The person on the other end of that transaction is already your fan
The vast majority of originators use realtors as their primary referral partners, and when they’re looking to build their realtor database, often originators will start with the top real estate agents in their area, those who sell the most houses and therefore have the most leads to spread around.
There are two problems with that: one, chances are they have existing partners who they have worked with throughout their career, and it can be difficult to find a way to compete with them. The other problem is that to a certain extent, someone with less volume and experience than their existing top originator partners probably don’t stand much of a chance (provided their current partners aren’t lazy and are providing exceptional value).
At the Originator Excellence Workshop, a few top originators took some time to point out the missed opportunity on the other side of the transaction.
“You can build your whole entire business just off of wowing that listing agent. I don’t think enough people do that,” said Shelby Elias, founding partner of United Wholesale Lending. “Look them up, be intentional with it . . . do whatever it takes to make sure that they know that you’re the best one in the business.”
If you’ve done your job well, making your case for being “the best one in the business” shouldn’t be difficult. After all, they’ve experienced how you operate, how you communicate, how you’ve treated your client and your partner, and should be wowed already.
“There are so many times we hear from listing agents, they’re like, ‘no loan officer ever has given us so much as status updates before. They don’t even treat us as part of the process,’” said Shashank Shekhar, president and founder of Arcus Lending. There’s often a lot of playing ‘telephone’ in the buying and financing process, which results in a loss of time and has incredible potential for miscommunication and misunderstanding. “It just makes no sense at all. You could just update the listing agent directly. That’s a very simple strategy to do that.”
Another opportunity to meet listing agents is through existing connections with the realtors who you have worked with. When starting his business, Shekhar held lots of realtor-focused events, where he invites realtors he knew and encouraged them to bring others. Rather than inviting them to coffee or a lunch where he spoke about himself, he invited the top producers and listing agents to speak at the events, thereby appealing to their expertise as well.
The result was not only adding hundreds of realtors to his personal database, but because he spoke at the events himself on mortgage-related issues, he already had agents convinced of his expertise.
“Very soon, the real estate boards were inviting me to speak at their events . . . within a year and a half [of doing this] I had 500 realtors in my database, and none of them I had to cold call because they knew who I was,” he said. He was able to pick and choose who to contact, and when he made the call or sent the email, they were more likely to answer the phone.
Attending open houses has its place, and is a good way to meet clients and listing agents alike. But thinking of other unique ways to reach listing agents can be a way to elbow through an overcrowded field.
For ways to get more leads, come to Anaheim on April 4th for our Power Originator Summit session on Growing your Pipeline.