For years, many mortgage originators and real estate agents have existed in a love-hate relationship. Although we find ourselves at odds, we desperately need one another to survive.
If real estate agents are a key component of your business plan, let’s look at effective approaches that will help you earn the trust, respect, and referrals of your real estate business partners:
1. Be consistent in your approach. Agents like consistency. Set up your office visits on a regular schedule. Hold to this schedule no matter how busy you think you are. Agents will reward those lenders who show consistency.
2. Return their phone calls as fast as you can. Set a personal standard by which you will return calls. When you return from lunch or an appointment, return the Realtors calls first.
3. Learn the business. Learn it better. Know your programs. Stay up on guidelines. Be the originator who is better informed. Your agents will take notice and so will your staff.
4. Join your associations. Get actively involved in your local Associatoin of Realtors, Women’s Council of Realtors, Mortgage Bankers Association. These groups will keep you informed on changes, market trends, and news. You will also be seen.
5. Keep the Realtors informed. If they called you for an update you are not doing your job. Provide proactive status updates. Call all of your agents and buyers once a week with status, even if nothing has changed.
6. Your word is everything. Deliver on your promises. If the closing date is unrealistic, speak up and address the issue up-front. Don’t quote unrealistic turn times. Set proper expectations. Build a reputation for reliability. Deliver what you promise.
7. Look for ways to grow your agent’s business. There are many ways, from introducing them to database management skills, to referring friends or other strategic partners, providing trainings, educational articles and even holding weekly accountability meetings. Working with the Realtor on growing their business is a great way to give back.
Remember, Real Estate Agents are hard working commission based people like you and me. They have challenges, families to provide for, issues and goals. Building the bond and creating long-term relationships with your Realtor partners is a beautiful thing. Enjoy the relationship!