Nurturing and Creating REALTOR® Relationships

Nurturing and Creating REALTOR® Relationships

As you probably learned in Marketing 101, it costs less and takes less time to retain the customers you have than to go out and get new customers. The same holds true with your REALTOR® relationships. The more REALTOR® relationships you can retain as referral sources the more successful your business will be.

REALTORS® are humans and like all humans, they want to know that you value them. Keep in mind that other lenders are targeting them as well. The most important way you can show that you value them is by staying in touch, especially after they have given you a referral. Staying in touch doesn’t mean simply a “how ya doin’” phone call or email. You should schedule regular meetings with them where the sole purpose is to discuss how you can help support their business. I know it sounds counter-intuitive that you’d want the meeting to be about supporting their business when you really want them to support yours. There is a saying that givers get. So start by giving. The business will follow.

 

Lunch and Learns

A great way to stay in front of your referring REALTORS® is by hosting regular lunch and learns. To be successful, make sure you select a topic that is relevant to their business and that you practice your presentation before you arrive. REALTORS® refer to people they can trust. If you don’t come off in your presentation as a professional who understands the business and the challenges they face, then they aren’t likely to trust you or refer to you.

Here’s an easy recipe I use for organizing and presenting a lunch and learn.

  1. Choose and research a subject
  2. Create your guest list
  3. Choose a venue (your conference room or a meeting room at a restaurant)
  4. Create and send an invitation, evite, or Facebook event
  5. Follow up with phone calls for RSVPs
  6. Prepare your PowerPoint and handouts
  7. Order lunch and drinks
  8. Hold the event
  9. Follow up after to obtain feedback and ideas for the next one

 

New REALTORS®

 

My guess would be that you currently don’t have enough referring REALTORS® to reach your goals. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. I break REALTORS® I want to add into two categories: Prospective REALTORS® and Targeted REALTORS®.

Prospective REALTORS® are either listing agents you had a successful transaction with or agents that you have just met. Targeted ones are those that you haven’t done business with or met yet. You have either heard good things about them or were referred to them by someone else. You can also target REALTORS® by their production as well.

The first step in deciding which agents to go after is to identify your ideal agent. Look at your existing list. Which agents refer most often to you? What markets do they specialize in? How many years of experience do they have? Identifying your ideal REALTORS® will ensure that you only pursue those that you will enjoy working with.

Listing Agents – by the far the easiest to convert since they’ve already worked with you on the sale of a home. When you make your welcome call to them, tell them if you meet close or escrow date you’ll be asking them to commit to meeting you for coffee or lunch.

REALTORS® who are personally referred – also easier to book meetings with since you have credibility as a result of the referral. I always ask the person who referred me to email an introduction explaining why they are recommending me.

REALTORS® at open houses – this can be a great way to add Prospective REALTORS®. It’s easier than cold calling. Just be respectful if there are potential buyers or sellers in the home.

REALTOR® office meetings – are a good way to meet multiple agents at the same time. Not all offices are closed.

There are many ways to approach new agents but coming up with your own unique recipe will make it easier and replicable. I recommend letting them talk about 90% of the time at your first meeting. Encourage them to share their goals and how they typically do business. Ask what is important to them in a lender. Knowing this information will allow you to formulate the unique value proposition that you bring to the relationship.

 

Goals

I like to believe that everyone’s ultimate vision is to lead an extraordinary life. By that I mean doing what you love and loving how you do it. And I’m not talking about just what you do for a living but what you do in every aspect of your life. You give your vision and yourself a roadmap to achieve the life you want when you write goals. These are the things that will propel your vision forward. These are the things that will let you be heard. As you achieve them you will create more joy and ensure you are living in alignment with your life vision. Only about 5% of all loan officers and real estate professionals write their goals down so it is no surprise why average productivity is so low.

When you write out your goals, you’re creating an external representation of your internal desires and reinforcing their value. Setting tangible goals allows you to break the big dreams of your vision into bite-size, achievable steps. But more importantly, goals hold you accountable. They get you out of that “if only” rut that so many of us fall into: if only I had this or if only I had that, I’d be happy. You can’t allow “shoulds” into your vision and you can’t allow “if onlys” into your goals.

Part of goal planning is becoming that person who is joyful and happy today even though you haven’t yet achieved your total vision. Goals allow you to celebrate your successes along the way. Celebrating is important. Celebrating reinforces your commitment. And more importantly, it re-patterns your brain to strive for more successes. To be effective goals should be S.M.A.R.T.

Specific – get exceptionally clear about what you are going to accomplish. The more specific you are the easier it is to accomplish a goal and celebrate it. So rather than saying I’m going to lose 20 lbs. this year, you could say I’m going to stop drinking soda today.

Measurable – set goals that you can measure. If you can’t measure it, then it isn’t specific enough. You can’t celebrate what you can’t measure. Don’t assume because one of your goals is a feeling, i.e. I want to feel more gratitude, that it can’t be measured. It can. All you have to do is assign your feelings a scale where maybe 1 is I feel no gratitude and 5 is I feel gratitude for everything around me. Each day you give yourself  a number based on how you feel.

Action Oriented and Realistic – nothing gets done if you can’t take action. Make sure your goals are realistic and within your control. If you have to wait on someone else to do something before you can accomplish your goal then you’re back to relying on “if only.”

Time Sensitive – is something is going to get accomplished is must have a non-negotiable deadline. Set it and hold yourself accountable to it.

Your vision encompasses your entire life, so your goals need to do so as well. You’ll need to balance your goals in four categories: Business, Financial, Health, and Family/Relationships. Make sure that the goals in one category are not in conflict with the goals in another.

So create a couple of short-term (3 months) and long-term (12 months) goals in each category. Next identify the top action steps you’re going to take to accomplish them. Then finally, you need to identify what you want to avoid the most – these are your away values. To make it easy for you I’ve included a goal worksheet that you can use here (insert link here.).

Away values are the things you are patterned to do that no longer serve you. They are the things that will cause you to self-sabotage and not achieve your goals. Examples of away values might be passivity, perfectionism, or judgement. Write these down next to your goals so you don’t lose sight of them. It seems like it would be easy as figuring out what we want but we also need to keep sight of what stands in our way.

Every day I recommend that you review your goals so that they are set deep into your subconscious and conscious mind. At the same time review your away values. Were you able to keep them from interfering in the action steps you needed to take today to achieve your goal? If not, how will you keep them from interfering in the future? It is only when we are vigilant that we are able to re-pattern our brains to lead an extraordinary life and actualize our full potential.

 

Vision

Before you can fully develop your goals and plan, it’s important to discover what you really want. What is it that would truly make you happy? What is it that would allow you to live an extraordinary life and have a successful business? The dictionary describes a vision as an aspirational description of what you would like to achieve or accomplish. I would add to that definition a description also of what you would like to feel. The clearer your vision the easier it is to choose the right things to do now and in the future.

The key in this definition is YOU.  Your vision must be a reflection of what you desire for your life. It is okay to be self-centered when defining your vision. It cannot be made up of “shoulds.” You know, I should do this, or I should do that. Shoulds are things that others want you to want. They may or may not be what you desire for yourself.

Your vision must be in alignment with your core values. This too may take some self-examination. Often the values we hold are the values that have been instilled in us by others. We may have outgrown them, they may no longer serve us, and we might just have to let them go.

So before deciding on your personal vision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who do YOU want to be?
  • How do YOU want to feel?
  • What are YOUR core values?
  • What do YOU want your legacy to be?

Then:

  • Understand deeply why you want these things
  • Make a commitment to achieving them

The keys to creating a compelling vision statement are to dream big and use concise language. It is a living, breathing testament to how you will live your life so it should be written in present tense. There is no right or wrong way to write a vision statement. It just has to be in alignment with the overall life you want to lead. It must resonate with you. If you don’t get excited every time you read it, then it isn’t truly your vision.

Don’t short-change the process when it comes to describing your vision. Take your time. You may need to revisit old triggers, traumas, or disappointments before you will know exactly what your new life-purpose will be. My suggestion is to write the first draft of your vision then put it in a drawer. Let the words percolate around for a few days. Then bring it back out and read it again. Does it still resonate or has your subconscious brain shown you some new enlightenment? Revise it if needed, then put it away again. Do this as many times as required until you get that feeling of excitement when you take it out again to read.

I have a form that I use when I am working on my vision statement. You can find it HERE. Once your vision statement excites you, once you can clearly see yourself living this extraordinary life, it is time to commit to making it happen. It is so important to take control of your own business destiny or years will pass and you will regret it later.

Mindset and Core Beliefs

If we want to be more successful in our business and personal lives, and sustain that success year after year, we must constantly and consistently be aware of our mindset. So what do I mean by mindset? I define it as the core beliefs an individual has about life and business.

Uncovering Your Core Beliefs

Core beliefs begin in childhood and develop over time. They are the essence of how we see ourselves, other people, the world, and the future. Our core beliefs often stem from the values of our families and the communities we grew up in. They can be so deeply rooted as to be rigid and inflexible. This inflexibility leads us to focus on those things that support our beliefs and dismiss or ignore evidence that contradicts them.

Many of us don’t know what our mindset is because we’ve lived with our core beliefs so long that we are no longer consciously aware of them. But you can shift your beliefs. You can challenge your thinking and replace it with thoughts that serve your greater good.

One of the easiest ways to begin to uncover those core beliefs that no longer serve you is to pay attention to the words that come out of your mouth or the unspoken thoughts you are having. Are you always complaining? Are you quick to place blame? The more you pay attention to the negative things you say or think, the more you can ask, “Why am I feeling this way?” Emotions and the feelings behind those emotions are the keys to discovering what you truly believe. When you understand what you believe and why you believe it, you have the ability to change that belief for the better.

What Makes Up a Successful Mindset?

Mindset is a major component in determining success. Identifying and changing the core beliefs in our minds can eliminate the uncomfortable emotions and sabotaging behaviors that we’ve used as compensating strategies all of our lives. You can either control your emotions or they can control you. I’m not saying that it’s easy. It’s not. But if we show up differently and be committed and intentional every day about staying in our new mindset you will have success.

Here are some of the attributes of a successful mindset that I’ve discovered can make a significant impact to your success. Concentrate on these and watch your business start to bloom.

  1. Growth minded – nothing is fixed, nothing is hard-wired. As far as your business is concerned you can do better, you can become stronger, and you can manage your thoughts and emotions so that they serve you instead of you serving them. You can grow through any problem or roadblock and know when it is time to avoid certain things or set new boundaries.
  2. Purpose driven – you know your “why?” Why, out of all the occupations you could have chosen, did you decide to be a loan originator? If your why is because you want to make a lot of money then you won’t sustain success. Money motivation is not long-lasting.
  3. Value driven – you know what your values are and they are unshakable. For example, if integrity is one of your values and someone asks you to do something wrong, you won’t do it no matter what. Your plan is made in alignment with your values to ensure you have your priorities straight and will feel good about what you are doing.
  4. Business minded – You must have goals, a business plan, and the discipline to work the plan. Without a plan you will miss out on opportunities and have no idea how to replicate or increase your success. You need to have a budget and understand your return on investment (ROI). You have to be accountable. You should wake up every morning and do what you say you’re going to do whether you feel like it or not. Discipline not motivation is what makes for a sustainable business.
  5. Priorities are straight – you know what is most important. You know if you keep your priorities in line then you will be happy in your work. When you look at your calendar and checkbook is it reflective of your real priorities? Are you spending time and money on the things that are most important to you?
  6. Focus is on abundance not scarcity – The freedom in this industry can lead to a mindset of scarcity. A person with an abundant mindset says the pie is just going to keep getting bigger for me. I’m always going to have everything I need. If I lose a client, I’m going to get two more. Unless you are in a mindset of abundance you will attract things that may make you worry and suffer.