A relationship where you are actively referring clients out is far stronger than one where you are always the one asking for business and far harder for another Broker to ‘out-bid’ you. I know, because the times I have been unsuccessful in getting a real estate agency on board using my book, it has usually been because they are working with a local broker who regularly refers them clients (although I have had a real estate agent try and get enough referrals to both us and their existing broker to get our book whilst also keeping their other broker onside).
To be clear, what this requires is taking the effort to really get to know your clients, which fortunately is exactly in line with our goal of becoming their Trusted Advisor. It has the added benefit of showing to them that we have a lot more to offer than just home loans, that we can help them in a range of different ways through the professional connections we have and that we are taking interest in them outside of just trying to get a home loan commission.
The Mortgage Australia Way
I’ve discussed at length how a book is your Ultimate Personal Sales and Marketing Tool. It is also the Ultimate Tool for ‘Creating Professional Referral Relationships’. In our companion sales and marketing course that follows on from this book, we provide detailed training on how to use it to create referral relationships, all based on the fundamental principle of helping your referrers get more clients.
As an example, with Real Estate Agents we create co-branded versions of the book to help them grow their business in five main ways.
- We help them get more appointments by creating flyers for them offering ‘A free copy of our book with every free appraisal. This gives them a unique point of difference over other agents in their area to help them get a foot in the door.
- We help them get more listings. We have chapters in the book covering issues specific to people selling their homes that the agent can refer to. The book with their face on the cover helps them stand out from other agents, particularly with relevant information targeted to their seller’s concerns.
- We build their profile in their area. Potential buyers can grab a free copy of the book at home opens. Even if the person doesn’t buy from that agent the odds are everyone who buys a home in their suburb comes through one of their home opens. How great would it be for you and for the agent if everyone who bought a home in your suburb over the next decade had a copy of your book – co-branded with the real estate agent, in their homes?
- The agent can get more referrals by giving a few copies to their successful buyers and sellers to pass onto their friends – just as we do with our home loan clients.
- Give copies to their landlords to demonstrate their property investment knowledge and help protect and grow their rent roll.
Personally I created co-branded versions with 7 real estate agencies
in Perth in the first month of having the book. Most real estate agents quickly see the advantage they will get over other local agents and want to get in so their competitors don’t, so it really puts us in the driver’s seat.
Having our books with the agent, where they are displaying them in their offices and taking them to appointments has the great benefit of keeping us at the top of their mind, as well as nudging them to refer to us lest we instead offer this to one of their nearby competitors instead of to them.
The book also helps get the conversation started with the agent in the first place, from a position of strength for us and with a tangible and truly unique selling proposition for them. It makes us stand out and gives us a reason to talk.
Most agents get the concept very quickly when they see a ‘referrer version’ of the book. You still need to build a relationship with the agent and learn about their business to make things work smoothly, but the door is now a lot easier to open. You have made the referral process a great deal easier for them because they just need to hand over our book as they recommend us.
Not only that, you can let them know that when you are prospecting and doing loans in their area, you will be using their version of the book, so you are directly promoting them – which is a lot better for them than if you use their competitor’s version of the book!