Tips for Building Connections With Real Estate Pros
In October, the Mortgage Bankers Association forecasted that purchase mortgage originations will grow 9% to a new record of $1.73 trillion next year. Though, looking at current numbers, the purchase market may already be here. A recent report from Black Knight showed that due to rising interest rates, refinance activity is down 62.5% from the same period last year. Also, the volume of refinance applications fell to 45% of total volume—the lowest level it has been since June.
A shift to a purchase market means a loan officer’s partnerships with real estate professionals are more important than ever. Here are helpful tips for forging connections and building relationships with these critical business referral partners.
Do your research
Before initiating a conversation with a real estate professional, research them. Learn the areas in which they specialize, their interests, and what needs of theirs you can fulfill.
And when you do connect with a potential partner, avoid being salesy. You are not closing on a loan—you are trying to build a relationship and your goal should be to first establish credibility and trust.
Use social media wisely
As you know, the mortgage industry is ever-changing. Real estate professionals want to know they are partnering with an expert who will help guide them and their borrowers through the more complex aspects of the home financing process. So, when sharing information on social media, be sure it is relevant to a real estate professional’s business.
Be sure your content is focused on your area or niche. Also, don’t be afraid to inject a bit of personality.
Lastly, develop a content calendar and stick to it. The best way to stay in front of real estate professionals is to post regularly and always respond to comments on your posts.
Any strong relationship is based on clear and open communication. The loan officer-real estate professional relationship is no different. Give out your cell phone number in addition to your office number. Respond to text messages as you receive them, and never let emails go unanswered for longer than 30 minutes.
Repurpose your content
Remember the old saying “reduce, reuse, recycle?” Well, it does not just apply to protecting the environment—it can also apply to your content. Here’s an example: Content that starts as video can be easily converted to audio and shared as a podcast. An audio file can then be converted to text and posted as a blog post on your website. Such an approach will give your prospects and customers a wide variety of content choices, keeping them more connected and engaged.
Provide value in your direct mail & email marketing
Personalized email campaigns are perfect for connecting with prospects, upselling to current customers, and securing referrals. But if you really want to stand out in a crowded inbox, you need to provide value to your recipients. For example, use your industry expertise to create content that focuses on key industry trends and relevant market data. Or, educate your contacts on the ins and outs of popular financing programs, such as FHA or VA loans.
And be sure to target the mailbox as well as the inbox. According to the Data & Marketing Association, nearly 90% of direct mail is opened—compared to just 20–30% of emails.
Have a local presence
Establishing a consistent presence within your own community is essential. Real estate professionals want to work with a lender who knows their market and can be available to meet borrowers face-to-face.
Sponsor community events, school functions, or youth sports teams. Volunteering to organizations and groups is another effective way to establish a local presence (while having a positive impact on your community!). Finally, consider joining non-profit boards and associations whose activities interest and inspire you.
Practice good networking habits
Network in-person at local events. Or if in-person events are not taking place in your area due to COVID-19, research virtual events. Bonus tip: Do not crash open houses. While it may seem like a great way to first meet a real estate professional, doing so can come across as invasive and disrespectful.
Volly is here to help
If you lack the time or resources to implement impactful marketing strategies, reach out to us at Sales@myvolly.com. Here at Volly, we have one goal: make mortgage marketing easier for you!