I recently received a flyer from a new dry cleaner in my town. The flyer offered a coupon for a complimentary suit dry cleaning and 50% off the next four dry cleaning bills. The coupon was valid for 60 days.
What can we, as originators, learn from this offer?
We always wonder how to get agents and other referral partners to be loyal to us. It truly is one of the major sources of frustration and confusion. Every originator has done a great job for an agent, often on a tough deal, and then never heard from that agent again.
There are many strategies and tactics to build agent loyalty that I personally use and have taught over the years. They all work to varying degrees.
But here is the big secret: you have to become a habit.
This new dry cleaner understands that they have to do something big first to even get you through the door and try the new business, so they’re offering free dry cleaning. Once you’re in the door, the company is giving you 50% off for the next four dry cleaning bills so you will continue to come in, drop off your cleaning, and pick up what has already been done. By getting you to return at least three times, the new dry cleaner becomes your habit.
The company’s service may not be any better than your current dry cleaners, and their pricing may be the same or even a bit higher. But what they have done is truly amazing. You have changed service providers and broken your habit of going to your old dry cleaners. They created a new habit and routine in your head, making their store your new dry cleaning by using a bribe to get you to return multiple times.
As an originator, your mission is to get agents to use you once, and then force them to come back at least three or four additional times so you can become their habit.
Here are a few ideas you can use to get the agents to begin using you.
- Have other agents in their office recommend you.
- Bring them a pre-approved buyer and let them know you have additional ones.
- Offer them incentives they can offer to generate new buyers such as a free appraisal, $500 off closing costs, or a free vacation.*
- Show them that you are an expert in a niche that their current lender cannot handle.
- Offer them an appearance on your podcast or radio show, or an article in your newsletter.
- Have one of your other referral sources recommend you like an attorney, financial planner, or accountant.
Remember, getting them to use you is not the same as keeping them coming back at least three times, which makes you a habit.
This probably sounds obvious but you must stay in front of your agents and referral sources as well as your buyers. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is very true. Send them monthly newsletters and stay in touch with them by phone. If you are able to see them in person, that is even better. Of course, you should also communicate with them by e-mail, but don’t the mistake of thinking that e-mail alone will do the job.
Now get to work identifying the agents you want to target and start implementing this right now. You will be happy you did, and your bank account will thank you as well.
*(Note: I am not an attorney, but my understanding is that you can offer your client any incentive you like to do business with you but you are not allowed to offer any incentive to anyone for a referral. So I would suggest checking this with your own compliance department.)
Brian Sacks is a national mortgage expert with HomeBridge Financial Services Inc. in Owings Mills, Maryland. He has over 30 years of mortgage experience and career closings of 8,000 loans in excess of $1 billion. A recognized leader in the mortgage industry, Sacks is the resident expert for NBC Channel 11, and he has also appeared on the CBS and ABC stations. Brian has appeared in over 42 states and is considered the national expert on working with credit challenged buyers. Brian is also a respected coach and speaker, and the founder of the Top Originator Mastermind. Watch his four-part free video series on How to Close More Loans—Make More Money and Still Enjoy Life.