For good relationships with real estate agents, the key is differentiation

by 11 Apr 2017

I have read the column you published last week and I am confused regarding why you included benefits to real estate agents in a column directed at loan officers. I am trying to figure out whether this technology will help me increase my origination business. I understand why agents might use this technology as well, but I am not sure how relevant that is to my goals.

--Larry from Newark


I am glad that you brought up this topic, as I did not introduce the benefit to real estate agents without a purpose. In general, I have always recommended that loan officers understand what marketing activities real estate agents can be taking. If you are going to serve agents, then you need to know the ways they are generating their business, and other ways they can potentially generate business.

However, beyond this "general point," you must understand our value to agents must go beyond what we usually market – rates, service and programs. We are typically under the impression that agents are very interested in our programs. But what they are really interested in is selling more homes. If you have a program different than everyone else, of course that is important. But 98% of the programs are carried by most companies.

On the other hand, a technology that helps agents increase their business is an opportunity for you to help them in a way which is beyond what other loan officers are offering. The assistance could range from co-marketing to introducing them to the technology. Or it might even be using the technology yourself to produce purchase or listing leads for your agents. The key is positive differentiation, and I don't know any objective which would be of more value to the agents who are referring prospects to you. Or for agents you would like to develop relationships with, for that matter.  

--Dave Hershman