Beef Up Your Tool Belt
Although much of the real estate lender world revolves around numbers, if you are able to harness the power of your words for the benefit of your clients, your business is going to excel. Here are a few of the tools that top lenders are using to build a modern, respected business.
- Blogging – Setting up an informative blog can be super duper easy. Most likely you have a website, and many websites offer a blogging feature already. If not, linking to a free blogging site is practically just as simple. What should you blog about? I recommend keeping things short and sweet. What are the questions that you are repeatedly getting? Keep track of those, and turn each one into a blog post. Another successful tactic is to blog about local real estate and/or the area in general. Discuss trends, an interesting bit of history, or an upcoming event.
- Website/SEO – Having an attractive website is essential. Many people will judge the professionalism and quality of your business based off of this one thing, so making sure you have a good one is key. Any real estate lender should keep their website fresh and current. Nowadays there are many companies that can help you in this area, so if you are not able to structure a high quality website yourself, find someone who can help you out. This is a necessary investment.
- Social Media – In most cases, Facebook remains champion of where people are actually spending their time on social media; your real estate lender business should reflect this. Make sure you have a Facebook business page where you can post all things related to your business, and keep your personal account for family and friends. This is not to say that you cannot have fun with your business account! Clients love to see pictures and posts that make them feel like they know the real you. Let them in on the person behind the “real estate lender”.
Referrals – Build a good reputation, fast
As a real estate lender, how you conduct your business is going to make or break the success of your business. If you operate with the highest standards of integrity, you are going to become known as a desired person to work with. The real estate industry is full of various types of professionals who are always looking for good people to refer their business to.
Finding solid real estate agents to partner with has the potential to bring you most if not all of the business you can handle as a real estate lender. Many real estate lenders partner with one or two agents, and others have a network of many. The tricky thing can be finding good quality agents who are you can trust enough to build a working relationship with. It can be difficult to know right away whether or not an agent meets your criteria, so it is a good idea to establish what qualities you are looking for in the first place. Some real estate CRMs have tracking features in place so that you can see how well the agents that you are working with are performing.
Be a Teacher
As a real estate lender, you know a great deal of information that is in no way common knowledge. You know this and your clients know this. This can either cause a disconnect between the people you work with and yourself, or you can use it as an opportunity for connection. If you can find simple ways to teach your clients the basics of the industry, you are far more likely to retain them as clients in the future. Do this early on, and you will quickly grow your real estate lender business rapidly.
There are many ways to teach your clients. One way is to build time into your client interviews for education. All clients have questions, and you can treat each question as an opportunity. Answer questions slowly, using everyday verbiage. Also let them know that if they would like you to repeat anything, or have any questions that arise in the future, you are always there for them. Establishing yourself as your clients’ “go-to” person for everything related to the purchasing of their home is a great way to stay in touch with them down the road. Become more to them that strictly a real estate lender. Inform them that the market is constantly changing, and that you are there to help navigate them through that.
Be a Real Person, not just a Real Estate Lender
In order to gain traction and establish a solid network of business, it is crucial to keep it real! No one wants to work with a robot. You can be as hardworking and effective as can be, but without the “human” component, you are not going to leave a lasting impression with the people that you work with. Every real estate lender should try to connect with each of their clients on a personal level.
One way to do this is to have interests. What are your hobbies? If you were to have an unexpected day off, what would you spend your time doing? Put items representing these things on display, and bring them up when asked how your weekend was. People love to make connections, and that is probably not going to happen when solely discussing facts and figures.
Make sure your real estate lender business has the systems in place to optimize your success.