The Importance of the Loan Officer & Real Estate Agent Relationship

Hey everyone, it’s time for a reset.

We are middle of the year, and I don’t have to tell you what’s happening in the economy. I do need to put your mind at ease and let you know the absolute importance of the loan officer and real estate agent relationship. This is where success happens.

Business changes, rates change, markets change, things get good, things get bad, things are hard, things are easy. Hard markets are hard, easy markets are hard. I have to tell you that after spending 20 years deploying the attitude and strategy of High Trust Selling, there’s a lot of pain in the marketplace about why the relationships people have aren’t generating the business or the revenue, and I want to address that. I want to address the solution for that.

I want to give you at least three ideas in this video that you could begin to use immediately to increase the activity, the referrals, and therefore, then the business in the times that we find ourselves in right now. Before I get started, I want to ask you to answer a question. What are you trying to do right now?

If the economy is uncertain, if the markets are volatile, if we’re not in a balanced seller and buyer market, what are you trying to do right now? The one thing I know from my personal experiences having been through at least three major recessions during my origination career, and during the time I’ve owned this company, I think at least six, I got to tell you it doesn’t matter what the market’s doing. What matters is what anybody does in the market they find themselves in?

That does not discount things might be interesting, challenging, volatile, harder. It certainly doesn’t discount that the Fed has continued to raise interest rates, and we’re looking at 30 year fixed rates hovering right around 6% when just two or three months ago, they were down in the high twos.

We’re watching all that happen, but here’s what I know about any market, people still buy and sell. I want to put something out there for you that I think would really, really help you in really activating the loan officer/realtor relationship. The real estate agent and you doing business together.

I just hung up with a Zoom webinar. I had 36 Elite Members on our Zoom webinar. These guys right now are tracking at about a hundred million dollars a year in commissions for this entire group this year, and I have to tell you they are so back to basics it’s mind blowing. Here’s what I want to do. Would you like to improve relationship activity? Would you like to see more buyer referrals come from the relationships you have? Would you like to activate every agent relationship into referrals to more and more real estate agents?

Improve the LO & Real Estate Relationship with Trust

To do that, you have to do three things. One is, you have to activate the High Trust Interview. It is the holy grail of how you help people win in today’s market. I’ll give you an example. I can ask one realtor this question. What lenders over the last month or two have you dealt with where it’s been problematic, and what did you not get that you would like to have? That answer can open the door for you to provide a solution that they need from you today and move the business over to you.

Another question you can ask any agent is, based on where you find your business right now today, what could I do over the next 6 to 12 months to help you improve your confidence and focus for the future? Or, I could ask a question today based on what you’re experiencing right now in the marketplace, what are two or three things you want to do between now and the end of the summer to activate a better business plan for the third and fourth quarter?

Those are the things that you need to do. If you don’t ask questions and you don’t listen, you don’t know where people need help? What I want to do is have you understand the power of asking these game changing questions. I was talking with my son yesterday who is a licensed real estate agent, and we were talking about the idea of what should a lender do today when a purchase contract is executed and they have somebody on the sell side, whether it’s a builder, whether it’s a real estate professional?

What to do When a Purchase Contract is Executed

I said, what I did, and what our elite group does is that on every purchase transaction, a call is made to the listing agent within about 24 hours of the application being completed and/or the credit poll, those two are synonymous usually with each other, and in whatever then ends up triggering that into a processing full blown application, right?

When we call listing agents today, when people have listings and when we call them, it is still one of the freshest ideas that is over 35 years old. Even today listing agents in the marketplace are dumbfounded about how many transactions where there’s not an initiation on the lender side to activate a relationship with that listing agent.

Nancy, on my team would always call the listed agents and say, “Hey, it’s Nancy Curtis on Todd Duncan’s team. We’ve met with the Johnsons. Todd wanted me to let you know that the Johnson’s profile looks good. All their financial data is good to go. I don’t see any problem with them fully qualifying for this loan. We’re simply calling to let you know, we’re on it. If you have any questions during the transaction, feel free to call me, I’m Todd’s transaction coordinator. What can we do to help you over the next 30 days as we get these guys into the home?”

How to Build Relationships With New Agents

That sets up a conversation when that loan funds for you to have a new sit down appointment with a new agent. It’s the simplest thing in the world in terms of constructing referrals, right? We call it The Circle of Cash Flow. We call the borrower the epicenter of the circle of cash flow. I was on a call today with our lead group, as I mentioned, and one of the gentlemen that I was talking to on our call said, “In 2019, I only had five referral partnerships with agents, and I had a database of about 1600 people. We were nurturing that network and being in touch with that network.”

He said in 2022, and he went through it, he has 4 new builders, 26 new financial advisors, 6 CPAs, 3 insurance professionals, and 3 real estate attorneys and his database right now in the middle of the year is 26,000 people. And year to date, they have referred over 500 referrals to real estate agents. What you have to do is you have to understand the value you bring to the agent is helping them economically and helping them with their business.

Turning a Borrower Into a Referral Magnet

Now, to do this, you need to make sure that you are operating around the circle of cash flow. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever for the rest of your life, particularly in a recession, not activate the borrower into a referral magnet. You have the seller, you have the builder, you have the bank, you have the credit union, you have the financial planner, you have the CPA, you have the real estate attorney, the wills and trust attorney. You have any associations they’re part of, you have their employer, you have at least 10 places to go on every loan you do to work the circle of cash flow.

Part of that is, what would happen if right now you’re doing 5 loans a month and you just follow this and next month you do 10? What would happen next month if you do 10, okay, and you follow this and the following month, you do 20? What would happen if 50% of those need a referral to a real estate agent or to a builder or to whomever, right?

What I want you to know is when we get into tough financial markets, when we get into recessions, don’t panic, don’t divert from adding value to more and more relationships without going too wide. If I can make a fortune with 10, maybe I go to 20 right now, or if I have 20, maybe I go to 25 or 30. But the thing is, I got to have the partnerships, okay, so the first thing you have to do is understand.

Be More Disciplined In Your Follow Up

Here’s the second thing. Most people today are in a fear zone in terms of following up. What I mean by that is, if I have a positive conversation with a real estate agent and that agent really feels that we’re locked in, and I want to do what most people never do, and that is, I want to execute a follow up plan with that agent right now. Then what I’m going to do is I’m going to do the high trust interview. If you don’t have it yet, you need to download the guide and you need to sign up for a free coaching call on how we can go deeper on this with you.

But I’ll give you the solution right now. 96% of loan officers surveyed volunteer a raised hand when the question is, how many of you could improve your follow up discipline? 96% go, yes. I’m just going to ask you, could you follow up your discipline? Because here’s the drill and I’m going to make this so simple. This High Trust Selling Book is 20 years old. It is still selling today because the laws still work. They work better now than ever, and the law of response is one of the biggest laws in this book. The the law of response says, “If you don’t follow up with them, they won’t follow through with you.” That is iron clad.

Get Follow Up Meetings Scheduled

Then what does follow up look like? Well, let’s get it scheduled. If you have a positive conversation with somebody and they’re going to be an ongoing referral source for you, let’s get that scheduled. It’s the second step, activate partnership planning. I got the circle of cash flow and now I need to activate partnership planning. Here’s how it looks. Let’s say that I’ll go to one of my agents. Let’s say Solon Shaw says, “Todd, I love this. I’ve never had a conversation like this with the lender. Absolutely for sure I want to do business with you.” I’m going to look at Solon, I’m going to say, “Great.”

In order for us to get off to the right start, this is a script you guys. In order for us to get off to the right start and make sure our partnership thrives from the get go, I would like to set up 12 weeks of check-ins. They’re 15 minutes long. In between each of the check-ins we can talk. I’m going to call you. We’re going to do business together, but once a week for 12 weeks, we’re going to have a check in. I do them on Thursdays and Fridays. I’ve got one o’clock on Thursday. I got 2:30 on Thursday and I got three o’clock on Friday, which one works?

Let’s say, he says 1:30 on Thursday. I go, “Great.” I’m going to open my phone right there. I’m going to open my CRM. I’m going to open Solon’s contact, and I am going to launch the category PPS, Partnership Planning Session. I’m going to have it start seven days from today or on that Thursday. I’m going to recur that same time on that same day, every seven days, and I’m going to put an end date 12 weeks from the first one.

Then I’m going to put his email in and I’m going to alarm it and alert it, and I’m going to send him the invite. He’s either on the end of Zoom or we’re in person, and I’d like to say that if you’re building partnerships with agents and builders and so on, get, get back to face to face as fast as you can. It’s absolutely a deal maker.

Now, here’s what I’ve just done. I have time blocked 12 weeks of follow up with one agent and every seven days we’re going to have a phone call together. What can we do better together? How can we generate more business together? What needs do you have that I’m not meeting that I need to have? Those are three of the questions.

The fourth question is, what buyers have you met that you’re not sure are going to use you? Or what sellers have you met that you’re not sure are going to use you? Because on that you’re going to call, cross sell the agent and you’re going to lock and load the appointments for them.

The fifth question, or the two that have to do with business development, are who are you showing property to that I’ve not had a consultation with to determine their ultimate purchasing power so that you you can set them up for success from the get go? Five questions and they take 15 minutes. You’re in the driver’s seat. If you understand that partnerships rule, and if you understand that if you don’t follow up, they’re not going to follow through, and if you understand the power of asking deep, compelling questions, then you’re going to have the ability to respond.

Now, watch this. So if I have 20, let’s just keep it simple because it doesn’t have to just be agents. Well, let’s say I have 20 agents. If all they do is refer one qualified borrower a week to have a conversation with, that’s 20 a week, okay? That’s 80 conversations a month. What would happen if you could be so good at a borrower consultation? While you’re at it, download Talk Less, Sell More. It’s going to teach you the power of shorter questions where people close more rapidly.

What would happen if just 25% of those locked and loaded okay, pun intended, and you could count on that loan closing 90% of the time, 95% of the time? You’d be closing right now in the market we’re in, 18 loans a month. Just think about that for a sec. How good would that be for you? The pain is, if you don’t activate follow up, you’re not going to get the referrals, and if you don’t activate the circle of cash flow for a borrower you are working with, you’re not going to have access to all the other referrals tied to that.

Ask Better Questions to Build Agent Relationships

Then the last point, really, really, really ask better questions. Fewer questions, we call it conversational productivity, fewer questions, more input, more emotion and then you have the emotion to sell to. Right now in today’s world, you need transparency and you need humanity before you can actually talk about the ability of your capability to get the loan done and then your reliability to be able to do that more and more and more and more.

Your action plan right now, activate the circle of cash flow on every deal to get more introductions to do the highest trust interview. Download that guide. Read the Talk Less, Sell More white paper and change your questions and listen, listen, listen, listen like you’ve never listened before.

This is all you have to do right now to get through, grow through and thrive through a volatile, changing, unpredictable economy. Okay. We’re here to help you. This is me out. Check.


Register Now for Todd Duncan’s

High Trust Sales Academy

Nov 28 – Dec 1, 2023
Todd Duncan speaking at a High Trust Sales Academy event

Free Consultation


*By submitting the form above, you consent to our Terms & Conditions.