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 "Unconventional Ways To Approach Realtors..." 
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Post "Unconventional Ways To Approach Realtors..."
Unconventional Ways To Approach Realtors Without Donuts As A Loan Officer
by: Rob Lawrence



With the rise of interest rates and the drying-up of the refinance market, it makes sense to transition your business to the purchase money market. After all, home purchase loans will become the bulk of your broker transactions and it is only prudent to be prepared to capture these leads.

Of course, you will always have the occasional debt consolidation, or divorce cash-out refinance, even some b-paper subprime loans. But, the majority of your coming business will be in the purchase market and you must make efforts to get out there or you will not survive. The days of the ringing phone and order taking are over.

One of the questions I get asked over and over again, is how to best approach realtor offices. Aren’t they the ones with purchase loans? They hold the key, right? Yes, they do. But, why should they just “give” you loans? What’s in it for them?

How many times have you called a realtor and they’ve said the following:

“We’re already working with someone.”

“We don’t give our business away.”

“We don’t know you.”

“Why should we work with you?”

“We don’t want your free donuts!”

They’re saying this because they’ve already been raked over the coals by about 200 other loan officers. They’re sick of empty promises and loans that don’t close. They’re afraid to lose their commission. They don’t want to take the risk of dealing with you. And…yes, it’s true…your donuts weren’t very good. ;-)

If you want to attract realtors, you’ve got to catch them when they are least expecting it. You can’t do this with blind cold-calling. They’re sales people too, and their guard is up the instant you call. They’ve got other calls, and they don’t want to deal with you. To them, you’re a nobody.

Don’t despair. Here are some of the best unconventional ways I’ve found to approach real estate agents and the difference in their attitude is amazing!

* Business networking groups such as BNI (Business Networking International) and Leads Club. These are groups that allow only one person from each profession. So there is one lawyer, one appraiser, one realtor, one loan officer, etc. And they all trade business with each other. The groups are set up this way to encourage member participation. But, finding an active BNI group that has an L.O. position open is rare. People rarely give this spot up, and for good reason. It means they are getting leads and it works! It is worth your effort to call all the local chapters and put your name on the list. If the person leaves they have to replace them. Or if enough people show interest, they will start-up a new group. And you want to be the first to take advantage of it.

* You can always try starting your own weekly networking group and approach referral partners with the incentive of generating referrals through the group. This is a harder thing to do than joining a structured environment like BNI, but may be worth considering if there is no other choice. You have to pitch this the right way, and get all the other professions set-up first before you approach the real estate agent. This way, you’ve got something to offer.

* One technique I found that always worked was to give the realtor potential leads. As many of you know, I stopped buying Internet leads a long time ago and started generating my own leads through my lead site at http://www.findthelowestrate.com When I call a realtor and I tell them I am looking for a business partner to work with that I can refer business to, their ears immediately perk-up. Now, you are not just another loan officer with your hand-out, but a long-term partner with a proven lead generation system. Forget the donuts. Bring leads instead. They taste better too.

* Give free seminars. Realtors are always looking for ways to educate their buyers. If you have the skills to present the mortgage industry in a nutshell, you can offer to host a free workshop for buyers. The key to getting this to work is to host it at the realtor’s office, so it looks like it’s from them and they can take credit for it. Your goal shouldn’t be to generate loans this first time, but rather to “prove” yourself and show some goodwill. There are always new realtors coming into the office, so you want to make yourself known. Eventually, there will be someone who isn’t working with anyone at the moment, or someone who is ready to change loan officers. You want to be this person!

* Show up at open houses. Open houses are always fun. See if they have already have a L.O. on site. If not, this is your perfect chance to introduce yourself. Ask how many people they got today and how many were pre-qualified. I always used to carry an extra table, chair, laptop, sign and rate sheets in my car to be ready to set-up shop in a moments notice. It cost them nothing and may lead to a qualified buyer. Yes, it’s ballsy, but worth a shot!

* I once knew a mortgage company that used to give away free advertising to realtors. They helped promote the properties the realtor was selling, by hosting the home flyers in their lobby. While potential borrowers were waiting, they had something to look through. It was a big selling point to attract real estate agents. You could also do cross mailings, lawn sign exchanges, newspaper co-ops, etc. Again, you are working long-term with realtors, not just asking for free loans.

These are just some of the best ideas I’ve used to help generate more purchase loans. I hope they help you get out there and connect. Realtors are a tricky bunch, but once you are in their good favor, they can be a steady stream of new business. Don’t give-up. Use my techniques and may your next loan be a closer.



About The Author
Rob Lawrence is ranked one of top national trainers in the mortgage industry. He is the currently the CEO of Battlecall.com, coaching, tools and resources to turn mortgage professionals into mortgage warriors. Visit http://www.battlecall.com for his free “Sink Or Swim” weekly newsletter, mortgage training, marketing advice and more! Jumpstart your career in the mortgage business, starting today.




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Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:42 pm
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