Dealing with Real Estate Network

This document has been prepared based on my experience with working with Harcourt’s Real Estate Group. My discovery of best practices that brokers are using with other Real Estate Groups and my personal experience when I was dealing with agents as a bank manager.

Learnings

Being aligned to a Real Estate Group is nice but it is no guarantee that the agents or the business owners will support you.

Most real estate groups are franchise arrangements and so management can only state the broker group is a preferred supplier for finance.

Business owners, especially large businesses are focused on ensuring their good agents are happy. So they will not dictate what the agents must do outside the paradigm of selling or listing real estate.

Many agents have or are dealing with a mortgage broker or bank. From my experience, agents are open to using other brokers so you should not work on the assumption that you have no chance. Even if they are aligned to a finance group such as Barry Plant Real Estate/Barry Plant Finance or Ray White Real Estate and Loan Market. Agents will deal with the broker who gets the loan approved, makes them look good and does not damage their relationship with the client.

Even if you have an arrangement with a Real Estate Group, the broker needs to take ownership of developing a relationship with agents. One way of doing this is attending open inspections and introducing yourself as a mortgage broker and asking if they are dealing with a broker and if not is there an opportunity for you to work with them. How, by attending open inspections and auctions. The goal is to build a relationship with the agent where you will develop trust and a partnership can begin. The other reason for attending open inspections is you will meet potential borrowers. If you are feeling uncomfortable about this, reflect on what is holding you back…challenge your assumptions.

Learn from estate agents they are the masters of getting knock backs every day.

The other key learning when trying to establish a relationship with an agent. Focus on the newer agents 1 to 2 years. They often do not have a broker yet and are keen to learn about finance to help them list and sell more property.

Business plan

How much do you want to settle in the year?

De-construct your target backwards – from settlements, into lodgments, and into leads.

Hoe many leads do you need to get each week to achieve your settlement conversion.

Business Generation Funnel for FY???? (example)

 

  • Average loan size $500,000
  • # of lodgments/ # of leads: 35%
  • # of settlements/ # of lodgments 40%
  • 584 Leads =
  • $102.2m Lodgments =
  • = $40.88m settlements

 

So, 584 leads in the year, or 12 leads a week would achieve $40,0000.00

Takeaway

Set a weekly target for the number of leads you need and develop a plan on activity on how you are going to do this. Monitor it, take corrective action and be true to yourself.

If you are not getting the leads you have set as a goal, what is holding you back. What assumptions or hidden commitments are stopping you from completing the activity you need to do.

 

LEADS

There are two main ways to generate leads from real estate agents:

  1. To get organic referrals from the real estate agents themselves
  2. To meet buyers on your own accord

 

Organic Referrals

You need to allocate a portion of your week to business development, during which you need to meet new agents, explain to them how you can help both their clients as well as their business, train them to refer their clients to you and continue to develop the relationship until the referrals become consistent and organic. Best practice is to plan your week to always meet at least three agents. Whether it be newly introduced agents, or ones that I have already met with.

The initial meeting agenda:

 

Introduce yourself and tell them your background

  1. Investigate their business and how they operate
  2. Discuss the benefits of establishing a strong agent/broker relationship
  3. Discuss implementation strategies
  4. Offer your service to attend open inspections

 

During these initial meetings it is suggested you should always have the following:

  • Financial Client Folder – your marketing pack that promotes you and what the clients will get
  • Business Cards and DL’s
  • Referring Agent Information and Dialogue – (available on request)
  • Implementation Strategies Documents

The implementation Strategies Document is mainly for Real Estate Principals. The document lists various strategies and asks the principals to circle the strategies they could commit to. In this way you can refer back to these circled strategies in follow up meetings with the principals which helped with ensuring their commitment to essential business generating processes.

From our experience, we only ever succeed in getting commitment to a few strategies, but at least it showed the agents that we were prepared and had a plan.

 

Meeting Buyers


Remember how many leads is your plan for each week?

We found the most consistent and reliable way to secure those leads was by attending open inspections.

If you have an exclusivity arrangement with a Real Estate Group, you will be able to obtain a list of agents that you could meet with. Offering to assist the agents in their open for inspections has proven to be a successful way to begin and build relationships.

There is no right or wrong way in attending open inspections, but we have found by attending at least four open inspections each week allowed us to fill the pipeline of potential clients.

 

Remember you need a strategy when attending open inspections:

  • What is the agent’s expectations
  • Were do you position yourself (stand)
  • What advertising material can I use
  • When should I approach clients
  • What will I say
  • How will I handle objections?
  • How involved will I get in promoting the property
  • How can I quickly get a client interested in my services

Pre-Approvals

As soon as the client is approved, you need to create a call back register to touch base every 2-3 weeks.

Enter contact details in Aggregator software so they get a monthly newsletter that covers off market updates, RBA changes, useful information about the areas they are looking to buy. The messages need to be as personalized as possible.

You should also encourage clients to set up automatic Domain/RP Data feature property alerts so that they would continually stay on top of the new properties hitting the market.

Another strategy that was successful, was to develop strong relationships with buyer’s a buyer’s agency who could assist any of the buyers who were experiencing difficulty in the property market.

Maintaining Relationships with Referral Relationships

The following activities have found to be effective

  1. SMS broadcast for RBA rate announcement
  2. Fortnightly phone call to discuss current properties for sale
  3. Weekly lead update
  4. Attending at least one sales meeting a fortnight
  5. Sporadic interest rate and current bank offer updates
  6. Lead referral status updated for:
    1. Spoken with client
    2. Application documents sent
    3. Application lodged
    4. Conditionally approved
    5. Client has purchased
    6. Unconditionally approved
    7. Settled

Innovative Ideas that have worked

 

  • Implementation Strategies Document for Real Estate Principals – allowed brokers to gain commitment from business owners to further integrate their service into their business.
  • Cross marketing with Real Estate business to create a co-branded local magazine
  • Placing your contact details as a finance partner on the Real Estate website
  • Direct LinkedIn marketing to certain professionals highlighting the ability to access policy exceptions based on industry and qualification e.g. medico’s
  • iPad giveaway competition to entice referrals from agents – this helps kick start the relationship
  • Provided them with a commission calculator to highlight their potential earnings
  • When at opens, if the discussion was going well, offer to provide a free second opinion
  • Offering free upfront valuations
  • Following up discussions with a Video Message

Service Integration Strategies

 

Sales Related

  • Including the finance question in call-back dialogue
  • Sending contract holders details for a courtesy call
  • Sending purchasers details for a congratulations call
  • Sending through OFI/enquiry list for a finance related call back
  • Mortgage rate update emails to agent’s buyers lists
  • Including broker’s contact details/letter in contract emails
  • Encouraging a 1 referred lead per sale KPI for the agents
  • Allowing attendance/presentations at sales meetings
  • Allowing broker presence at OFIs and auctions
  • Allowing signage at auctions

 

Property Management Related

  • Sending financial health-check offering with follow up phone calls
  • Email merge with monthly RBA Cash Rate announcement
  • Space for brief information piece in existing Real Estate mail/mail outs

 

Marketing

  • DL’ cards for OFIs and mail outs
  • Dual marketing for letter box drops
  • Website placement for broker business and broker

 

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This article is written to provide a summary and general overview of the subject matter covered for your information only. Every effort has been made to ensure the information in the article is current, accurate and reliable. This article has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, personal circumstances, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. You should seek your own independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in the articles and review any relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Terms and Conditions (T&C) or Financial Services Guide (FSG).

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