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Using Business Development Reps for Stunning Results

Do you want to know how to get from point A to point B faster in your mortgage business? Brady Webb and Toni Taylor can help.

Brady and Toni are both very successful mortgage brokers who work together but for separate companies. They’re both leaders in The Freedom Club, and they co-teach a class called the Brokers Brunch for the Mortgage Marketing Animals once a month. We’re so grateful that they bring in their expertise to help others achieve the high level they’ve achieved. 

Toni owns her own shop and has three other loan officers and a BDR (business development rep) working with her. Brady also owns his own shop but got himself out of the business a couple years ago. He’s put two business development reps in the field. He helps people either learn how to hire for that position or develop their BDR.

What Does a Business Development Rep Do?

According to Brady, a business development rep’s sole job is loving on their agents. He’s recently turned over all of his relationships that he’s built over the years to his BDR. He wanted to grow his business and found he had less time to do all those calls each week as part of the Daily Success Plan (DSP).

His BDR builds relationships with agents and develops new relationships to capture more of the market. They implement the DSP four days a week and they do a Focus 40 where they have coffee appointments, get out and have that first discovery meeting, then for the next 12 weeks, they’re calling them to try to get referrals. Once the agents start sending referrals, they move them to the Focus 40. 

Once they’re on that list, they want to get at least 1 closed transaction from all 40 of them every 90 days. If somebody drops off and doesn’t close a transaction within the 3 months, they move somebody up from the bench to replace them. Brady’s company did $40 million in volume last year just by working the Focus 40.

Switching Things Up Just a Bit

Toni is doing things a little differently with her BDR. The goal is the same. Part of the idea behind the Focus 40 was that they wanted to make sure the people that they were doing business with were being taken care of at the level that they should be because they’re actively working with them. She says they don’t want to spend their time with the wrong people. 

Toni refers to her BDR as her relationship manager. She does some business development, but what she does primarily is execute the daily success plan for Toni. Toni knew she didn’t have the time to give her realtors the love and success they deserve, so her relationship manager does all of that. She develops and nurtures relationships with the new realtor referral partners as well. 

The difference between the BDR and a loan officer is that the BDR knows nothing about mortgages. If a realtor asks her a question about loans that she can’t answer, she simply says, “Hey, that’s a great question. Let me get you on the phone with an expert so we can get it answered for you.”

Consistency Is Key

Brady wants his BDRs having 15 conversations a day, up to 10 meetings a week, and at least 2 lunch-and-learns or office meetings a month. They’re also doing events every 6-8 weeks. They just did an event called Ask the Appraiser and had 35 of the top agents in the city attend.

“It’s not about how many calls you make,” Brady says. “It’s about how many conversations you’re having.” It’s all about being effective and efficient and getting results.

Brady’s BDR recently helped rejuvenate some of his old relationships with people he hadn’t talked to in a while. Those are easier to get back. For the new ones, it takes some time. These people are awesome realtors with relationships in place already, so it takes time to build trust. 

The most important thing when you’re looking at getting a business development rep is that they have to be skilled at creating friendships with people. They have to spend time just hanging out with realtors so they’ll get to know and like them and want to help. It might take 3-5 times over the course of a month to start getting referrals from someone.

Brady says you have to be consistent and persistent. He’s an instant gratification guy and it can be tough when you don’t see the results right away, but you’ve got to stick with it. If you’re persistent and consistent, most people will eventually give you a shot. Unless their personalities just don’t click or maybe a realtor gives all her business to her sister Sally. (You’re not going to get that one.) 

Toni says she learned from me to do business with people I like, people who are like me. We’re looking for our people. We often think we have to do business with everybody and be everybody’s cup of tea. We don’t. When we try to do that, we end up being inauthentic in spaces and people can smell that fakeness, whether they can identify it or not. 

Toni says you have to be really intentional about both forming the relationship and asking for the business. You can’t just do one or the other. For a long time, Toni wasn’t asking for referrals. Her ego was too big and she was afraid to admit she needed help. She didn’t want to look weak. But she’s had a change of heart.

If you’re getting a deal a month from an agent, that’s $2000/month and $24k/year. That’s how much each relationship is worth. With each agent you add, it just keeps getting better. The numbers are fantastic. We’re in this unbelievable career where a 20% conversion rate is an out-of-the-park homerun.

Where to Find BDRs and How Much to Pay Them

Toni didn’t find her BDR; her BDR found her. She was actually in radio sales and had nothing to do with the mortgage industry at all. She was used to making x number of calls and delivering results in an independent environment. Nobody was sitting on top of her. She wasn’t punching a clock. She had the aptitude and discipline and is doing really well working with Toni.

What does a salary look like for a business development rep? Brady says you can actually structure it a lot of different ways depending on that person’s need. You could give them a small base if you need to, maybe for the first 90 days to help them. You could pay them 100% commission, like Brady does. If he finds someone who is a perfect fit, he’ll try to work something out that works for both of them. He’s found people who are very approachable, have never met a stranger, and have zero call reluctance. Those are the kind of people you want.

Toni pays her BDR a salary for the relationship management portion of her job. Then, if she generates her own business and develops a relationship with a realtor, she can make a flat fee for that person. Recently, Toni thought her BDR was going to resign and was sweating bullets. You want employees like that, right? She knew her BDR brought tremendous value to her business and knew she had to find a way to keep her. So they sat down and restructured her entire agreement to keep her happy.

How BDRs Build Relationships with Agents

Some people might think, if your BDR doesn’t know anything about mortgages, then what the heck do they talk about at these meetings with realtors? It’s simple. You let the realtor talk about themselves. I know a lot about mortgages, but I don’t talk about them at these meetings. How boring! I ask the realtor questions about their life, hobbies, families, etc. We want to learn about the agents and make them feel good.

Ask them where their business comes from? Is it past clients? Sphere of influence? Are you buying leads? Are you doing open houses? Do you have a CRM? What’s your follow-up plan? What’s your marketing plan? We want to know all of that because that’s how we can start giving them more value.

There are two big questions we can ask:

  1. What are you struggling with?
  2. What would you like to have more of?

Brady says that agents just want someone to be available. His BDRs are available. They answer the phone. If they’re on the phone, they call back immediately. Agents just want to talk to somebody when they want to talk to somebody, when they have a question or concern. It can be stressful, nerve-wracking, going through the mortgage process. When they can’t get a hold of someone, they start spiraling into the worst thoughts possible.

Brady had a team meeting recently where he encouraged his team to stay positive with their agents. Every time you listen to somebody positive, what happens? You feel better about yourself. That’s what a business development rep can do—help keep morale high.

How to Help Your BDR be Successful

Toni says that not understanding anything about mortgages is actually a good thing for her business development rep. When one person is trying to do everything themselves, something suffers. None of us can be great at everything all the time. Toni’s BDR stays in the space she’s good at. She’s doing that marketing piece 100% of the time.

If she gets questions she can’t answer, she simply refers the person to someone who can. Nobody cares who answers their question. Her strong suit is interacting with people and figuring out how to best meet their needs.

Brady says it all comes down to having a plan and executing it. You’ve got to make sure you train your business development reps to have these conversations by design. “Don’t just turn them loose without knowing what to say,” he says. “Teach them The Freedom Club way.” They can also listen to real estate podcasts to learn what these agents go through and maybe share tips with them. 

Just take action. If it doesn’t work out, you learn. You always win by doing something. Sometimes we win by gaining experience and knowledge of how not to do it next time. If it doesn’t work out, don’t give up. You’ll find the perfect fit and get in the groove.

I’m really grateful for Toni and Brady who help me be the best version of myself. If you want to know more about business development reps, we’d love to help you out with that. Click here to schedule a FREE call TODAY.