carry no more weight than the here and now. 

Relationships, on the other hand, mean everything in business. What you want to build are lasting relationships with people who will go to bat for you — someone who will go above and beyond to help you secure leads, give your clients great experiences and build your reputation. When they ask you questions about the money you’ll pay for leads, they’re saying the equivalent of, “Dance, monkey, dance,” which is not the way to build a relationship.

If you’re an originator who has a niche, real estate agents will want to work with you. They’ll know who you are and how dedicated you are to your work. Don’t overlook these things — they are that important. 

Extra push

Work together. Do not demand that your referral partner works harder for you (and real estate agents, don’t try to make your partners work harder for you either). The best relationships and results come from working as a team. If you want to be in this game for the long haul and make a ton of money while doing it, treat your referral partners like gold. 

Here’s another reason why, aside from it being the right thing to do and it being better for your clients. When you bring more effort to the table, real estate agents are more inspired to build their side of the business and give back. 

Originators, for example, can divert their funds, attention, lead-generation systems and other support to whichever real estate agents they’re working with. The agent who is going to get the lion’s share of attention and support is someone who’s working like a true partner. 

The best way for a real estate agent to build their business, serve their clients well and make life better for everyone involved is to work with a go-to loan officer or broker. Treat each other as partners in the business. It makes all the difference. ●


  • Erin Addesso

    Erin Addesso, CEO and founder of Triple Threat Success Coaching and Marketing, is a speaker, coach and consultant with the mortgage industry and their real estate partners. She helps companies develop powerful relationships and presence, resulting in more closings, referrals and profits while allowing more time to enjoy life.

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