When it comes to referral business, partnering with real estate agents is essential for being a successful mortgage loan originator (MLO). After all, many MLOs spend their day cold calling, hitting the pavement, or otherwise chasing after real estate agents from all over town — and beyond — who could provide a consistent pipeline of borrowers.
Instead of putting so much effort into the chase, why not nurture relationships with local agents to make the home purchasing process mutually beneficial? Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to level up your ability to rub elbows, follow these six tips for the best chance to network your way to success.
- Connect on social media
Real estate is an inherently social industry, and agents are always looking for ways to bolster their online brands. Whether you opt for a Twitter profile or a Facebook account, begin connecting with local agents. Like and comment on their content regularly to establish a rapport, share articles you think they might like, and otherwise provide value wherever possible. Eventually, you can begin suggesting collaborations and co-branded content. Guest blog, anyone?
- Attend local events
As things start to open back up post-COVID-19, you can also take the classic approach and stop by in-person events in your local area. Many agents will give preference to MLOs with in-depth knowledge of their neighborhood or market of choice. To strengthen local bonds, clarify where, geographically, your skills lie. Perhaps you attended the area’s local high school, as did the agent you just met. Or maybe you helped their sister-in-law refinance her home just down the street! Play up your attachment to the area to illustrate that you know the market like the back of your hand.
- Join associations
To broaden your reach, consider joining real estate associations in your city or state. This will give you an inside look at the industry while demonstrating just how much you support your local agents. Be careful not to disturb meetings or association events with business pitches, but instead focus on getting to know other members on a more personal level. From there, a business relationship may blossom.
- Foster connectivity
One of the biggest aspects of successful networking is connectivity. Some MLOs offer in-person office hours while others promise they’re just a text away. Whatever your preference, ensure connections can reach you quickly and easily. One missed call can mean a lost client, transaction, and revenue, so nurture your network with frequent, high-quality communication.
- Broadcast your expertise
Home financing is a notoriously complex industry, with things changing at the drop of a hat. Agents will always be after MLOs who know mortgage products intimately and can seamlessly guide their clients through the home buying process. While decades of experience certainly help, you don’t have to be an industry veteran to tout your expertise. However you choose to connect, be prepared to discuss home loans of any kind, and share what you can offer their clients, whose needs are many and diverse.
- Be genuine
Of course, you’ll want all interactions to be genuine. Don’t bombard agents with business calls and texts right off the bat. Establish a foundation first, then let the conversation naturally turn to business. After all, effective networking is all about the long game.
Whether you opt for in-person events or online connection, networking with local real estate agents can seriously bolster your business. Whatever your preference, just be sure to share your experience, prioritize relationship-building, and keep in touch. Before long, those days of cold calling could be behind you!