There is no better symbiotic relationship for growing referrals and generating business than that of the real estate agent and loan officer (LO). Agents have preferred lenders and LOs they can count on to shepherd their clients’ mortgage loans through to approval — and LOs get a steady stream of business they can depend on.
But this working relationship has other greater possibilities.
- Networking. When a real estate agent and loan officer partner, they increase their number of potential clients. Sharing database and social media contacts builds a stronger shared network. Agents and LOs should recommend attorneys, title agents, contractors, and other useful connections. They can also attend local Chamber of Commerce meetings, local business conferences, and trade shows together.
- Educating. The real estate agent’s and LO’s combined knowledge can be harnessed in a number of different ways to educate consumers on the home buying process. They could create joint seminars, webinars, or a collaborative social media campaign to reach out to first time homebuyers or other niche groups. They could invite other professional associates to participate and network at these events.
- Marketing. The heart of a strong LO/real estate agent relationship is the LO’s marketing abilities and resources. The custom co-branded collateral they create saves time and helps to promote the agent’s brand and reputation. A talented LO can assist in other ways such as hosting a lunch and learn about social media marketing or creating an effective email campaign. The LO can be a great resource for any marketing and advertising questions you may have.
- Service. Service is another important piece of the real estate agent and LO relationship. A good LO is there when the agent’s client needs them. They return calls and keep clients apprised of the progress of their loan. The home buying experience can be stressful, but a confident, knowledgeable, and empathetic LO can be a great asset to a real estate agent.
- Referrals. Referrals are gold in the real estate industry. Sharing contacts openly helps build a strong relationship and will lead to more referrals. Being referral partners carries with it real responsibility. If both partners give selflessly more referrals will follow.
The Bottom Line
Things don’t always go as planned and everyone is bound to make a mistake from time-to-time. That’s why trust is so critical if the real estate agent/loan officer relationship is going to flourish. Loans can be declined, homebuyers can pull out at the last minute — and the first thing we tend to do is look for someone to blame. Trust in this instance is not throwing your partner under the bus. When something goes wrong, find out what happened before assigning blame. Depending on the nature of the problem, determine what can be done to avoid it happening again in the future. Work together to solve problems and you’ll both benefit in the long run.