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Realtor Relationships: The Guide To Long Term Success

Realtor Relationship

Realtor relationships can be a huge benefit in your mortgage marketing strategy. Both new and seasoned loan officers can utilize realtor partners to grow their business and gain a deeper knowledge of the industry. However, if expectations have not been set early into the partnership, you can find yourself giving more than you are receiving. This can grow into a toxic agreement where you spend time, money, and self-esteem for very little in return. At the end of the day, every successful realtor relationship starts with mutual respect. 


I know that respect sounds elementary, however, so many loan officers and realtors do not respect each other from the beginning. This will undoubtedly lead to selfishness, frustration, and a collapse in trust. As a loan officer, you need to understand the value that a real estate agent brings to the table. Not all realtors are equal. Therefore, when you find a good one let them know your admiration for their work ethic and skill. 

Inversely, a realtor must know the value that a loan officer brings to the table. If your company has great service, quick underwriting, or unique sales resources, do not shy away from mentioning this. Refer to your SWOT analysis to find your companies unique strengths and opportunities. 

More than anything, you need to have enough respect in yourself to know when to walk away from realtors that do not have respect for your work. Not only will this be detrimental to your mindset, but you will spend excessive time trying to gain the respect that will never come. I have seen too many loan officers focus their entire marketing strategy around a realtor and forget about the homebuyer. Find a partner that has mutual respect and build from there. 

Set Expectation in Your Realtor Relationships

A lot of lender-realtor partnerships start off on the wrong footing and never recover. Meaning, you grab a coffee and vaguely discuss the benefit of working together. You will leave feeling optimistic and immediately start generating value for your partner. A month will go by and you will realize you have put all the effort into the partnership. Nine times out of ten, the reason being is that expectations were never set with the realtor or lender. 

If you are serious about growing your business and want to find a realtor partner, you need to be open about your expectation from them. Do you expect them to refer you leads weekly? Do they expect co-branded material? Discuss what you both bring to the table and physically write your expectations. This will create trust, accountability, and professionalism in the partnership. All of these traits are vital to success in this business model. The best realtor-lender relationships know what they are getting out of the partnership. If you don’t know what the expectations are from your realtor or loan officer, have an honest conversation. They may not be as serious as you are about scaling the business. If so, move on and set expectations from the first meet-up. 

Transfer of Value 

A transfer of value may seem obvious, but I have seen too many realtor relationships where value is only being transferred one way. If there is no transfer of value, there is no relationship. As a loan officer, ask yourself what value do I bring to a realtor? The financing process is arguably the most complicated aspect of the homebuying process. If you can simplify the process and get out pre-qualifications fast, a new realtor will love you. Additionally, if you are a seasoned loan officer and have your own lead generation system, experienced realtors will see an immense level of value in qualified leads. 

With this said, ensure that the value you are bringing to the table is also being given back to you. If you are bringing your realtor 10 qualified leads a month, expect around 10 qualified leads from the realtor. This is the transfer of value that makes realtor relationships powerful. However, if your value is not lead generation but fast turnaround times and service, talk to your realtor about what is the equivalent value. This goes back to setting expectations on day one. Having this honest conversation on what you can bring to the relationship and what you can expect will produce results. 

Track Progress in Your Realtor Relationships 

Tracking your progress in the relationships is a step many loan officers and realtors forget to do. From what I mentioned before, you should know what the transfer of value is and have proper expectations set. From there, you can take a step back and analyze why you are partnering with each other. For most, your partnership should mutually benefit your business. Both the realtor and loan officer should have increased their business within the first 6-months. 

At its core, a realtor relationship is a marketing strategy. Therefore, it should be analyzed as one. If you are not enhancing your business, you are wasting time and money. To properly track results, utilize your current sales spreadsheet. If you do not have a spreadsheet where you are tracking your monthly sales, create one immediately.  Add a referral column to the spreadsheet and begin tracking the closings that were brought by your realtor. Within 6 months, you will be able to see exactly how much your business has increased due to a realtor relationship. Inversely, track how many closings you give to your realtor. 

This data will be extremely valuable to prove the success, or failure, of a realtor relationship. You can even use this data to show if expectations were met and have open conversations on the fiscal value of the partnership. 

Long Term Results 

Finding long-term results with a realtor is far and few. I have met a few strong relationships that yield amazing value. In these instances, both parties respect each other, have expectations set, transfer value equally, and track their progress. With this said, creating a successful relationship does not happen overnight. Trust is built through months, sometimes years, of working together and building each other’s business. Often, the best partnerships come from a former friendship or relationship. That way, trust is already built and you just have to solve logistical challenges. All in all, long-term success takes time and dedication. Find a good partner and work to build each other’s business. 


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