Chapter 5: Loan Officer Marketing to Realtors: How To Earn More Referrals

Loan officer marketing to realtors is one of the most efficient ways to generate referrals. Learning how to promote your services to professionals in the real estate industry and gain their trust is a critical skill that requires time, consistency, and relationship building.

In this final chapter of our Mortgage Marketing Guide, we will:

  • Examine the relationship between loan officers and real estate agents and why it makes for a natural source of referrals
  • Look at five top tips for building strong relationships with realtors
  • Explore five practical ideas for marketing to realtors
  • Answer some of loan officers’ most frequently asked questions about marketing to realtors

What Is the Loan Officer and Real Estate Agent Relationship?

What is the loan officer and real estate agent relationship
Loan officers and real estate agents have a relationship that naturally lends 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 in this market. Instead, they have something of value to offer. The real estate agent can access prospective properties they can provide buyers with. To buy these properties, buyers need financing, which is where the loan officer comes in. Also, the real estate agent and the loan officer need each others’ services 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 provide you with 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.

Benefits of Co-Marketing & Referral Marketing

Co-Marketing and referral marketing strategies provide a range of tangible and intangible benefits for you, your partner, and your clients. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these benefits:

  • Maximize your marketing budget –Co-marketing and referral marketing are cost-effective ways to grow your business. Since you’re pooling your resources together, you and your partner will benefit from cutting costs.
  • Reach a new audience – When you work with a realtor or industry partner, you gain access to a new pool of qualified clients. If you work with a reputable partner, you will also benefit from the trust they have already nurtured with their clients. Since someone they trust has already had a positive experience with you, clients who have been referred are often easier to convert than those who discovered your company through other channels.
  • Leverage your partner’s expertise – When done correctly, co-marketing allows you to execute a more effective campaign than you or your partner could have created on your own. Referral partners can be an excellent resource for your business since they provide free publicity and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Create added value for your clients – By partnering with a realtor or an industry partner such as an attorney, financial planner, or community leader, you are giving your clients access to a wealth of knowledge and a reputable contact they can trust with their business.

Top Five Tips for Developing Strong Relationships with Realtors

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, and 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 serves your mutual best interests. This lets them know 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 Mortgage CRM app.

What Is a Mortgage CRM?

A Mortgage CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is software that helps you keep track of 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.

Jungo is a Mortgage CRM that provides financial industry experts with marketing, co-marketing, and compliance from one login. Built on Salesforce®, it is a one-stop-shop solution, integrating with thousands of leading platforms to give clients the ability to track, interact with, and market to all of their contacts. Jungo’s ease, accessibility and capabilities help businesses connect with customers to drive sales every day.

How Does a Mortgage CRM Work?

To illustrate how a Mortgage CRM can be used for compliance, 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.

In your Mortgage CRM, you’ll start by creating a contact for that realtor. 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 Mortgage 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 your interactions with your realtor partner. Instead, all the documentation you’ll need will be in your Mortgage CRM on the detailed report you created.

Ultimately, this upfront investment of resources to ensure your Mortgage 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 an optimized Mortgage CRM today? Check out Jungo.

3. Always Split Payment (And Show Proof)

If you are in the mortgage or real estate business, you are probably familiar with RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act). To comply with RESPA, all loan officer/real estate agent marketing materials and expenses must be split and documented. What does this mean? If you pay for half of a co-marketing flyer, the flier must show the loan officer and realtor. Ultimately, you and your realtor must equally share the marketing space and the cost of printing the flier.

If you are non-compliant 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, such as investigation and legal action, will be taken if complaints are filed.

If you want to learn more about tracking co-marketing expenses with Jungo, 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 how to help their clients navigate the process of obtaining a loan. 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. When planning networking events, consider the importance of geographic location and choosing significant venues. For example, if you live near the coast, an outdoor event at the local beach could be a memorable way to bond with realtors and tailor the event to your community.

5. Don’t Stop Marketing After Closing

Your past clients are your greatest referral source. Keep in touch with your client base with post-close marketing tactics like post-close gifts and cards or email drip campaigns. Post-close marketing builds long-term relationships and keeps you in your customers’ front of minds when they are asked for a referral or when they need your services again. Sending post-close gifts and cards is a great way to maintain client relationships after closing. You can keep in touch with clients 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 and 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 Jungo’s concierge program to help you remember all those special dates.

With different packages to choose from, Jungo delivers timely gifts and cards via USPS to your selected clients. Connect with your clients and earn more referrals with customized gifts and cards that leave a lasting impact.

All concierge communications are highly personalized with your unique branding, photo, and contact information.

Five Unique Ideas for Marketing to Realtors

Building relationships with realtors positions you to send them the idea of a promotional partnership. Here are five ways to encourage realtors to join you in promotional partnerships with loan officer marketing to realtors.

1. Email Marketing to Realtors

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
Co-branded digital media provides another set of tools you can use to market to realtors. For example, you can use co-branded email drip campaigns to inform clients about the loan and home-buying process. Approaching prospective partners with examples of co-branding opportunities can illustrate how you can work together.

3. Social Media Posts

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 by posting videos on social media, allowing partners to feel face-to-face with you.

4. Property Websites

Property websites
Property websites can be another excellent co-branding opportunity for showcasing an agent and their preferred financing partner, and this can be as simple as mentioning both in the listing.

5. Print Media

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 print promotions can be a great way to stay relevant 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 realtors’ most common referral sources. 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 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 other’s 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 through referrals, digital marketing, print media, and 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.

How Do You Cold Call a Realtor as a Loan Officer?

The key to mastering cold calls is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Start by practicing a pre-written script until it feels like second nature. This will help reduce your anxiety and ensure you won’t forget to mention any critical points. Also, take some time to think about some of the objections you’re likely to hear and brainstorm strategies to overcome them. Once you know what you’re going to say, you’ll feel far more confident each time you pick up the phone.

Not sure how to get started? Check out these loan officer scripts with ideas for multiple cold-calling scenarios. Be sure to read the script for building referral partnerships to help you develop your script for cold-calling realtors.

How Can Jungo Help with Co-Marketing & Referral Marketing?

A good Mortgage CRM tool is essential for using these methods to build loan officer marketing to realtors. Jungo’s all-in-one Mortgage CRM software 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’s features and implementation services can help you build profitable referral relationships.

Bottom Line

Now that you’ve had a crash course on how to market to realtors and develop mutually beneficial business relationships, let’s recap what we’ve learned in this chapter:

  • Loan officers and real estate agents have a natural relationship rooted in their shared interest in serving property buyers.
  • Co-Marketing and referral marketing maximizes your marketing budget and helps you reach a new audience. You can also leverage your partner’s expertise for your own professional development and create added value for your clients.
  • You can build relationships with realtors by understanding what they want from lenders, being prepared for audits, splitting payments appropriately, hosting events, and investing in post-close marketing.
  • When working with realtors, Mortgage CRM software is an indispensable tool that will help you track referral partners and joint expenses and remain compliant with RESPA.
  • You can 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.

This concludes our Mortgage Marketing guide. Please feel free to share if you’ve enjoyed this guide and found the information useful. As your mortgage marketing strategies start to bear results, you will need a solid customer relationship management solution to ensure a smooth follow-up process and close your leads. Jungo is a Mortgage CRM built on Salesforce with marketing automation features that help you keep prospects and clients engaged throughout their client journey. Our Mortgage CRM provides mortgage professionals with the advanced lead management, marketing, and sales support needed to create a thriving business. To learn more about how Jungo can help you save time and win more customers, request a demo today!