I believe Mortgage Brokers can learn a great deal by looking at one of the least trusted industries, Real Estate Agents. There are a lot of parallels between real estate agents and Mortgage Brokers, far beyond the fact that we are both involved in property transactions.
When you think of what a Real Estate Agent does, your first reaction is likely that they sell houses. I would say no, the house sells itself, either people like it or not. I have bought enough houses to know that the selling agent was not the reason I decided to buy that particular house over the others I had seen.
They may have negotiated the sale price and tried to make it as high as possible, but they didn’t convince me to buy the house. They didn’t persuade me to move from my current house and buy elsewhere, I did that for my own personal reasons. Nor did they convince me this was the right house for me, I either liked it when I walked in or I didn’t. Once I had decided I wanted to buy it, the agent was the one I needed to deal with to secure it.
What they did was sell themselves to the owner of the house and convince them they were the best person for the job. Just like us as Mortgage Brokers, their sole goal was to get that vendor to trust them as the best choice. Note, I’m not saying to get them to trust them personally, just to trust that they were the best choice for this particular task of selling their home compared to the other choices they had, including doing it themselves.
The job of being a Real Estate Agent is getting listings, just as the job of a Mortgage Broker is getting borrowers. To do that you need to win the trust of potential clients.
The great thing about selling yourself is that now you truly have something unique to sell — yourself! And no-one knows you better than you know yourself, so you have the advantage.
“Be yourself; everybody else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde
Not only that, you now actually control what it is you are selling. As a Mortgage Broker you have little to no control over the loans that you sell – apart from trying to have a lot of lenders that most other Brokers can also access if they want to. In the same way a Real Estate Agent has no control over the house they are trying to sell or suburb it is in or the current property market – apart from getting the home owner to take some general steps to make it as presentable as possible, which again, any other Agent can advise them to do.
So for most small to medium sized Mortgage Brokers, you need to build your sales and marketing around yourself, with your name and face at the forefront. Again, Mortgage Brokers can learn a lot from studying how Real Estate Agents promote themselves to their local areas — for them it is all about building familiarity and trust with prospective sellers to make it more likely they will be contacted over another agent that the person is less familiar with.