As a loan officer, you’re probably well aware of how vital it is to have rock-solid relationships with realtors. Those sweet, sweet referrals aren’t going to just waltz through the door, are they?
But here’s the million-dollar question — how on Earth do you build that unshakable bond with agents? They’re not only busy, but agents’ inboxes and voicemails are being bombarded by eager lenders looking for referrals— we’re talking up to 35 times a day according to one study.
To answer this question, we’ll turn to Andrea Beem, Principal Broker and Owner at The Beem Team LLC and Kristina Hubbard, Branch Manager/Sr. Mortgage Advisor at Pacific Residential Mortgage, who have been partnering with each other for about ten years.
Their partnership is more than simply offering referrals. It’s about doing business (and life) with people you enjoy. That’s why in this post, we’re distilling their insights down into three keys to a successful loan officer and real estate agent relationship.
Let’s dive in!
With mortgage lending slumping to its lowest point in around nine years, you may be tempted to connect with countless realtors to drive in more referrals. But real estate agents are often bombarded with marketing from loan officers who all offer similar products and interest rates. So how can you and your prospective realtor partner build a relationship that lasts, is meaningful, and is crafted on more than transactions?
Andrea and Kristina’s advice?
Work with agents who you enjoy.
You may not “jive” with every realtor you meet, and that’s okay. Personalities and operational techniques don’t always mesh well together… But others are matches made in heaven. That’s why it’s essential to find the people who are right for you and mesh well with how you do business.
“I've always had real estate agent partnerships, business partnerships with financial planners, CPAs, builders, that kind of thing. That's always been a very big part of my business, and I am very much of the belief that you do life with people that you enjoy and people that you love to do business with … we sure have a lot more fun working together when we're like-minded.”
While Kristina values both agent and cross-industry partnerships, she also values building relationships beyond transactions. She understands that creating deeper relationships with business partners can lead to higher levels of confidence, cooperation, and long-term success. These relationships can sometimes evolve into friendships, which can be both personally fulfilling and beneficial for business.
Our second key ingredient to a strong loan officer and real estate agent relationship is trust.
Each partner wants to feel assured that the other will deliver on their promises, give honest advice, and proactively tackle any problems that may arise.
Andrea points out:
“I like to partner with people both in real estate and with a lender partnership. And it's really important to me, especially in this industry when we're dealing with people's largest purchases and sales of their lives, that if you don't have a seriously trusted lender partner, I think you're really missing out on some really big opportunities and potential not only for your clients but as well as for your own business.”
Here are just a few of the benefits of building trust with your agent partners:
Providing value can mean different things, but it often involves sharing industry insight, offering a marketing partnership, and supplying client education.
Kristina and Andrea benefit from their partnership in many ways, but bringing extra value to their clients while supporting each other’s businesses are the most valuable by far.
“[Kristina’s team] is extremely proactive with us… We have a very great relationship with her and her team, that we trust the information that they give us… And so when we started partnering with them, one of the cool things that they did for us was they said, “Hey, how do we help you?’”
Andrea really believes that if you've got good partnerships in place, then ‘the world is your oyster'. And those partnerships can absolutely help build up your business and really provide a better experience for your clients.
“If you're a certified mortgage advisor, you're gonna have a lot of information to share with [realtors and their clients]. But really finding out what they want and what they need is really the most important thing.”
To ensure they are bringing the best possible value to each other’s clients, Andrea and Kristina both use Homebot’s Co-sponsorship feature.
Homebot Co-Sponsorship enables lenders and realtors to grow their business relationships, get in front of more clients and create lasting relationships. Both your and your partner’s clients will receive co-branded digests, helping to fuel your business and empower clients to build wealth through homeownership.
In fact, here's what Kristina has to say about partnering with agents on Homebot:
[Homebot’s Co-Sponsorship feature] really helps me link arms with real estate agents in the community, insurance agents, that kind of thing, that really want to provide something that comes to the client, but that it's an item of value and not something that they would just delete and move on with their lives. So that's what I love about Homebot is that it's valuable to the client, and the feedback is amazing.”
Real estate agents are often the first point of contact for prospective home buyers, and they need to have trustworthy loan officers in their corner to provide suitable financing options. Likewise, loan officers want to be sure that their real estate partners properly guide their clients as they search for the right property.
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to agent-lender partnerships, one thing is for sure: A thriving relationship is built on more than just transactions as we’ve seen with Kristina and Andrea.
Our parting advice is to put in the extra effort to build a meaningful partnership. Healthy professional relationships do not grow overnight, so be patient and yet eager to provide value to them before expecting anything in return.