Top of Mind Networks

Loan Officers Selling Hot Air…

May 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Are you selling hot air? Odd question I know. I get asked at least 892.7 times per year (Ok, so it’s a made up number to illustrate how often I’m asked this) what is the best way to get business from high performing real estate agents. At this point, I am then treated with examples of how hard this loan officer has tried to get referrals, but ultimately failed.

I empathize with this situation, as I can recall the many doors I’ve had slammed in my face when I first got started in outside sales. It wasn’t fun, and at some point the rejection gets to be a bit much to deal with. I learned early on that I had to change my approach if I wanted this negative reaction to stop… So what’s the key to getting appointments with these heavy hitting agents?

– STOP SELLING HOT AIR

What is hot air? Imagine you’re buying a car. You drive out to see the vehicle, and the only thing waiting for you is a smiling salesman. He tells you there is no car to see today, but he’s going to tell you all you need to know. He says:

– The car is comfortable

– The car is good looking

– The car handles well

Are you ready to buy yet? No? Why the heck not? Because these 3 statements tell you nothing of importance. How do you know if you’ll find the car comfy? You could be taller than he is, or have a bad back. How does he know if the car is good looking? Looks are subjective! Good handling? What does that mean? Good handling compared to what? A 25 year old Ford Escort, or a Ferrari F430?

No. This is definitely not the ideal way to purchase a car. Why would the salesman even bother trying? In the same way, tens of thousands of loan officers are out there calling up Realtors giving them “hot air” sales pitches that tell them absolutely nothing!:

– I give great service (Never had a loan officer claim otherwise, so what’s the point?)

– I’ve been a loan officer for 15 years (Yea? So? And?)

– I’ll give your client the loans that are best for them (Uh-huh… Sounds good – Where’s the substance?)

– I have fast turnaround time (So does the current loan officer I use. Why is this worth me switching?)

– I have low fee’s (There are cars out there with low price tags as well – Are those the vehicles you want?)

See? Sales talk. When a real estate agent switches to a new loan officer, there has to be a reason, and a darn good one! None of the above is a good enough reason in 99% of the cases. The agent is risking his/her paycheck to try out a new lender, so you better have something good… What is it?What do you bring to the table? What makes you so special?

In the car buying scenario above, what would make you purchase? Seeing the car first hand might help, as would a test drive and the opportunity to sit in the car, try out the stereo, the seats, the performance… In other words, you want proof this car is going to be to your liking!

Can you see from the realtors perspective just a tad now? In my 90 day crusade to land 40 realtors in 90 days for my office, I did a few things differently than most.

1 – I brought printed “Testimonial Cards” from realtors who were using my services now – Phone numbers and all (Social proof with the permission of the agents of course)

2 – I had a website setup just for the local realty community (Would send the agents over to spend hours downloading the tutorials and info I provided – They loved it. Established my credibility)

3 – My script was very different from the “traditional” approach. The first words out of my mouth? “I know you probably get tons of phon calls from loan officers begging you for business these days but…” See what just happened? I began the call by addressing the most frequent objection first! I took the objection right out of their mouth and addressed it.

This one little change to my scriptkicked things into overtime for me. So why not give this topic some thought today? What makes you so special? What are you willing to bring to the table? It’ll only make you into a better loan officer. (With bigger paychecks of course)

Are You a Three Legged Stool?

May 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

So you want to have a stable full of great real estate agents referring you a steady flow of new business?  Before you go out and start herding all those horses into your barn you have to ask this question:  Why?

The question isn’t what you think it may be, the question really is; why would a real estate agent want to do business with you?

Are you just a three legged stool?

This is a question I ask a lot of mortgage professionals when they ask me for help in developing or expanding their real estate agent base.  What about you will impress me?  Even better:  what do you have that will WOW that real estate agent.  Great interest rates?  Super customer service?  All the mortgage programs needed? If that is all you got then you are bringing to the table what is already being served.  You are nothing more than a common three legged stool.  What you want to be is a four legged stool, providing more than what is considered the basics.

Granted you can get dumb lucky and find that real estate agent who just lost their average loan officer and needs a replacement.  But that is a frog kissing contest and there are just too many frogs in the pond and your lips will be chapped, sore and bleeding well before you get that lucky.

Ask yourself this:  If a real estate agent wants me when I am just like every other loan officer, do I want that real estate agent?  More than likely they are just your average real estate agent.  You want the upper crust, what I call the “upper ten percenters”, and these agents need to be impressed and awed before you can break them.

I recommend that you aspire to become the partner of these heavy hitters, and become their “reciprocal success partner”.  Learn and have true knowledge of the real estate agent business.  What does a top performing agent go through every day?  How do they excel?  What do they need?  And most importantly, how can you provide to their business?

Those who learn more will earn more.

There are a lot of books out there that I would recommend, the first two that I consider must reads are both by Gary Keller; ‘The Millionaire Real Estate Agent’ and ‘Shift’.  Become a provider, coach, resource for information, mentor, and hold them accountable.

Once you have the knowledge then build something that is unique, yours, and indispensable to most real estate agents.  I have dozens of real estate agents who refer me business but I only have about 20 agents that are more afraid of losing me than I am of losing them.  These 20 are all working a system/program that I developed for myself that combines several different systems/programs and I package and provide to my reciprocal success partners.  This unique program provides the agents with a resource they can only get, as a whole, through me.  When they use the system as designed they are securing on average 2 to 4 listings per month, and they are generating about 1 to 2 buyer leads per listing per month for themselves and me.

Yes, real estate agents can be a great resource for new and continuing new business, unless you’re in a market that is heavily REO (Las Vegas comes to mind).

Remember:  givers gain and those who only take will eventually lose.  If you are just that three legged stool, your relationship with your referral agents will constantly be unstable, firm up your stance by adding that fourth leg and you will never have to worry about another mortgage professional like me being in front of your partner.

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