If it feels like everyone is talking about how to get mortgage referrals from realtors, it’s because they are!
Heck, there are entire companies dedicated to just creating content for loan officer marketing to realtors. It’s in that kind of demand.
So, why is loan officer marketing to realtors one of the most commonly used loan officer marketing strategies?
Well, the idea is, if you can give your real estate agents something of value, like marketing materials that will help sell their listing, then they’ll want to give you something in return. In this case, their clients that’ll need loans from you.
If you are thinking, “Great, I’m ready to start!”, wait just a minute. Yes, a campaign that gets you client referrals is one of the best marketing strategies for loan officers. But, be cautious before launching just any campaign to generate mortgage referrals from realtors. Do your research first. Consider these tips for success before you start building a campaign for mortgage referrals from realtors:
Don’t Work With Realtor Partners You Don’t Like
If you want to develop a steady stream of referrals from realtors, you’re going to need to spend a lot of time developing relationships with realtors. So, be sure you like working with them before you start. This may seem crass, but when you choose to co-market with a realtor, you put your logo, your photo, your brand, on the same page as theirs. In many ways, their reputation and values become yours. In short, if your values do not align, working with them could cause branding issues for you in the long run in exchange for short-term gain.
Be Prepared for An Audit Before You Start
If you make your loan officer marketing to realtors process audit-ready from the get-go, you’ll save time and eliminate headaches in the future.
You can easily make it audit ready for compliance with a CRM.
What is a CRM?
A CRM (customer relationship management) is software that helps you keep track of all your, wait for it, relationships. Relationships in the mortgage industry include everything from leads, loans, clients and referral partners. A good mortgage CRM will link people to processes.
To illustrate, let’s say you create a co-branded marketing flyer for you and your realtor partner and want to now keep track of any shared costs.
In your CRM, you’ll start by creating a contact for that realtor – that’s the people part of it.
Then, you’ll connect all the processes related to that relationship. All invoices or receipts from the co-marketing costs, email communication, co-marketed emails that went out, phone calls, times you met for coffee, and or any additional documents related to the realtor, will get connected to their contact profile in the CRM.
Linking people to processes will allow you to roll up all activities associated with a realtor into one nice clean report.
When the time comes for an audit, you won’t need to search your Outlook, Mailchimp, credit card statements, and calendar to remember all of your interactions with your realtor partner. All the documentation you’ll need, instead, will be in your CRM on the clean report you created.
Ultimately, the upfront investment of resources to ensure you have a CRM with all of your applications linked to it, will payback tenfold in the time you will NOT have to spend generating documentation for an auditor.
Ready to get started with a CRM today? Learn more here.
Email Marketing Isn’t Enough
There’s an age-old tale from the 30’s in the movie industry that a consumer had to see movie advertising seven times before actually going to see a movie. For decades following, marketers across multiple industries have been using this “Rule of 7” to plan out their marketing campaigns to get consumers to buy their products and services.
With so much content exposure nowadays, however, it is debated if 7 touches or impressions is even enough. Regardless of the exact number, multiple marketing touches are needed to affect consumer behavior. So, in order to create an effective loan officer marketing to realtors campaign, you’ll need both digital and physical content. With both types, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to reach the client.
To get mortgage referrals from realtors, you’ll have to give them something of value. So, add the following real estate marketing to your next campaign:
Co-Branded Digital Media
- Email Drip Campaigns to inform the client on the loan and home buying process
- Social Media Posts
- Property website that showcases both the agent and preferred financing partner
Keep branding consistent by developing a print campaign with multiple media assets including:
- Property Flyers
- Just Listed Postcards
- Open House Flyers
- Open House Sign-In Sheets
- Financing Options
- Just Sold Postcards
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The number one way to provide value to your realtor partners is to fund quickly, but we all know that already. A close second is to keep the real estate agent informed throughout escrow. Both ways are easier said than done especially when you are working on funding for multiple clients and partners at the same time. However, if you use a service, like Reffinity, that automatically sends clients and realtor partners loan milestone emails based on loan progress, you’ll be able to keep everyone informed and not lose any sleep doing so.
Don’t Stop Marketing After Closing
Post-Close Marketing Builds Long-Term Relationships
Sending post-close gifts and cards is a great way to maintain client relationships after closing. You can keep in touch with clients and stay top of mind throughout the year by sending birthday, holiday, and loan anniversary cards and gifts. Co-branding these gifts with your realtor partner will help you maintain a relationship with your realtor partner as well your client. In addition, co-branding can reduce your marketing costs.
Your past clients, current clients and referral partners will love receiving personalized cards for all occasions. We suggest using an automated solution like this concierge program so you do not have to remember all those special dates.
Always Split Payment (And Show Proof)
If you are in the mortgage or real estate business, then you are probably familiar with RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act). In order to be compliant with RESPA, all loan officer/real estate agent marketing materials and expenses need to be split and documented. What does this mean? If you pay for half of a co-marketing flyer, the flyer needs to show both the loan officer and realtor. Ultimately, you and your realtor have to equally share both the marketing space and the cost to print the flyer.
If you are found to be non-compliant with RESPA, you can face a civil lawsuit or penalty by HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), according to MetFund Markets. This means necessary steps will be taken such as investigation and legal action if complaints are filed.
If you want more tips about tracking co-marketing expenses, check out this article.