I can’t count the number of times that clients have asked me for a referral to a great mortgage broker. That’s a huge responsibility — I need to trust that they’re in good hands. I usually connect them with one of a handful of lenders, each of whom has done an excellent job of meeting my clients’ needs in the past.
Regular referrals from realtors offer an ongoing source of business for the typical mortgage broker — building those relationships is paramount to a broker’s success. Consider the following seven strategies to engage real estate agents for a steady flow of future referrals:
1. Face to face interaction
Meeting agents in person goes a long way. Set up lunch dates, pop by a brokerage with a snack for the team, or provide lunch at an open home on broker’s tour. The casual and professional conversations that result offer the opportunity for you to learn agents’ challenges and to communicate your value add, exchanges that lay the groundwork for ongoing referrals.
2. SEO and Retargeted Advertising
When realtors come looking for a broker, make sure that you rise to the top with search engine optimization, and continue to touch base through retargeted advertising. It’s no question that agents tend to refer clients to mortgage brokers with whom they have a relationship, but they have to start somewhere – surfacing in an initial online search is a fundamental piece of the marketing puzzle.
Every positive customer interaction has the power to exponentially grow your business – provided that you capture and promote it. Never miss an opportunity to ask a satisfied customer for their perspective on your service. Genuine feedback from happy customers is your most influential marketing tool.
4. Email marketing
Become a familiar presence through consistent email outreach. It may take several attempts to gain agents’ attention, but after several touch points, you’ll become a known entity in the marketplace.
5. Community outreach
Demonstrate yourself to be a thoughtful member of the community at large. One of my favorite mortgage brokers has volunteered with our local little league baseball program for years. In addition to being a skilled mortgage broker, I know him to be a well-rounded person with a pleasant personality and respectable character. As a result, I’m more than happy to refer clients to him.
6. Content marketing
Position yourself as an expert in the field. Add value by providing informative seminars, articles, videos and market reports. Write a blog addressing relevant topics that surfaced in your face-to-face agent meetings. Over time, they’ll develop confidence in your ability to take good care of their clients.
7. Social media
A cost effective and current way to engage agents, popular social media channels offer a daily opportunity to connect and demonstrate your unique brand of service. Share pictures, quotes, market trends and community involvement experiences to stay top of mind and show that you get it as a person. Bit by bit, you’ll build the relationships that result in future referrals.