3 ways to set up the perfect real estate referral partnership

The chasm between mortgage brokers and real estate agents can sometimes present a challenge. However, due to tightened lender restrictions, increased competition, and affordability pressures, now more than ever, these market forces demand agents and brokers work in tandem in order to maintain a profitable business.

But all too often, we forget that working with a real estate agency is an opportunity for referrals, not a guarantee. Customers are the lifeblood of business, and heavily guarded, so you need to earn a potential partner’s trust to get business, which can be a strange concept as you know you can add value.

Setting up a successful referral partnership with an agent can be hard work. If you’re not top-of-mind with them, or they aren’t on board with your offering, they’ll pass you over for someone they know and/or trust. Many brokers have tried and failed to work with real estate agents, and it can be a very disheartening experience when all your hard work doesn’t pay off.

To minimise these occurrences, it is critically important to build the agent’s confidence in you, and it starts with building trust in the relationship through open communication.

It’s like a date – you have to get to know each other!

Imagine you are an agent. You are working with a 4th generation referral who wants to purchase a property listed by you. The property for sale is owned by a vendor who has bought and sold properties with you for a number of years. The agent needs to refer the buyer to a mortgage broker for finance.

Do you refer to a broker that sits in your office that you don’t really know? Or to a broker who you trust will look after your clients? I know which one I would choose. It’s important to get the foundations right.

In my 40 years experience working across real estate and mortgage broking I’ve determined three key ways to set up the perfect broker/agent relationship. They are:

1. Communicate your point of difference

When you are starting out with a real estate agency, get the principal onboard with your offering. Sit down with them, understand their expectations, and clearly explain what benefit your involvement will bring to their business, it’s about creating an unexpected client experience, and developing a full service agency. Get them to include you in their process to encourage other agents to refer to you. It’s quid-pro-quo. You may need to send them some referrals first without expecting anything back – to build the relationshipThrough Loan Market’s exclusive Ray White partnerships, we’ve learnt that holding 1-1 meetings can be instrumental in explaining your point of difference, and how you can add value to their clients. To ensure brokers get off to a good start, we hold a training day to outline the fundamentals of the real estate business, understand your new referral partners and how to harness the opportunity to increase your revenue. If you want to know more about Loan Market’s training programs, feel free to drop me an email at peter.camphin@loanmarket.com.au

An awesome activity to introduce yourself to agents, is to do their own finances. Show them what the process of a loan looks like end-to-end, what it takes to get pre-approved, the rationale behind why you will recommend one rate over another (as we know, the best isn’t always the cheapest.) This will get them to understand what the process looks like for you and their clients, and what value you can bring in providing a seamless customer experience for their clients.

Hot tip: Be visible

  • If you are sharing an office with a real estate franchise, make sure you are visible. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Make yourself available at open homes and auctions, be on hand and ready to help out. Remember you are building a business partnership and attending open homes is another way you can exhibit how you add value to the team.

2. The competitive edge: Keeping them well informed

It is important for you to keep them well informed with how you are working with their clients, and educating them on what is happening in the finance industry. We sometimes forget that not everyone knows what is going on in our industry, just because we do.

Join the weekly sales meeting and give topical updates, talk about the best rates, and share a case study or two from the previous week. With these updates, agents will be able to understand how buyers may be hindered by lending restrictions, or why there may be delays and extensions on finance. Sharing your knowledge and being proactive positions you top-of-mind when it comes to finance.

Most agent’s see broker’s as the deal saver, and will only bring you in when finance is about to expire. It’s important to get your referrers to ask the finance question early on in their client interactions. We understand how hard this is to get agents to do, so we’ve developed training sessions for brokers and referral agents to understand how to better integrate customer solutions and deliver a better experience for the customer.

At Loan Market we workshop in training and development sessions for brokers and their referral agents, how to better integrate customer solutions and deliver a better experience for the customer. This is a part of our overall program to facilitate and strengthen referral partnerships.

Hot tip

  • Over communicate (by SMS, but don’t be annoying)
  • Attend weekly sales meetings
  • Be contactable 24/7

3. Property Managers + Mortgage Brokers: an unlikely pair

Property managers are the understated lifeblood of the real estate industry. They are extremely busy, have large portfolios, and are the touchpoint for every landlord with an investment property.

People invest in property to generate wealth and property managers can be handling numerous properties for the same landlord. They are instrumental in maximising the returns of their clients and making sure they are getting the best finance should be apart of their process. This is where you come in!

Sit down with property managers and get them to understand why maximising the return-on-investment is vital for property investors. It’s valuable for you to speak with them. A goal you can work to is, once a landlord signs on with the property management team, get their details handed to you to discuss refinancing opportunities. Equally, when you are getting a loan for an investor, refer them to the property manager to look after them. It’s all about creating a reciprocal referral partnership.

The aim of the game is to have a fully integrated referral partnership that touches every part of the business, the vendor, buyer, landlord and tenant. We hold retreats for our brokers and their agent referrers to learn how to maximise and drive leads through both businesses.

Hot tip

This has all been done before, so learn from the best! Check out the video below with one of Loan Market’s most successful brokers Daniel Pym. We made this video as apart of our Connect Club, our online resource centre you can learn tips and tricks from the best Loan Market brokers in all different markets.

Setting up a these referral partnerships can be hard work, and they will take time, communication and the right temperament. It’s so important to find the right match for you.

Did you know? Family puts family first.

Ray White and Loan Market

  • Each year over 22,000 leads come from Ray White
  • Ray White is Australia’s largest real estate group
  • Ray White sell over 60,000 properties per year
Sam White – Executive Chairman Loan Market, Brian White AO – Joint Chairman Ray White Group, Dan White – Managing Director Ray White

If you would like to find out more about how Loan Market can help you build stronger and more profitable referral partnerships, and learn about our exclusive partnership with Ray White, please reach out to me via email or Linkedin.

PUBLISHED September 27th, 2019 IN Stories and insights

Peter Camphin

Starting his career as a property manager in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Peter has amassed over 40-years of experience working across real estate and mortgage broking. Peter heads up Loan Market Strategic Partnerships, where he champions bridging the gap between agents and brokers, and helping to build strong referral relationships with Loan Market business owners and Ray White offices. Peter believes the key to a successful business is having strong leadership, the right people in your team and the motivation to provide a better value experience for our clients.