Residential Magazine

Hit the Books

Connect with real estate agents by teaching continuing education courses

By Megan L. Stevenson

The real estate finance industry can be cyclical, with times of high demand followed by periods of stagnation. During these slower periods, mortgage originators may struggle to find new clients and maintain a competitive edge. One effective strategy for originators and the lenders they work with is to utilize continuing education to market to real estate agents.

Continuing education is a requirement for licensed agents to renew their credentials. These courses provide agents with the most recent industry updates, trends and regulations. They can be an excellent opportunity for originators to connect with agents and offer their services.

“Originators can offer courses on current mortgage options, the intricacies of loan underwriting, credit-score optimization, financial planning and real estate market analysis, among other topics.”

Originator-taught courses will satisfy some of the credit requirements for real estate agents. It all depends on the state, but most states have core and elective credits. In the states with the fewest requirements, the core content involves ethics and laws, which are not taught by originators.

In some states, however, originators will be able to satisfy an agent’s entire elective requirement. Other states have some lending topics in their lists of core courses, so in these locations, originators will be able to satisfy all of the elective credits and some of the core requirements.

Valuable information

Agents are constantly seeking to improve their knowledge and skills so they can better serve homebuyers. Originators can capitalize on this by offering courses that provide valuable information and insights.

To ensure that the content is relevant, stay up to date with the newest trends and changes in the real estate industry. Originators can do this by monitoring industry publications, attending industry events, and working closely with real estate agents to understand their referral partners’ needs and preferences.

The content offered should cover a range of topics. Originators can offer courses on current mortgage options, the intricacies of loan underwriting, credit-score optimization, financial planning and real estate market analysis, among other topics. These courses can provide agents with a broad range of knowledge and skills that they can apply to their work to better serve clients.

Remember, agents are busy professionals, and they need courses that are engaging and easy to understand. Mortgage originators can offer content in a variety of formats, including videos, podcasts, webinars and interactive online courses, which will make the learning experience more enjoyable and effective.

Trusted resource

Building trust is essential when marketing to real estate agents through continuing education. Originators and lenders need to focus on establishing themselves as useful resources. This is crucial because agents are more likely to recommend originators they trust to their clients, which can lead to increased business.

To do this, mortgage originators should prioritize providing high-quality content that is both informative and useful. Originators need to ensure that their courses and resources are relevant to agents and homebuyers, and they should provide value beyond simply promoting their services.

In addition to offering informative courses, originators need to create open lines of communication with real estate agents. They should be available to answer questions and provide guidance as needed. By providing agents with the information they need to better serve their clients, originators can establish themselves as experts in the industry.

It is also important for mortgage originators and lenders to be transparent and honest in their dealings with agents. For instance, if a lender offers a special incentive or program, they should be clear about the terms and conditions while avoiding any hidden fees or charges.

Lastly, lenders should prioritize delivering a positive borrower experience. By providing exceptional service, originators can build a strong reputation that can lead to more referrals and repeat business. This includes offering timely and efficient loan processing, being responsive to questions and concerns, and communicating regularly throughout the loan process.

Becoming a trusted resource requires a combination of high-quality content, open communication, transparency and exceptional service. By prioritizing these elements, mortgage originators can build strong relationships with real estate agents and establish themselves as a reliable partner in the industry.

Online presence

Creating a strong online presence is an important element of marketing to real estate agents through continuing education. With so much of the industry now operating online, mortgage originators need to ensure they have a professional web presence that agents can easily find and engage with.

A professional website is the cornerstone of a strong online presence. Lenders should ensure their website is easy to navigate, visually appealing and provides all the necessary information about their services. It’s important to ensure that the website is mobile-friendly since many agents rely on their mobile devices while on the go.

Social media is an excellent tool for engaging with real estate agents. Lenders can use social media to share educational content, provide updates on their services and engage in conversations with agents. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can be particularly useful for reaching agents and building relationships.

“Incentives can serve as a powerful marketing tool. They can motivate agents to attend continuing education courses.”

Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Originators can use their blog to share insights and opinions on recent industry trends, which can prove to be useful information for agents. A well-maintained blog can help drive traffic to an originator’s website.

Video is becoming an increasingly popular format for delivering educational content. Originators can create informative videos that cover a range of topics, such as the mortgage process, loan underwriting and credit-score optimization. These videos can be shared on the originator’s website, social media channels and YouTube, reaching a wide audience of real estate agents.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website so that it ranks higher in search engine results. By optimizing their website for SEO, originators can improve their online visibility and make it easier for agents to find them when searching for mortgage-related services.

Industry conferences

Attendance at industry events is a valuable strategy for marketing to real estate agents. These events offer an excellent opportunity to meet and network with agents, establish new relationships and deepen existing ones.

Mortgage originators and lenders can offer continuing education courses at industry events, providing valuable content for agents. These courses also can cover a range of topics from mortgage regulations to underwriting guidelines and loan programs.

Industry events often feature panel discussions on relevant topics, such as market trends, industry regulations and best practices. Originators can participate in these discussions, sharing their insights and expertise with agents.

Originators and lenders can also sponsor industry events, providing financial support and resources to help make the event a success. This can help to build brand awareness and establish the originator or lender as a reputable partner in the industry. These events often include time for originators and real estate agents to meet in a more relaxed setting.

Originators can also provide marketing materials (such as brochures, flyers and promotional items) at industry events. These materials can help to promote an originator’s services while giving agents a tangible reminder of their interaction with the lender.

Door drawings

Incentives can serve as a powerful marketing tool. They can motivate agents to attend continuing education courses and engage with mortgage originators, building strong relationships that can lead to more business.

Originators can provide gift cards or prizes to agents who attend their continuing education courses or participate in other promotional events. These gifts can include anything from restaurant gift cards to high-end electronics. Originators can also partner with other businesses to offer joint incentives to agents. The value of the gift or prize should be commensurate with the effort required from the agent.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau generally prohibits gifts from originators to referral sources, but the prohibition does not include “normal promotional and educational activities.” Gifts cannot be given on the condition of referral business or defrayed expenses that would otherwise be incurred by the referral partner. As always, check with your internal compliance professionals.

Utilizing continuing education to market to real estate agents can be an effective strategy for mortgage originators and lenders in a stagnant market. By offering relevant and valuable content, establishing themselves as a trusted resource, creating a strong online presence, attending industry events and offering incentives, originators can connect with agents and generate new business. ●


  • Megan L. Stevenson

    Megan L. Stevenson is vice president of Preferred Systems Inc. and is responsible for managing its national education programs. The company’s LendingInstructors program is a turnkey service that enables mortgage lenders throughout the U.S. to establish and manage a continuing education program. Preferred Systems handles all paperwork and administrative tasks, including instructor and course filings, course offerings notifications, credit filings for agents and ongoing customer support. Learn more at Reach Stevenson at

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