Every lender knows that developing good rapport with real estate agents is vital to success in the industry. Capitalizing on lender-realtor relationships in an ever-changing landscape is key, and it might take some thinking outside the box. That’s why we’ve put together a list of useful tips to help maximize and nurture your realtor relationships.
The Golden Rule: It’s a Two-Way Street
It used to be that you could take a realtor to lunch, share a flyer or two, and talk about rates, and that was good enough. Nowadays there is so much more you can offer—and realtors expect more from the lenders they work with. By helping realtors source new clients, you’ll be able to work with any agent.
Technology is a wonderful thing that allows you to leverage time and money to reach more people who wouldn’t have known about you otherwise. The downside to technology is that it also allows lenders to bombard realtors with all kinds of impersonal, canned marketing that they don’t want and don’t have time to pay attention to.
Use technology to your advantage by sending realtors information on a consistent basis and personalizing it in every way possible.
If you are targeting realtors you haven’t worked with before, providing value by creating ease in the way they do business is a great way to get their attention. If you want to increase your value in your current realtor relationships, co-marketing is the way to do it.
At APM, we offer a variety of marketing tools that help you reduce the marketing burden for your realtor partners. To learn more, click here to download our free ebook, “How to Build Your Referral Network.”
Partnering with real estate agents and real estate brokers increases the number of possible clients and builds a strong shared network. Work together to recommend attorneys, contractors, accountants, and other useful, trusted local connections.
You can also attend or sponsor local events together, including Chamber of Commerce meetings, business gatherings, conferences, and charity events. The strength of two professionals is always better than one.
Work with realtors to disseminate your combined knowledge to as many people as possible. You each offer an important piece of the homebuying puzzle, and both buyers and sellers need real estate and mortgage expertise and advice.
There are many possible options, including seminars, webinars, or even collaborative video or social media campaigns. Feel free to invite other professionals to help with these events and make them as useful as possible for everyone involved.
Develop Relationships with Listing Agents
Capitalize on relationships with listing agents! When selling a home, all the listing agent wants is the real estate transaction to close on time. If the buying agent has trouble with the current loan officer and you’ve established a rapport, you may be their next call.
Providing marketing incentives to listing agents can help establish a deeper relationship and attract more buyers to a property: another win-win.
APM has a library full of co-branded marketing materials, such as listing flyers and payment flyers, as well as programs that can help realtors revive a stale listing.
Send Regular Updates During the Loan Process
Do you know what realtors want from loan officers? They want a responsible, communicative loan officer who keeps them and the buyer updated throughout the entire loan process.
At APM, we’ve made the communication process easier for everyone. With the APM mobile app, both the agent and the client receive real-time status updates throughout the loan process.
Our mobile app also allows borrowers to get a short-form pre-approval (great for weekend house-hunters who haven’t been pre-qualified), calculate and store monthly mortgage payment scenarios, submit necessary loan documentation, and so much more.
This creates an easy, co-branded communication channel for all parties involved.
Show Up to Closing
Buying a home is a monumental life decision for most people. The day of closing is the happy culmination of the entire process, and usually it’s when everyone is feeling good. It can also be a time when questions arise, and if you aren’t there to answer them, there is potential for a closing to go haywire.
Your attendance at a loan closing shows that you care and are committed. It’s also a great opportunity to snag a photo with your clients and realtor partner to use in creating post-closing marketing for both of you!
Prove Your Worth
In a world where loan officers offer the same rates and similar mortgage loan programs, it’s important to have a differentiator when you’re talking to realtors.
When you’re telling them about that differentiator, back it up with a proven track record. It’s nice to tell a realtor that you work with first-time homebuyers, but it’s even better to tell them that you closed 97% of the loans you did for first-time buyers last year, and you have 50 five-star reviews on Google to prove it.
This will give realtors more confidence that you can get the job done for their clients, especially the ones who have more challenging loans.
Capitalize on Relationships with Realtors
As you can see, there are many ways to increase the impact of your relationships with realtors. When it comes down to it, that often means making sure you’re using all the tools available to you and doing everything possible to make the realtor’s job easier—and to expand their network and reach.