Lenders and Realtors are salespeople. Most of us are paid on commission. We need to do two things to be successful:
- Meet new clients to broaden our customer base
- Provide superior service to retain those clients and their referrals
Lenders need to meet Realtors and attract the business of their clients. The methods most use to do so are antiquated:
“Check out my rates and programs!” “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” “Let’s grab lunch and talk about your goals.”
Talk to any Realtor who has been in the business for a few years and they’ll cringe when they hear these pitches. It’s not that we don’t like lenders. It’s just that we don’t have time to waste on repetitive requests for business with no reciprocal payoff. We get them almost daily and they rarely have any differentiation or offer of new value.
Do you want Realtors to see you as a partner and a respected expert? Join your local Realtor board.
You want Realtors to see you as a peer, a knowledgeable professional in the industry. By joining the Realtor board, supporting its committees, and showing your dedication to the profession, you’ll gain acceptance with your local Realtors.
Teach classes through your Realtor association’s offices. Write articles for their websites, newsletters, or magazines. We need to know what’s happening in the lending world, and you need to be connected to the issues we’re facing every day.
Realtor boards are looking for unified support from the real estate industry. Realtors themselves are looking for serious, professional lenders who will educate their clients and be trustworthy partners in their businesses.
So stop trying to get Realtors in their cars, one at a time, to meet you at a coffee shop or café. Go meet them en masse, on their turf, at their request.
The relationship you make will be based on respect. We’re salespeople, too. We know a pitch when we hear it, and we’ll choose a valuable partnership proposition over an “ask” for business every time.
Invite Us Into Your Offices For A Safety Check-in
Getting us into your office might be difficult. We do everything virtually these days. There is a way to get agents to stop by your office, though, without even having to ask.
Sign up your office with Open Door Partners. You’ve probably heard a handful of stories in the past year about agents being assaulted, kidnapped, and murdered on the job. That’s because they go meet unidentified prospects at vacant property locations.
They need convenient offices near properties to meet these unknown clients. If their broker’s office isn’t nearby, maybe your office is.
Agents are using our nationwide online map of lenders, title companies, and broker offices as locations for quick safety check-ins. Sign your office up at Open Door Partners, and if an agent in your area needs to meet a new client in your area, they can stop in at your front desk for the meeting.
It provides you an opportunity to give something of value to a real estate agent, and meet them face-to-face while they’re working in the field. It costs you nothing, but creates and opportunity for business—and improves the safety of your industry partners.
Sam DeBord is a managing broker with Seattle Homes Group and Coldwell Banker Danforth. He is 2016 President-Elect of Seattle King County REALTORS® and has been featured in Inman News’s Top 101 In Real Estate and the T3 Swanepoel Group’s Top 20 Social Influencers. His team sells homes and condos in Seattle and Bellevue.