To grow your brokerage, it might be time to think BDRs

Business development reps could change your outlook…

To grow your brokerage, it might be time to think BDRs

Resolution planning pops up this time of year as people seek to follow better habits. The same can be said of those in the mortgage industry, but with an eye toward goals of making one’s business grow – an especially desirable outcome given the tough year now in its waning weeks.

Hint: Think social media and BDRs.

At a recent conference staged in Las Vegas by the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), brokers were talking goals. For Nancy Bayat (pictured left), vice president of Amerify, targets for the coming year are centered on cutting-edge marketing.

Social media, that’s where marketing is kind of headed,” she said. “I’m a refi gal. It’s my jam because it’s fast, quick, but I still have relationships with those people because I do them over and over and over again. So, I think social media kind of gets in front of more people.”

Braiden Shaw (pictured right), broker-owner of Fulcrum Home Loans, agreed with the importance of social media – something he latched on to in earnest just recently: “Social media has been a big one,” he said. “I jumped on social media actively posting every day a couple of months ago and it has brought a ton of business – 10 to 15 leads a week.”

Consider business development representatives to help grow your business

But there’s another ace up his sleeve, and it goes by the acronym BDR – business development representative. “BDRs have been integral in my business,” he said. “I think they’re extremely underutilized inside the broker model.”

The tactic has been three years in the making, he said, dating to a previous AIME conference where the subject first came up with some of his peers. “Set a goal for 30 days,” he recalled of the advice he received. “At the end of 30 days, if you’re not achieving that goal at 100%, and you need it in your business, either delegate it or automate it.”

He took the advice to heart, he added. “At the end of 2020, I set a goal that 75% of my time – 30 hours a week – I had to be prospecting, either cold-calling, networking or following up after the networking. I didn’t hit that goal 30 days later, so I had to figure out how to create a system where someone else could do that for me and that was the birthplace of BDR. At the time, I hadn’t heard of it and now it’s used a little bit more in the industry.”

How does BDR manifest itself at his brokerage shop? “Now I now have someone who loves it,” he said of his BDR. “He’ll come in at lunch fired up and I’m trying to figure out why he’s so excited. He said, ‘I set a new record and had 120 calls this morning.’ So there’s people who will do this for me – setting appointments, doing the follow-up, so that someone is always processing my business 40 hours a week.”

Letting go of one’s ego

Shaw acknowledged having his ego bruised a bit in watching the wonderkid perform his feats. After all, he suggested fancying himself something of a closer in his deal-making. But as his business grew as a result, he quickly learned to put ego aside.

“There was ego at first,” he said. “Nobody can call as good as me, nobody has my scripts,” he recalled telling himself. “I had to realize pretty quickly there are people better at that than me.”

So he handed over his follow-up arsenal – encompassing text, social media, Facebook, email, the whole kit and kaboodle – to the eager BDR. “I had it all automated out and handed it to the BDR and said, here’s everything you need to start going.”

The tactic has paid off as he’s seen his business grow. “That’s really what helped me start to grow,” he said. “You can’t do five, 10, 20 loans a month and also prospect 30 hours a week. It just doesn’t work. The goal has been to build that program out. We hired another one [BDR], and he’s killing it,” he said of the subsequent hire, who set up 27 appointments in his first two weeks right off the bat. “I want to continue to build up that BDR program and continue to fine-tune it because we’ve had so much success in it.”

It can be cost-effective as well by sharing a BDR with other loan officers: “You don’t have to have someone on your payroll paying $50,000,” Shaw said. “Get together with four other loan officers, split it with them – say you do an hour for him, an hour for him, an hour for her, and an hour for her. It doesn’t have to be a payroll that you’re covering. Get a couple of loan officers, build it out and say, ‘I’ll give you $1,000 for every deal you bring me’ – make it extremely high commission. Start to figure out how to become a business owner and really make that mind shift change to have other people work on your business.”

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