The More People You Know the More Money You Make
By Ron & Alexandra Seigel, Partners--Napa Consultants, International
Those market leading loan originators who have a competent high-powered team of assistants will tell you that the majority of their time on the job involves attracting, developing or cultivating new relationships. Their secret about relationships is “the more people they know, the more money they make”.
It’s Not Just Who You Know.
How many people do you currently have in your contact data base?
How many past clients?
How many friends? How many potential referral sources?
The “relationship numbers game” can be clearly illustrated when you look at the number of real estate agents who refer you business.
Ask yourself these questions:
How many real estate agents send you business on a regular basis?
What percentage of your business does that represent?
If, for example, you have 7 agents sending you business on a regular basis and that represents 25% of your business, think of increasing your business by an additional25% by doubling the number of agents who refer you steady business.Think of what that increase in business would mean to you personally and to your family.
We have spoken with hundreds of loan originators all across the country who have told us that they just don’t like to promote to real estate agents and cultivate them as referral sources.
The attitude we often hear can be summed up as follows: “agents require high-maintenance.”
Mention the “A” word (agents) and you see many loan consultants wince. “I just stick with my book of business, past clients, to build my practice.” Is that your personal experience?
From Agent Aversion to Agent Conversion
What does it take to develop 7 more great agent relationships?
First, you need to shift from a mindset of “Agent Aversion” to “Agent Conversion”. At the root of “agent aversion” is a scarcity mentality that goes something like this: “there just aren’t many good agents out there” Or, “all the good ones are loyal to my competition.”
If this is your attitude it may be stopping you from making significantly more money. With interest rates up, new home loans (vs. re-financing) is much more important in this cooling market.
To connect with agents you need to simultaneously look at them as a means to achieve higher earnings and also see each agent as a human being who has personal needs. If you can meet those needs you will open the floodgates of referrals. Then, you need some strategies to attract those 7 agents and keep them as very satisfied fans!
Strategy #1: Be Interested, Not Interesting
The Key to Agent Conversion in a word is R-E-S-P-E-C-T! We like to call that supreme kindness. It means making others feel important, valuable. All of us have great moments and stressed-out moments. Supreme kindness, especially in stressful times, shows tremendous respect. Why not take the approach that the two of you can form a strategic alliance, using your mutual success as the goal?
Decide that you are the type of person who will bring the best out of every agent. Your best strategy is to be genuinely interestedin them.Many loan consultants approach a conversation with an agent by being interesting and going on about themselves.After all, as a loan consultant, you are in the business of gathering information which will assist you in making a loan. It is surprising what you can learn about someone when you are interested. This should become second nature for you.
Stay in Touch!
Remember, even though your competition may have a long term relationship with an agent from whom you would like to receive business, there is no reason, whatsoever, not to stay in touch with them.Make staying in touch your unique value proposition. Chances are your competition is getting complacent and neglecting their referring agents. Staying in touch CONSISTENTLY, not just during transactions but also in-between, can win you key relationships that generate considerable referral business.
Sometimes your competition is not available, or can’t do the loan, or got the agent mad.Who is the agent going to call? If you have stayed in touch you will be the first call under these circumstances. You need to be their second choice until you become their first choice.
A loan consultant client of ours was courting an agent for a long time, even though the competition had a long term relationship with that agent.On one occasion, the agent called with an urgent need.Her buyer needed a document translated into Spanish.Our client instantly connected her with a translator on his team.The agent called back the next day to thank him, and proceeded to turn over all of her additional business to our client.A few weeks later, other agents her office started bringing business to our client who gained a reputation as a “can do” person.
Ask yourself, “What is your reputation among the agents out there?”
Remember, the more people you know, the more money you make. Be interested, stay in touch and watch your income increase dramatically.