Getting back to basics and taking advantage of three trusty referral sources is the key to growing your business. Though each has tricks of the trade that should be kept in mind
Often, brokers will put too much emphasis on one area of their business, while forgetting to plant seeds by forging relationships in other areas or segments.
A prime example is Realtor referrals. While they can be a wonderful source of business, if you rely on only a few Realtor relationships to send you business every month, you may be in for a disappointment. If the purchase market turns and sales drop, or they start doing more listings on the buy-side, you would need to look to alternatives to grow your business.
When starting a new relationship with a Realtor, you want to build a strong personal foundation for a lasting rapport, which means not focusing on the immediate need, calling daily to ask where your leads are. During the ‘courting’ process, it is beneficial to show them you are busy and successful with or without their referrals.
By building the proper lead structure, you should effectively only require one to two deals a month from each segment of your referral business, so as to take the pressure and stress off of yourself and your referral partners. For example, if two of your five solid Realtor relationships are slow one month, you should still have three other Realtors sending deals your way to meet your needs in that particular segment. The same concept can be applied to your personal network, including social media.
Many new mortgage professionals will say they don’t find social media to be an effective tool for lead generation. It is my belief that the problem lies in the approach. Social media is not a one-time, quick fix for mortgage leads; and a month’s worth of tweets and posts will likely not affect your business. In order to be successful, social media has to be part of your daily routine, consistently updating your social sites with news and education over an extended period of time.
This strategy will go a long way in gaining the respect and confidence from your network as an industry leader. A friend may call you for their mortgage, and their request was not sent directly through Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. But that doesn’t mean their decision to send their business to you wasn’t a result of you earning their trust over time by seeing your posts and growing their confidence in what you do.
The key is to make your social media fun. In addition to posting valuable industry-related news and information, you want your network to see the various social events, conferences and teambuilding you participate in as well. You want your network to see the culture of your organization and of the people with whom you work.
A third opportunity when structuring your business lies in bank rep turn-downs. Let’s say you have one strong bank rep as a primary referral source who sends you upwards of five deals per month; these referrals are derived from deals that cannot get done at the bank. What would happen if this rep suddenly decided to go make the transition into the broker world? Your business would take a steep downfall if you didn’t have a few other bank reps in that segment, along with a strong structure supporting all other aspects of referral sources.
The message here is clear: don’t rely on one specific source for your business and instead focus on continuing to foster relationships in each segment. Consider this illustration as a business plan; when you know you only desire four to five strong relationships per segment, you will choose your business partners wisely with an abundance -over-scarcity mentality.
This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Drew Donaldson, Top Producing Mortgage Professional with SAFEBRIDGE Financial Group. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.