What if a loan officer is calling agents, using scripts, meeting them for coffee, and following up, but they’re not getting anywhere? What’s the number one reason they’re not getting referrals from those people?
My good friend, Richard Smith, says they’re probably talking to the wrong agents. I agree with him 100%. So, how do you make sure you’re talking to the right agents to actually get referrals?
Referral Partner Marketing is Key
I probably don’t need to tell you that you’re not going to grow your business without referral partner marketing, but I will anyway. Richard, a longtime member of our Freedom Club, says that it’s no secret that referral partner marketing is the name of the game. Why?
- It’s much cheaper
- It’s much easier
- It’s much more consistent
If I go consumer direct, as soon as I close that loan, I have to go find another one. But if I get a deal from Realtor Sue, my referral partner, I get a deal this week, one next week, one next week. It’s like buying a well instead of buckets of water. But you need to find agents that are a constant source of clean water (good leads). So, how do you get more realtor referral partners?
Well, Richard can tell you how not to do it first. He used to meet with realtors at events and put them on his list. He went to appointments with them and called them, but they didn’t send him any business. They stopped answering the phone. They were probably great people, but they just didn’t do many deals. They didn’t have any referrals to give him, and they were probably too embarrassed to tell him that.
Don’t Waste Your Time
How do I say this nicely? You need to find the agents that are worth your time. I once held a live event for about 20-30 real estate agents. Right after you finish speaking at something like this, there’s this golden moment to connect with people. An agent came up and started talking to me and didn’t stop. My assistant was making faces at me, and the agent kept talking. Soon, everyone else had left without me getting a chance to talk to them.
“Dude,” my assistant said to me later, “what were you doing?” She went on to tell me that the agent who had taken all my time had no production, and there were two other high producers waiting to talk to me who didn’t get a chance. I was trying to shake hands and kiss babies, make a connection, start networking. And I totally blew an incredible moment, because she was the wrong agent.
If you’re using a strategy, it’s not working, and you start second guessing it and stop, then you find out you were just knocking on the wrong door. Right combination, wrong safe. I’m sure that agent was a very nice person, but there was no networking value in it for me as a loan officer.
Which Agents Do We Want to Find?
When we’re targeting agents, what kind of volume are we looking for? At what point do they become worth our time from a business strategy standpoint? Our sweet spot is 6 to 8+ buyer sides in the last 12 months. This is the minimum. Some agents are doing 20, 30, 50+. Instead of spreading out my attention on 100 agents, I pick the 5 who are doing big numbers of deals.
When it comes to loan officer marketing to realtors, you need to think deep, not wide. Swamp marketing means shallow water over a wide area. The water’s muddy and you don’t get a good drink. If you do well marketing, you get a very defined group of agents that actually have people to refer to you. Focus your attention on them.
How Do We Find These Agents?
Richard has come up with a clever solution to this problem. He has a team of VAs that research and compile information on realtors in different areas of the country. They get the realtors’ brokerage information, phone number, email, snail mail address, and they look at their last 12 months of production. They find all the agents closing 6 to 8+ buyer sides in the past year.
You give Richard’s team your zip code or specific county or whatever area you want, and they’ll put a list together of about 1000-1500 qualified agents and sell it to you for $795. What’s the turnaround time? About a week. It’s a live list. It’s the past 12 months. It’s made to order, a fresh list. The ink is still wet on it.
You don’t really need that many, but it doesn’t hurt. If your town is small, you just start in one area and just go into the next town and then the next town. You keep drawing a bigger circle until you end up with somewhere around a thousand qualified agents. A small percentage of that list is all you really need to get in front of them for coffee and to build that relationship.
You can call, email, send letters to these agents. You can also upload their information into Facebook and start running Facebook ads to these specific agents. Then, when they see you at the realtors’ association or an open house, when they get your letter of pre-approval, they already know who you are. They’ve seen your ads. Make some phone calls, put them in an email campaign, and spend $20 to $50 in Facebook ads each month, and you’ll be set.
That whole name recognition thing is huge, even though it’s just a tiny seed you planted because they saw you on Facebook. The results have just been phenomenal, because it’s all about getting in front of the right people.
What’s the Catch?
A lot of people waste time trying to get organic leads. I’m not looking to save $20 a month here. I’m looking to make another $20k, $30k, $40k, $50k a month. Loan officer marketing is about working smarter, not harder. I’m not making income claims, because I’m not allowed to do that, but simple outbound marketing strategies to these qualified agents have made me an extra $50k a month. But again, no promises to anybody.
Is there any downside to doing this? No. If you were to make a Pros and Cons List, your cons side would be blank. It’s not much money. You save a whole bunch of time. When you’re talking to qualified agents that are doing high-volume business, they actually have referrals to send to you. It’s the biggest no-brainer ever. There’s no catch. Seriously.
I want this blog to be full of great information and not a pitch-a-thon. But sometimes I see people out there digging with a spoon, and I’m sitting here with keys to a bulldozer. It would be totally uncool of me to have this information and not share it with you. That would make me a jerk. I’m here to share with you all the loan officer tips and strategies I know, so you can be successful too. So here you go.
Click here to get a list of qualified agents in your area TODAY. You won’t be sorry.
And if you’d like some help mapping out your next steps in your loan officer career, schedule a FREE strategy call with me right now. Can’t wait to chat with you!