One of my coaching clients was telling me recently that he literally "HATES" working with Realtors. That's a strong word. When I asked him why he felt so strongly about that, he said it's because they're "flakey and waste his time." He continued by saying he'd "rather work with consumers" because he sees himself as more of a "Consumer Broker" than a "Realtor Broker." Can you relate? Do you ever wish you could attract more purchase business WITHOUT having to wait around for Realtors to send you the odd referral here and there? If so, this article will point you in the right direction. When it comes to Realtor marketing, you essentially have two options: you can go after anyone with a pulse who can fog a mirror, or you can be a bit more selective and target top producers. The first option may seem like the safer, easier, more comfortable option; however, the second option – while being admittedly more challenging – provides the most leverage and the highest income potential. Here are eight unique characteristics of the top 10% highest-producing Realtors (and why you want to partner with them):
- They have automatic lead-generation systems and full pipelines!Their automated marketing systems allow them to generate full pipelines of buyer clients and listing clients. They understand that systems allow them to save time, energy, money and stress. Their systems work even while they're not working.
- They understand the importance of building clients for life. Low producers get a customer to make a sale while top producers, on the other hand, make a sale to get a customer – a customer for life! That's why they're so big on controlling the quality of their client's experience; they understand that it is inextricably linked to the amount of repeat and referral business they receive.
- They understand the "Team Concept." For the most part, top producers "get" the fact that they can't do it all on their own. They know teamwork makes the dream work. As a result, they're always looking for top-notch professionals who can help leverage their time and money.
- They have iron-fisted client control (high influence).Based on the previous point, they place a high priority on leading, guiding and counseling their clients throughout the entire home-buying process to ensure their clients have the best experience possible. To achieve that outcome, they need professionals like you – the mortgage professional – to help provide their clients with the best experience possible.
- They don't need to be resold.You don't have to sell them on Monday and then resell them on Wednesday and then resell them again on Friday. Once you prove your unique value and you consistently deliver on your promises, chances are they'll be partners for life. Admittedly these are generalizations, but based on my experience, top producers tend to make decisions quickly and reverse them slowly.
- They control the area's inventory.When it comes to listings, they hold the lion's share of the inventory in their market area. What does that mean to you? Well, remember this important truth: LISTINGS ARE THE ULTIMATE BAIT TO ATTRACT HOMEBUYER LEADS! In other words, the more listings they have, the more buyer leads that you'll attract into your pipeline. This is especially the case if you are able to show your Realtors how to increase their buyer leads using lead-generation technology such as Text Capture and Call Capture (more on that in a future article). With that said, you obviously have more leverage if you work with real estate professionals who have lots of inventory. The more the better!
- They control a large and responsive database.They understand the importance of compiling, maintaining and utilizing a database. They understand that the only true equity they have in their business is their database of prospects, clients and referral partners. That's why they guard it with their life and ensure they communicate in such a way that their "relationship equity" continues to build over time. They position themselves as a trusted advisor who always has their clients' best interests at heart.
- They have many more opportunities for joint promotion. For all the reasons listed above, there's a lot higher likelihood that they're going to be able and willing to join co-marketing initiatives that produce profitable results for all parties involved.
As you can see, there's HUGE leverage in working with top producers! Now the pregnant question is how do you attract them? Before we get into the details, let me give you an overview on how you can gain the right posturing and positioning so they actually start chasing you instead of you chasing them. Courting Realtors is just like dating – if you don't have absolute clarity about who you want to attract in advance, chances are you'll get swept away with the emotion of the moment and end up settling for a dud instead of a stud. Bad example, but you get the idea: clarity is power. One helpful fact to remember is that you don't need many Realtor partners to make a life-changing impact on your income. For example, if your average commission per deal is $2,000, all you need are four Realtors sending you one measly referral per month to add an extra six figures to your bottom line. Why is that important to know? Because it reminds you that you can afford to be selective in choosing your partners. Here are six criteria for qualifying your Realtors:
- Rapport/attitude.Since you're looking for a long-term "partner" and not just a short-term "fling," you want to be very aware of the level of rapport and connection you have in your initial meetings. And obviously, that's something you can't really contrive; it's something organic that happens serendipitously. Sure, there are lots of techniques for building rapport, but when it comes to natural rapport, it's either there or it's not. Here are a few questions to ask yourself after your initial meeting: Do you have good rapport with that person? Do they have a positive, upbeat attitude? Are they someone who gives you energy or sucks energy from you? Be cognizant of those often-overlooked elements because you only want to work with positive, upbeat people who inspire you to greatness. You want to work with someone who has an eye for opportunities instead of obstacles, who breathes life into your sails and propels you forward instead of holding you back.
- Number of transactions.How many transactions or ends are they doing per year? Quite frankly, if they're not doing at least one transaction per month, they're probably not worth your time. Top producers usually do two or more transactions per month. Remember, anyone can send you a referral, but you shouldn't invest your valuable time with just anybody. You want to be purposefully selective because it's going to require a significant amount of time, energy and money to cultivate a high-level relationship with your key partners.
- Number of listings.As you may recall, listings are the "bait" that attracts buyer leads – so if they don't have listings, they're not going to provide you with many buyer leads. For that reason, I wouldn't bother courting potential Realtor partners who have fewer than four listings. That's an absolute minimum. Top producers typically have dozens of listings.
- Annual sales volume.Determine in your own mind what your minimum criteria should be. Five million? Ten million? Twenty million? You decide. Again, this is just another helpful performance indicator to help you determine if they're a real player or not. Generally speaking, the more sales volume, the more leverage they can bring to your business.
- Coachability. Are they coachable? Are they willing to work within a system? Are they someone who values what you're bringing to the table and is willing to do their part? And are they willing to learn? Are they humble or do they think they know it all? If they think they're God's gift to the world, they're probably not the right fit. You need to find someone who is humble, coachable and a lifelong learner. Admittedly, those qualities aren't easy to find in top-producing Realtors, but they're out there. You just need to find them. And don't settle for anything less.
- They recognize and appreciate the value you bring to the table. If they don't appreciate and respect you and the value you bring to the table, they're probably not the right fit. A strong win-win alliance is built on the foundation of mutual respect.
So, as you start to interview Realtors as potential referral partners, keep those six criteria in mind and give them a private score accordingly. If they meet the mark in all six of those areas, you've got someone worth investing a significant amount of time, energy and money in, to make yourself an irreplaceable asset on their team. In my next article, I’ll teach you seven simple steps for building a strong, profitable partnership with top-producing Realtors! Stay tuned… ¨
Doren Aldana is considered by many to be the nation's leading Mortgage Marketing Coach. Since 2005, he has been dedicated to helping mortgage professionals attract more clients with less effort, regardless of market conditions. For a free online workshop, "How to Turn Your Realtors' Listings into a Flood of Red-Hot Mortgage Leads," visit: