Content refreshed for accuracy on 1/19/22.
Loan officer marketing to realtors is one of the most efficient ways to generate referrals. In this blog, we’ll show you how to do it effectively. First, we’ll examine the relationship between loan officers and real estate agents and why it makes for a natural source of referrals. Then, we’ll look at five top tips for building strong relationships with realtors. We’ll follow this up with five practical ideas for marketing to realtors. Finally, we’ll answer some of the most common frequently asked questions about loan officer marketing to realtors.
What Is the Loan Officer and Real Estate Agent Relationship?
Loan officers and real estate agents have a relationship that naturally leads itself to a promotional partnership for several reasons. They share a common goal of helping homebuyers purchase properties. So, this opens up a common target market.
However, loan officers and real estate agents are not competitors for this market. Instead, they have something of value to offer. The real estate agent has access to prospective properties they can offer to buyers. In order to buy these properties, buyers need financing, which is where the loan officer comes in. Also, the real estate agent and the loan officer both need each others’ services in order to make the deal happen.
Loan officer marketing to realtors is one of the most commonly used loan officer marketing strategies. The basic idea is that if you can give your real estate agents something of value, such as marketing materials that will help sell their listing, they’ll want to give you something in return. This can look like access to clients who need loans, which makes the relationship between loan officers and real estate agents mutually beneficial.
Top Five Tips for Developing Strong Relationships with Realtors
As a loan officer, you will have a lot of natural opportunities to interact with realtors, but there are proactive steps you can take to strengthen your relationships. Here are five of the most important tips you need to know.
1. Know Your Target Audience: What Do Realtors Want from Lenders?
First and foremost, to make yourself an attractive promotional partner for realtors, you need to understand what they want from lenders. The priority of real estate agents is to sell properties to buyers. You can help them in this task by helping their buyers find financing. This makes your services valuable both to realtors and to their clients. Emphasizing this when approaching realtors can help them understand why working with you is in their best interests.
Also, you can stress the value they provide you to emphasize that your relationship is one that serves mutual best interests. This lets them know that you value your relationship with them – everyone likes to feel appreciated!
2. Be Prepared for An Audit Before You Start
If you make your loan officer marketing to realtors process audit-ready from the beginning, you’ll save time and eliminate headaches in the future. So, you can easily make it audit ready for compliance with a CRM app.
What is a CRM?
A CRM (customer relationship management) tool is a software that helps you keep track of all your customer relationships. Relationships in the mortgage industry include everything from leads, loans, clients, and referral partners. A mortgage optimized CRM links people to processes.
For example, let’s say you create a co-branded marketing flier for you and your realtor partner and want to now keep track of any shared costs.
How Does a CRM Work?
In your CRM, you’ll start by creating a contact for that realtor. That’s the people part of it.
Then, you’ll connect all the processes related to that relationship. For example, all invoices or receipts from the co-marketing costs, email communication, co-marketed emails that went out, phone calls, times you met for coffee, or any additional documents related to the realtor, all get connected to their contact profile in the CRM.
Linking people to processes will allow you to roll up all activities associated with a realtor into one nice, clean report.
When the time comes for an audit, you won’t need to search your Outlook, credit card statements, and calendar to remember all of your interactions with your realtor partner. Instead, all the documentation you’ll need will be in your CRM on the detailed report you created.
Ultimately, this upfront investment of resources to ensure your CRM is linked to all your apps and data will pay you back tenfold by saving you valuable time and hassle you won’t have to spend generating documentation for an auditor.
Ready to get started with a mortgage optimized CRM today? Learn more here.
3. Always Split Payment (And Show Proof)
If you are in the mortgage or real estate business, then you are probably familiar with RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act). In order to be compliant with RESPA, all loan officer/real estate agent marketing materials and expenses need to be split and documented. What does this mean? If you pay for half of a co-marketing flyer, the flier needs to show both the loan officer and realtor. Ultimately, you and your realtor have to equally share both the marketing space and the cost to print the flier.
If you are found to be noncompliant with RESPA, you can face a civil lawsuit or penalty by HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), according to MetFund Markets. This means necessary steps will be taken such as investigation and legal action if complaints are filed.
If you want more tips about tracking co-marketing expenses, check out this article.
4. Host Events Tailored to Realtors
A great way to connect with realtors is by hosting events tailored to their interests. These can be live or virtual events. For example, the information you know about the mortgage loan process can be valuable to realtors. So, consider hosting a live or online talk explaining to them how to help their clients navigate through obtaining loans. A variation on this approach would be to offer tips on how to help their clients solve common financing problems which present barriers to buying property.
5. Don’t Stop Marketing After Closing
Post-close marketing builds long-term relationships. Sending post-close gifts and cards is a great way to maintain client relationships after closing. You can keep in touch with clients and throughout the year by sending birthday, holiday, and loan anniversary cards and gifts. Also, co-branding these gifts with your realtor partner will help you maintain a relationship with your realtor partner as well as your client. In addition, co-branding can reduce your marketing costs.
Your past clients, current clients, and referral partners love receiving personalized cards for all occasions. So, use an automated solution like this concierge program to help you remember all those special dates.
Five Unique Ideas for Marketing to Realtors
Building relationships with realtors positions you to promote the idea of a promotional partnership to them. Here are five ways you can encourage realtors to join you in promotional partnerships with loan officer marketing to realtors.
1. Email Marketing to Realtors
One way to reach out to realtors is to send an email. First, compile a list of realtors you want to reach out to. Then, work through your list, and send personalized introductions to each prospective partner. Introduce yourself, tell them why you’re reaching out and explain why working with you can be mutually beneficial. Conclude by inviting them to get in touch. Your email doesn’t have to be long, it just needs to start the conversation.
2. Co-Branded Digital Media
Co-branded digital media provides another set of tools you can use to market to realtors. For example, you can use a co-branded email drip campaigns to inform clients on the loan and home buying process. Approaching prospective partners with examples of these types of co-branding opportunities can illustrate how you can work together
3. Social Media Posts
Another co-branding opportunity is social media posts. You and your partner can post content linking to informative blog posts with more details on topics relevant to property buyers. Another way to deploy this strategy is posting videos on social media.
4. Property Websites
Property websites can be another great co-branding opportunity for showcasing both an agent and their preferred financing partner. This can be as simple as mentioning both in the listing.
5. Print Media
Print media is a cost-efficient way for you and your partner to reach out to local property buyers. Keep branding consistent by developing a print campaign with multiple media assets including:
- Property flyers
- Just-listed postcards
- Open house flyers
- Open house sign-in sheets
- Financing options
- Just-sold postcards
These types of print promotions can be a great way to stay top-of-mind in your target market’s awareness.
Loan Officer Marketing to Realtors FAQs
As you’re thinking about loan officer marketing to realtors, you may be wondering about some key topics. Here are some answers to common questions.
Can Loan Officers Refer Realtors?
Yes, loan officers can refer realtors. In fact, loan officers are one of the most common referral sources for realtors. However, you must comply with RESPA rules when making referrals. RESPA rules prohibit real estate agents and brokers from receiving a “thing of value” as payment for referrals from loan officers. You also can’t split fees with a realtor for loan officer services unless the fee is for a service actually performed. Also, there are exceptions to RESPA rules. Consult an attorney familiar with RESPA before pursuing any realtor referral strategies.
How Do Realtors and Loan Officers Work Together?
Realtors and loan officers can work together in multiple ways to help each other and serve their mutual target market. These include networking, marketing, educating property buyers, making referrals and providing their respective services to each others’ clients.
How Do I Promote Myself as a Loan Officer?
You can promote your loan officer services by using marketing methods such as networking, asking for referrals from your network, posting informative content on your blog and social media, hosting live and virtual events and mailing promotional content to prospective property buyers and referral partners.
How Do Mortgage Loan Officers Get Clients?
Mortgage loan officers can get clients from referrals, digital marketing, print media and even local broadcast media. Referrals can come from not only realtors but also others involved in the property buying process, including accountants, appraisers and real estate attorneys.
Leverage Loan Officer Marketing to Realtors to Multiply Your Referrals
Loan officers and real estate agents have a natural relationship rooted in their shared interest in serving property buyers. You can build relationships with realtors by understanding what they want from lenders, being prepared for audits, splitting payments appropriately, hosting events, and doing post-close marketing. Leverage the relationships you build with realtors through marketing methods such as email, co-branded digital media, social media posts, property websites, and print media.
Partner with Jungo
Also, a good CRM tool is essential for using these methods to build loan officer marketing to realtors. Jungo’s all-in-one mortgage CRM app integrates with Salesforce to provide all the tools you need to manage realtor relationships, sales pipelines, and mortgage documents. Try a free demo to see how Jungo apps and implementation services can help you build profitable referral relationships.