I know we realtors get tired of hearing pitches such as: “All I ask is for you to give me one loan. Just give me a shot, and I can show you what I can do.”
Getting hit up constantly by vendors can get annoying, but they are just doing their job. I am sure we oftentimes come off the same way to the leads we are trying to turn into clients.
I am a HUGE believer in having strong vendor partner relationships, which are among the most important key relationships for realtors. Those relationships are as follows:
#1: Your relationship with your clients. This one is pretty obvious, but you want a great relationship with your clients so you can provide an amazing experience, which can lead to repeat and referral business.
#2: Your relationship with other realtors. This one gets overlooked by many realtors, but your relationship with other realtors is critical! You don’t want to get the reputation as a realtor who is difficult to work with. When other realtors see your for sale signs, you want them excited to have an opportunity to work with you again. If you are submitting an offer on a property with multiple offers, and you have had great experiences with the listing realtor, you may be told exactly where your offer needs to be in order to get accepted. All critical things which benefit your career and your clients, as well.
#3: Your relationship with your vendors. Your vendor partners get paid in either the same way or similarly to how you get paid. They need your business to grow their business, and they get paid when you get paid. So, they have a HUGE vested interest into your success. Let’s break down some other benefits.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The needs and best interests of our clients always comes first. I will never align myself with a vendor who does not provide superior service to my clients. I don’t care how many tools or supports they provide to me. Also, I recommend you know the compliance laws to make sure you are always abiding by them. At the end of the day, our clients choose which companies they want to use, and they need to know they have many options.
Okay, so how do you use your vendor partners to help you grow your business?
Let’s start with the more obvious one, then we will get into more strategic things you can do. Will utilizing your vendors make an amazing experience for your clients? If not, you will have trouble with future repeat and referral business. You may be going above and beyond, but maybe your client is having a horrible experience with the lender. If any aspect of your clients’ experience is not up to par, the overall experience will be seen as horrible, regardless of your role.
Now, let's discuss some more strategic things you can do to grow your business in other ways.
-Having a great Lender is CRITICAL, and I don’t just mean someone who does a good job on loans. I want to utilize lenders who will jump on leads who want to get pre-qualified. I want a lender with the same speed to lead mentality that I have. The longer the wait, the less likelihood of getting the potential client on the phone.
-Having a lender partner hold open houses with you is HUGE! Lenders can assist with getting everyone to sign in, discuss rates/payments/options, and run loan applications from their laptop at the open houses, etc. Having a lender at your open houses with you is a huge advantage.
-You can meet with your lender once weekly or multiple times weekly and do call sessions together. You can both call all the leads in your CRM, and, with two of you calling with the same goal in mind, you can get through twice as much follow up, as well as have someone who is holding you accountable.
-You can co-market together. Again, check with your broker and compliance laws, but there are legal ways in which you can market together and split the advertising costs.
-Ask for all their old loan app leads which couldn’t qualify in the past. Ask if you can get names, numbers, and emails so you can follow up to see if there is still an interest, if their situation has changed, and if they would like to re-attempt the process.
-A lot of title companies have marketing title reps whose job is to build a relationship with you and help you grow your business in hopes you are willing to recommend their services to your clients. Sit down with them, and see what they have to offer. They may have some great resources like: buyer guides, seller guides, script books, open house materials, effective marketing ideas, effective apps you can use, etc. Some even offer services where they can get you contact info for homeowners, for circle prospecting, notice of defaults leads for potential short sales, etc.
-They can assist in running estimated seller net sheets for your listing appointments.
Again, just reach out, and see what services and tools they have available.
-To minimize your time, see if your home inspector will take on the task of scheduling the inspection. Instead of your spending an hour trying to get in touch with everyone, re-confirming with everyone, etc. see if a home inspector parter will handle all of that. So, instead of an hour, you are only out the two minutes it takes you to communicate that to the home inspector.
-If your clients can’t be at the inspection, see if the home inspector will do a conference call to discuss the report in depth and be available for questions. Little things like this go a long way!
Again, there are so many things that can be done, but I wanted to discuss some to give you an idea, so that you know your vendor partners can do much more than just provide great service to your clients. Remember, they have a HUGE vested interest in your continued success. So make sure you ask and find out what ways you can work together in creating win-win relationships so your business can grow, and their business can grow. And all the while, your clients are receiving a world class experience!
Thanks for reading!
Joshua Smith, Realtor/Mentor/Entrepreneur
-Voted 30th Top Realtor in America by The Wall Street Journal
-Over 5,000 Homes Sold & Currently Selling More Than 1 Home Daily