Strong relationships between real estate agents and loan originators (LOs) stand to benefit everyone involved with purchasing a home. The knowledge and trust shared between the agent and LO can make the process a lot more seamless, and smoother, for homebuyers – an advantageous situation likely to lead to referrals and repeat business. It’s the ultimate win-win in the real estate business.
So, whether you’re new to the field or in need of some new connections, we’ve outlined a few Do’s and Don’ts to consider when networking in today’s real estate business.
Have a Backup
Oftentimes, as an agent you already have a preferred lender. But things can change quickly in this business, so it’s wise to have a backup option. This is a great way to prove your worth and professionalism, by automatically putting yourself in a position to help customers who find themselves in a crunch if the first lender option has fallen through. Your ability to seamlessly help in just such serious moments of need will likely result in you scoring big points with the customer, and that coveted preferred slot as their go-to agent.
Adding value to any professional relationship should always be a primary goal. And nowhere is this more true than in real estate. The very nature of this business means agents and LOs rely heavily on referrals and their professional networks to further their business. So with that in mind, it’s crucial you find ways to add value to your networking relationships. Some simple tactics to employ can include co-marketing with your preferred lender in your email campaigns, or tagging your LO in your social media marketing posts.
Show Industry Knowledge
Anyone looking to network in real estate will typically look first for associates who really know the ins and outs of the industry. You might be surprised, but just because someone has been in the business for a long time does not mean they truly know the industry. Plus, this business tends to change at rapid speed, and people want to work with someone who understands the latest trends in addition to having a firm grasp of the more established industry knowledge. Make it a quest to stay on top of the latest news, and look for opportunities to share that knowledge in helpful and informative ways – while being careful not to come across as a know-it-all (see below).
This is simple and easy, and really stems from the Golden Rule. Make a point to be gracious and thankful with your professional network when they help you land a new client or deal. A simple “thank you” goes a long way to ensure a continued professional relationship and success in the future.
Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Another one that stems from the Golden Rule. Not to paint too bleak a picture of your business – as there are far more good characters than bad – but the real estate business can be one filled with false promises. With as much money on the line as there is in real estate, the temptation for many can be to make promises they simply can’t keep. In short, don’t be that person. It’s not a winning strategy in the long run.
Don’t make it a practice to start asking for referrals or presenting loans right out of the gate after establishing a new connection. Your first goal should always be to establish trust and credibility. That process can take a while, so it’s important to remain patient and resist the temptation to be pushy. An aggressive stream of phone calls and emails can turn a professional connection away real quick…and put you right back at square one.
Be a Know-It-All
Everyone know that no one likes a know-it-all. While agents and LOs certainly want to work with others who know the ins and outs of the business, they don’t want to work with someone who comes across like they know everything all of the time. This is mostly because they also know the complexities of this business make that nearly impossible, but it’s also because (let’s face it) know-it-alls are annoying. As we mentioned earlier, you should absolutely express your industry knowledge in helpful and informational ways, but never walk around like you’re the “expert.”
Strong relationships don’t happen overnight, but we hope these Do’s and Don’ts help you evolve your relationships in the near future.