How to Get More Borrower Referrals From Real Estate Agents

It’s pretty fascinating how many times I have been asked the question: Why is it when a real estate agent tells me that they’re going to refer their next borrower to me, it doesn’t happen? 

I think it’s a very interesting question to ask and to contemplate because I, I really truly believe that they don’t ever have the intention of giving you their next borrower. I think it’s interesting when we start and think about what happens in the marketplace when we’re in the lending business and we’re working with real estate agents and builders and we have a decent conversation and then however we might ask for business. And then we think that that is a successful sale when in fact, it’s not. And I think you all have, I know I did early on get these false hopes that you were going to get a deal from a real estate agent.

A Promise for a Future Referral is Not a Referral

And as the days went by, they became weeks. And as the weeks went by, it was harder and harder to call back on them because they didn’t do what they said they were going to do. And at the end of the day this is maybe the greatest gift that you can ever be given because so few mortgage professionals follow up like they are supposed to follow up. 

We’ve done studies for almost 27 years on loan originators and real estate agents. And we got data from thousands and thousands of different points of view. And at the end of the day, a very, very small percentage of people follow up in selling. And it’s just, it’s befuddling to think that if that’s all that’s necessary, how come everybody that’s on straight commission and that has to hunt for their commission and their food and, and their money, how come we don’t do this well?

Why don’t we follow up more?

I think it’s because we don’t really know what we can do to add massive value to that person’s life. And the reason we don’t is because we haven’t had a deep high trust interview, we haven’t asked the questions that are really important questions. Like, how do you define success? 

A year or two from now, as you look at your real estate practice, where would you like to be? And what would that mean to you as you? As you, as you look at your life and look at your business, what are two of the things that bothered you the most that you would like to learn a solution for, or that maybe I could help you with? It’s the kind of questions that really, really get into what’s important to you and what you really, really need.

Look for relationships over loans

And most lenders don’t do that, most lenders are looking for loans instead of relationships. And I think you can look for loans all day long and make a living. But I think if you look and find and secure relationships, you’ll make a fortune. So when we talk about follow-up, let me just tell you, I’m going to give you a secret-like weapon right now, in the most positive sense I can give you a weapon. 

The reason why people don’t follow up with you is because you haven’t followed up with them. 

I’m just going to say that again, the reason why people don’t follow up with you is because you haven’t followed up with them. Let’s go back to a realtor who looks you in the eyes and says, “Hey, I really enjoyed our conversation today. I’m going to refer my next couple of borrowers to you.” And you say, great, okay.

Instead of leaving, say, here’s what I’d like to do. 

Schedule Follow Ups in the Moment

I’d like to once a week for the next 12 weeks, have a quick 15 minute conversation with you. I’d like to talk to you about who you’re showing property to that I haven’t had a conversation with yet. I’d like to find out what your open house plans are that you need a strategy for. I’d like to find out what we’re doing in the area of lead gen and bringing leads back to you and converting business. I just want 15 minutes a week, are you down for that? And they’re probably going to say, yes. And so I take out my phone and I literally go, Fridays is the day I do this. What time usually would be good for you on Friday? Again, just 15 minutes, and let’s say they tell you one o’clock and you’re free one o’clock.

So I go into my phone and I hit my calendar and I put a new event in there. It is a conversation with Joe about a partnership and at one o’clock, I put the time in, I put the end time 1:15. I recur it every seven days for 12 weeks. I input their email address and I send them an email invite that they’re either going to have to look me in the eyes and not accept or they’re going to accept it. And if I have, if I’ve really had deep conversation that’s real, then they’re going to accept that meeting invite.

And now what you have just done, is you have now just time blocked 12, 15 minute follow up sessions with that particular real estate agent, the goes with anybody, builders, developers, business owners, it doesn’t matter. But if you don’t follow up with them, they are not going to follow through with you. And it’s the biggest piece of advice I can give you. If you schedule the follow ups, the follow ups happen. If you don’t schedule them, they don’t happen. And when they don’t happen and you don’t get business, it plays with your brain and you might end up losing a relationship that could be very, very valuable.

So please, please, please, please, please develop the discipline of following up. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the professional thing to do, and if you don’t do it, you’re going to lose and that would be sad. All right? Do this.

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