Stephanie Budnik, AMP, Marketing Program Specialist
Recently, MGIC surveyed 144 loan officers who originated at least $5 million in loan volume in a 6-month period to find out some of the secrets to their success. Unsurprisingly, referrals were a hot topic – and 96% of those surveyed said that real estate agents are one of their best sources for generating referrals.
Here’s what we learned about the top 3 ways that loan officers build relationships and generate referrals with real estate agents.
81% of Top Loan Officers Make Referrals to Earn Referrals
It just makes intuitive sense: if you refer customers to real estate agents, they’re more likely to refer their own buyers to you.
But don’t make indiscriminate recommendations just to get your foot in the door – if your borrowers have a bad experience with a real estate agent, it won’t reflect well on you. A strong referral relationship burnishes the reputation of both parties. And a borrower who has a great experience overall will be more likely to recommend everyone involved.
That was true for my family – when we bought our last home, our agent referred us to a loan officer. He was ready and available, extremely easy to communicate with. Since we had such a great experience during our purchase process, we reached back out when we were interested in refinancing and recommended him to others.
42% of Top Loan Officers Attend Events
Events – in-person or virtual – can help loan officers build a deeper relationship with real estate agents. Whether it’s a lunch, coffee date, training session, happy hour, loan closing or golf event (just to name a few), it’s a chance to make a connection and prove your value. Here’s what our survey respondents said:
- 53% of the originators we surveyed attend one loan closing per week. One respondent told me: “I attend closings because they help me to build relationships. I get to spend time with clients as well as real estate agents. It’s such an exciting and memorable time for most. And being able to make a lasting impression can create repeat business.”
- 23% of loan officers attend open houses once every few months. While less popular than loan closings, some loan officers touted open houses as a great way to spend valuable one-on-one time with a real estate agent
- Training events are a great way to meet real estate agents and strengthen relationships. Continuing education, whether for formal credits or not, is an important part of professional development in any industry. Your referral partners will remember you as the loan officer who brought them that value
21% of Top Loan Officers Connect through Social Media
Looking for a way to reach a lot of real estate agents at once? Try social media. Posting relevant content can help you stay top-of-mind with referral partners. The most popular platforms for the originators we surveyed were:
- Facebook (60%)
- LinkedIn (27%)
- Instagram (20%)
While less popular, some survey respondents reported success with YouTube: “Instead of making calls and doing happy hours, I use YouTube to tell stories about what my team and I have done for customers that week. It allows my subscribers to see my creative side. Sure, it requires planning and work, but it keeps me current with people in the industry.”
These concepts may not seem ground-breaking – but the classics are classics for a reason. Are you actively pursuing these tried-and-true real estate referral strategies today?
Interested in more insights from top originators? Register for the webinar!
The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Stephanie Budnik, and do not necessarily represent the views of either Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation or any of its parent, affiliates, or subsidiaries (collectively, “MGIC”). Neither MGIC nor any of its officers, directors, employees or agents makes any representations or warranties of any kind regarding the soundness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of any opinion, insight, recommendation, data, or other information contained in this blog, or its suitability for any intended purpose.
Stephanie Budnik, AMP
Marketing Program Specialist, MGIC
Stephanie Budnik develops marketing strategies to support MGIC’s field sales team and customers.
She has over 10 years of sales experience and 14 years of training experience. She uses the skills she developed through her background in education to deliver messaging that meets diverse learning and working styles.
Stephanie is a proud graduate of the University of Whitewater-Wisconsin with a degree in Education and has received her Accredited Mortgage Professional certification through the MBA.