In my last article, I talked about the eight unique advantages of working with top-producing Realtors and the six important criteria for determining if they qualify to work with you. As you might expect, this kind of relaxed, confident posturing only works if you have a powerfully compelling, unique value proposition that Realtors actually want and need. If you haven't noticed by now, touting "great rates" and "great service" ain't gonna cut it. As I said before, you need to position yourself as an irreplaceable, indispensable asset on their team.
If you don’t have a clear, concise, well-articulated unique selling proposition, you are, by default, a replaceable commodity.
Today’s Realtors are looking for a mortgage professional with more than just great rates and excellent service – that’s a baseline expectation. They want someone who understands their biggest challenges and is willing to go the extra mile to deliver unique solutions.
Now, the question begging to be asked is, “What is the #1 biggest challenge every Realtor faces?” No, it’s not that they need better financing options, lower rates, snazzier feature sheets or a better economy. The single most important factor to their success in any market is their ability to attract quality listings and sell them FAST at top dollar! Period. That’s it! As simple as that sounds, very few Realtors ever unlock this mystery. The rare few who do become the envy of the entire industry, enjoying an income most only dream about.
What if you – the mortgage professional – could address this #1 challenge by providing your Realtors with a selection of highly effective tools, systems and templates, specifically designed to help attract more quality listings and sell them fast, for top dollar? Would that set you apart from the pack? Would that give you a greater position of strength? Would it make you irreplaceable?
You better believe it baby!
In fact, if you’re able to provide this kind of unique value, you’ll have Realtors banging down your door to do business with you and endorse you to all their clients. What a refreshing change that would be!
Now, let me walk you through the first of my seven steps for building a strong, profitable partnership with top-producing Realtors.
STEP 1: Compile a "Top 100" Realtor list
Instead of just prospecting a few Realtors and hoping for the best, I recommend using the Law of Large Numbers to tip the scales of fortune in your favor. For example, let's say your goal was to attract four key Realtor partners. In that case, if all you had was a list of four Realtor prospects, the likelihood of converting 100% is pretty low – if not impossible. Not to mention the fact that these Realtors still need to be qualified to determine whether they're the right fit. On the other hand, you can increase your chances of success by expanding your prospect universe and compiling a Top 100 List of award-winning Realtors to market to.
Here are a few tips for compiling your "Top 100" Realtor list:
First, create a Warm List of all the Realtors who already know you, like you and trust you. They might already be sending you referrals, but perhaps you want to cultivate those relationships so you can attract even more referrals more often. If you have an existing database of "warm" Realtor contacts, you can export it as a CSV file in an Excel spreadsheet. Most CRM software programs allow you to export your data in this format. For a list of recommended CRM software vendors, visit: www.dorenrecommends.com.
Second, compile a Cold List comprised of award-winning Realtors in your area who don't know you yet – that's why we call it a "cold" list. The reason you want to start proactively targeting "award-winning" Realtors is because top producers tend to have a lot more listings (buyer bait), more buyer clients and more client influence, all of which culminate in more capacity to send you more quality referrals. The way I see it, if you're going to court Realtor partners, you might as well go after the BIG DOGS who can make the BIGGEST impact on your bottom line!
Believe it or not, it's actually quite easy to find and compile a list of award-winning real estate agents in your area. All you have to do is search in Google using the following keyword terms: The real estate company you want to target, the word "awards," the year they won the award, and your city. For example, you might search for something like, "REMAX Awards 2011 Vancouver." If you do a search in Google for those keyword terms, you'll come up with a whole bunch of award-winning Realtors who work for REMAX in Vancouver and won awards in 2011. So go ahead and do this for your particular search parameters and then compile your database of those Realtors.
If you're using an Excel spreadsheet to compile your data, be sure to organize your contact data into separate columns. For example, have separate columns for their first name, last name, company name, street address, unit number, city, province, postal code, phone number, fax number, email address, etc. Having all of this data organized into separate columns will make your life a lot easier when it comes to starting a direct mail campaign.
As you can imagine, unless you're an administrative wizard, all of this research and data compilation is about as much fun as getting a root canal – it's extremely time consuming, mind-numbing work. However, you'll be glad to know there is an easy, cost-effective alternative: delegate it to an assistant! If you don't have an assistant, you can easily hire someone on Elance.com to do this for you for under $50. Why subject yourself to all that unnecessary drudgery when you can hire someone in a lower-wage country to do it all for you? This is a no brainer!
To make this even easier for you, here's a sample Elance ad that you can customize:
Name of job: WANTED: Data Entry/List Compiler
Fast, efficient, accurate list compiler sought for a mortgage company wanting a list of award-winning real estate agents in the (insert your city) area. Based on the keyword parameters given, you will need to pull the agents' contact info from their website and compile it into an Excel spread sheet with each data type separated into its own separate column (i.e., Name, Last Name, Company, Address1, Address2, City, Zip, Phone, Fax, Email, etc.). This project would entail providing us with full contact information for 100 award-winning Realtors. Are you the superstar list compiler we’re looking for? We are ready to award this job immediately. Future projects available!
Job Type: fixed price
Category: Admin à Data Entry
Skills: Data Entry, Microsoft Excel, Typing
Once you have your Top 100 Realtor List compiled, the next step is to deploy an effective, multi-step, multi-media marketing campaign that grabs the Realtors' attention, piques their interest, and inspires them to want to meet with you. As you can imagine, this is a lot easier said than done. However, if you have the right approach with the right value proposition, you should be able to book at least 15 face-to-face meetings and attract 4 quality referral partners from your original list of 100 prospects.
Remember, it's not about quantity; it's about quality. For example, if your average commission per deal is $2,100, all you need is just four Realtors who send you an average of one measly referral per month to add an extra six figures to your annual income. That's why I recommend working with just a few quality, committed partners instead of spreading yourself thin trying to work with dozens of half-hearted, lukewarm prospects. It's all about going narrow, deep and rich instead of wide, shallow and poor.
In my next article, I'll walk you through steps two and three of my seven-step formula for building strong, profitable partnerships with top-producing Realtors. You'll learn how to use direct mail to stand out from the clutter and generate interest. I'll also show you how to follow up by phone with confidence and grace, which ultimately leads to booking more face-to-face meetings. You'll get the exact words to say and how to say them. Stay tuned… ¨
Doren Aldana is considered by many to be the nation's leading Mortgage Marketing Coach. Since 2005, he has been dedicated to helping mortgage professionals attract more clients with less effort, regardless of market conditions. For a free online workshop on "How to Turn Your Realtors' Listings into a Flood of Red-Hot Mortgage Leads," visit: www.UltimateRealtorMarketingSystem.com