Referral partners are important in the mortgage industry, especially for loan officers. Referral partners are non-competing professionals who can help send prospective leads your way. Loan officers should strive to gain multiple referral partners to grow their business. LOs and realtors need each other — loan officers can help realtors sell homes, and realtors can send loan officer a stream of new clients who are ready to buy. When loan officers maintain relationships with realtors, they’re often able to keep their business volume up. Here are some tips for maintaining successful realtor referral partnerships:
In order to build and maintain realtor referral partnerships, loan officers must exercise great communication skills. By creating a communication plan that includes loan status reports and phone calls to their realtor partners, LOs can set a positive tone and build the relationship. Though many LOs avoid this, they should continue to communicate to their realtor referrals throughout the process, especially when issues or delays come up. When you provide consistent and clear communication, you stand out as dedicated and dependable. Don’t let too much time pass between communications with your partners. When you communicate clearly and regularly through phone calls and emails, you make yourself more appealing as a partner.
Being accountable is just as important as being a good communicator when it comes to having successful realtor partnerships. As a loan officer, accountability is important when dealing with clients and equally important when working with referral partners. Be honest and upfront with your partner about your own expectations and limitations. They would rather you be clear so you don’t end up overcommitting or keeping them in the dark about issues in the lending process. Even though you won’t always be able to predict or prevent issues in the loan process, your realtor partner will understand as they experience the same uncertainties. The important part is that you don’t bite off more than you can chew, and that you’re honest and open when problems arise.
Use social media
If you want to be successful as a loan officer, you probably know that having a social-media presence is a must. Social media is a powerful tool that you and your realtor partner should use to help promote each other’s success. When LOs and realtors communicate and engage with each other on social media, not only do they make their own reach stronger, but they also help to drive more traffic to each others’ profiles. By sharing relevant content on social media, you create an opportunity for partners to share your posts and increase your exposure. When they post something, you should return the favor by sharing as well. Using social media to help you and your realtor partners expand your reach can help both of your businesses grow.
Creating solid realtor referral relationships is important, and maintaining them over time is what makes them effective. Try to stay in their mind by occasionally communicating with them via email or phone call. By giving them a nudge from time to time, you’re letting them know that you value the relationship and want to maintain it. Of course, sending them a lead would be great, but you may not always have those resources available each time you want to communicate. Sending them a link to an interesting article is an easy way to reach out. You could also ask them about collaborating in some way — maybe by co-branding your flyers or writing posts for each other’s blogs. If you hear of a networking event, reach out to your partner to see if it sparks their interest. Keeping consistent contact can help you stay fresh in their mind.
Of course, loan officers can find leads on their own, but they’re often more successful when they invest in referral partnerships. Realtors are a great place to start when building referral partnerships, as there are clear incentives for both parties. It’s not enough to simply make a connection though; LOs need to invest in the relationships and work at maintaining them over time to really benefit from them.