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Loan Officer Marketing: 3 Steps To Realtor Leads - Articles Surfing
How many times have you worked your fingers to the bone to get an appointment, met with the agent who promised to give you business, only to never hear from this individual again?
Or maybe you do hear from this individual again, but he/she always has an excuse as to why the business is not forthcoming? It seems that most agents over-promise and under-deliver every bit as much as many loan officers do. What do you do? What exactly is going on here?
If you've participated in any of my free conference calls, then you know what my theory is in this situation. I will touch briefly on this, and then we will discuss a marketing strategy that will help you overcome this situation.
Let's begin with the why behind the situation. When a realtor promises to give you business, how many potential outcomes are there? Either he will or he won't? What can cause the agent to not send business?
One answer is that he/she could be an agent who closes very little business and legitimately has nothing to give. If this is the case, then you need to ask yourself, why are you spending time with agents who have nothing to give in the first place?
The second answer is that the agent told you that business would be sent simply to get you off the phone or to get you out of his/her hair.
Finally, the last possibility is that the realtor has had second thoughts or is hesitating to use you because the potential reward has not exceeded the risk of using an untested loan officer thus far.
The last possibility is the one that most loan officers run into time and again. So now the question is, what do we do about this?
Well, I had a marketing plan that was not only simple and cheap to implement, but it also allowed me to identify who was giving me legitimate excuses and who was blowing me off.
The marketing plan was simple. I provided Just Listed and just sold postcards for my agents in addition to open house flyers customized with attached reports.
On this surface this does not sound like much does it? Here is how it worked.
Every time I give an office presentation I log into the MLS (If you do not have MLS access, then you need to either get it, or partner with a title company who does have it.) and identify the agents who have deals in process.
I would then download the agents' photos to my desktop along with photos and information on the home I targeted.
I would prepare a sample Just Listed or Just Sold postcard along with an open house flyer customized with each agents information and respective listing or sold property.
I would bring these with me to the presentation and distribute to every agent as a sample of the services I can provide. These cards and flyers cost me nothing since I prepare them in-house, and the only cost is the 3-4 dollars it cost to get the post cards cut at Kinko's.
As soon as I finished passing the materials out I would also point out the contact information included. The contact information was from agents who already participated in the program who were willing to give live testimonials describing the success of the program.
The average agent who participated closed an additional 4-5 transactions per year because of these little cards. This may not seem like much, but let's look at the numbers. The average closing in North County of my vicinity is about 150-160,000. If the agent is getting full commission, then we are looking at 6-7%. Let's take the smaller number of 6%. At $150,000 for an average transaction calculated at 6% the average agent can attribute $36,000 - $45,000 in additional income per year to these little cards.
(NOTE: Please make certain that you comply with all RESPA laws. Remember, even paper and toner can be viewed as giving something of value in exchange for leads. Please take the time to review www.gogetloan.com and view the section 'Respa Updates.' If your postcards are sharing advertising space 50/50, then the investment from both parties must be shared 50/50. If you provide the cards ie: toner, card-stock etc, then the agent is contributing by paying for postage.)
Once the agency takes its cut the agent can still enjoy an additional 2-3 thousand dollars per month in income for something I do automatically for them.
The beauty of this program is that I do not offer it to just anyone. Once the agents are aware of the program, I will follow this touch point each week:
By 9:30 A.M. every agent will get a phone call from me welcoming them to a new week full of possibilities. I will let the agent know that I am prepared to deliver any just listed or just sold postcards to the office for any new listings or sold properties. I will also offer open house flyers while I am at it. If the agent asks for Just Listed cards then I know there is obviously a new client involved.
Since I know this, and the agent is aware that I know of this new client, the excuse of 'I have no clients to give' is not going to cut it. An average Monday would result in 20-25% of the agents on the list requesting some sort of marketing material from me.
Every Wednesday a motivational email is sent out to all of my agents. This article had to meet several requirements. It had to be directly related to sales or real estate. It had to be personal, and it had to be interesting. No fluff will do here!
On Friday the agents will get another call from me. While this may seem to be excessive from an outsider looking in it is not. See, many agents will now be preparing for open houses over the weekend, and broker opens for Monday and Tuesday. Once again I will typically pick up several more orders for open house flyers and neighborhood reports at this time.
Now that we know when and how to implement these touch points, let's throw a few more details into the mix. When I contact these agents on the phone, what is happening? They are telling me about their new deals. Of course, as I am offering to provide these marketing materials I am also asking if I can provide a preapproval, or run a credit check on the client to make certain that we are not just spinning our wheels with an unqualified buyer or seller.
By letting the agents contact other realtors I work with early on for live testimonials I am also demonstrating that I understand that I need to provide real world evidence as to my abilities instead of just expecting the agent to risk credibility and paychecks by using an unknown entity. It's one thing for me to tell the agent I'm good. It's another thing entirely for a third party to say I'm good.
If you want to get creative how about creating your own 'testimonial business card?' Just a thought.
Ok, so while you are making these calls and sending these emails every week you will begin to notice a pattern. Some agents will look forward to your calls and have their orders prepared in advance while others will habitually avoid you. Just to make certain that the agent is avoiding you as opposed to running a conflicting schedule you will want to try and track this person down and schedule a better touch-point each week. If this still doesn't work then you will know when it is time to move on.
Those who are co-operating will be the agents you want to focus on. Of course, before beginning any of this process I want to remind you that it is important to laser focus your efforts on agents who are at least performing at a level that is profitable for you to invest your time and energy with. If you begin offering these services to just anyone, then you risk running yourself ragged.
Once you begin moving the relationships forward, you will want to place a pick 1 agent from each office that is progressing nicely. Explain to the agent that: 'it takes plenty of my time and money to deliver the materials to your office each week. The time that I spend offering and delivering these valuable services could be spent marketing and advertising for myself. The fact that most of the agents I work with appreciate what I offer, and reciprocate in the form of clients and leads has allowed me to continue with these programs. I would find it immensely helpful if you could recommend just 1 additional agent in your office that has a similar 'go getter' work ethic as you do. Could you perhaps introduce me and my services to this agent this week?' This would allow me to consolidate the number of agents and offices I am working with and add additional valuable services to what you are already enjoying.'
The idea of course is to use the existing relationship to leverage into another warm introduction. The benefit to the agent is that you will offer this service to someone else in the office as opposed to a competitor.
The idea of helping agents with time consuming services such as postcards and flyers has been around for years. The way that you run the program, and introduce the service however, is what will determine if you are successful or if you will fail. Consistent follow-up is the name of the game, and this service will give you an excuse to follow up every single week.
Once you have established the relationship and the agent is consistent with orders, you will of course want to reduce the number of contacts per week. The last thing you want to do is become a nuisance. Once the business is flowing I recommend that you allow the agent to place orders via email or fax, and limit yourself to 1 phone call per week in regards to the requests.
This will end our article for today, but I highly recommend that you follow-up by listening to the additional free audio download on my site. This free recorded call will explore this marketing strategy even deeper and give you some additional tips on how to use this strategy to its fullest extent. You can hear the call at www.averagejoelo.com. Click on 'Free Review' and scroll halfway down the page to view the conference call. Enjoy the audio and I hope to hear from those of you who put the concepts into practice!
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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