Three steps to integrate into a real estate office

“There is more business in Australia for mortgage brokers than we know what to do with - we just need to unlock it through real estate.”

Paul Hale is 12 years into his mortgage broking career and has adopted this very principle, which has resulted in one of the most lucrative referral partnerships in the Loan Market Group.

So, how do we - as an industry - unleash this largely untapped opportunity? According to Paul it’s a three part journey (and we’re not about to challenge someone who’s been named Loan Market’s number one broker for Ray White referrals five times now).

As a mortgage broker you’re probably looking for ways to get in front of more people. And those people are probably customers; someone looking for a home loan or wanting to refinance. But what if you started looking at your customers differently; not simply the home loan holder, but the source where these people come from - the real estate agent.

Would your referral partnerships be different if your agent became a customer too? Here’s how it might look if you did.

Go there. Be there. Be part of the team.

When Paul talks to brokers that are struggling to break into a real estate office, he always asks them the same question: “how often do you go there?”. The response is usually the same - they go to the weekly sales meetings, and they might pop in from time to time through the week to work on their relationships.

As Paul says, it’s at this point that many partnerships fall down.

“To truly make an impact, you must go to the office every day - Saturday’s included. You need a desk and you need to be a part of the team and their daily social conversations. Interaction builds rapport. Rapport is the foundation of every relationship. It’s how we win over customers, and your real estate partnerships should be no different,” he said.

You don’t approach an agent about finance. You earn the right to ask for the business.

The average agent will hold between two and five open for inspections every Saturday. And they call every person that goes through those properties. As Paul explains, until you are a part of the team you have no right to ask for business out of these follow up calls.

“To gain this right, you must show value. There are two things an agent will look for: conditioned buyers that know their purchasing power, and confidence that the advice you give will be good - really no different to the things your customers need from you.”

If someone likes you, they’ll want to see you succeed.

The relationship you build with real estate agents is critical and it all comes back to one simple thing - just the same as our customers - if they like you, they’ll want to work with you. Take it away, Paul.

“Once you’ve got the relationship there are two things you’ll need to deliver: you need to hand the agent a level of control and you do this by assuring them that the buyers they’re dealing with are really ready to sign on the dotted line.

“The second is good old fashioned money - their referral fee. Now, I wish I could tell you this is the most important thing, but it’s actually the least prevalent - the relationship always comes first because no amount of money can buy you their respect.”

For those embarking on their real estate referral journey, if you get the basics right you’ll build successful partnerships with agents. What Paul highlights for us all is that the hardest work is at the beginning.

“It’s actually getting the basics right that is the hard yakka. When you’re in an office, you have to work the hours that an agent works: you have to attend their open for inspections, you need to research and know the stock that the office has on the market and you need to know each agent’s individual style.”

Now, ask yourself again: would your referral partnerships be different if your agent became a customer too?