The post-pandemic housing market showed its teeth in 2022 as the refinance boom fizzled out, rate hikes slashed borrower demand and home prices skyrocketed.
With each new year comes new challenges and business-building strategies to overcome them. Amid such persistent economic uncertainty, lenders must develop a purchase-focused mortgage marketing strategy if they want to win over hesitant homebuyers.
When we think of reaching purchasers, we often think first of referral partners. For your 2023 marketing strategy makeover, here are five steps for building relationships with Realtors.
Mortgage Marketing to Realtors Step 1: Prepare them for success.
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Like loan officers, Realtors get asked the same questions over and over. Anticipate those questions for your referral partners and arm them with the tools they need when they need them.
Differentiate yourself from your competitors by providing timely information that your referral partners can discuss with their buyers while they’re showing homes (virtually or in-person). Include information on both rate and housing market trends.
You’ll also want to make sure they have the latest on your company’s special programs. Choose the ones that are likely to apply to their clients. Do you support a down payment assistance program for first responders and essential workers or have special financing for jumbo loans? Know your referral partner’s specialty and send information on the programs most likely to fit their buyer profile.
Marketing to Realtors Step 2: Add value to their current mortgage marketing.
If you use a content-driven mortgage CRM, you may have access to tools that can help Realtors bolster their marketing.
Before you rush in and offer to help with their efforts, take time to review what they’re doing now. See where their marketing can use a boost and target those areas (without criticizing their current marketing programs, of course).
It can be especially helpful to identify marketing tools and strategies that might be out of a Realtor’s normal wheelhouse. For example, lenders can offer to embed interactive mortgage calculators on an agent’s website so prospects can estimate the monthly payments associated with different loan products or consider scenarios for refinancing their homes.
Essentially, the goal is to complement, not replace, the Realtor’s existing brand.
Marketing to Realtors Step 3: Help them stay on top of the deal.
Like loan officers, Realtors spend a lot of time prospecting. They can’t let up on gathering leads while their deals are in process.
You can help by offering deal-specific marketing.
For joint prospects, offer co-branded email campaigns targeted to the homebuyer’s unique situation. For example, first-time homebuyers will appreciate outreach containing educational resources about starting the mortgage process and what to expect. Messages should include a call-to-action encouraging recipients to reach out to the real estate agent or loan officer featured in the message to begin searching for homes and get pre-qualified.
Even better, add value to referral relationships by offering real estate partners co-branded single property websites and open house flyers. Unlike multiple listing services with a seemingly endless lineup of available properties, single property sites and open house flyers feature just one listing, increasing focus on the property and reducing the chance a buyer will click away. Plus, with a strong mortgage CRM, lenders can generate these useful pieces of marketing collateral on behalf of a real estate partner in just a few clicks!
Offer updates to your joint clients as they move through the loan process. Co-brand these with the Realtor so they can share the credit for a smooth purchase process.
Marketing to Realtors Step 4: Keep them top of mind after the close.
It’s in the best interest of both you and your Realtor partner to build your business’s future by laying the groundwork for returning clients and customer referrals. One way you can do this for both of you is through a co-branded, post-close, client-for-life campaign.
A strong post-close campaign will:
- Last several years to cover the typical time before a client makes their next move.
- Include multiple channels, such as postal mail, text messages and emails. This improves your chances of getting your message across in the channel they prefer and also of staying in touch through changes in an email address or phone number.
- Cover different types of messages, ranging from those relevant to the client’s current home to simple holiday and birthday greetings.
The nice thing about a multi-year, co-branded post-close campaign?
It’s not just that you and your Realtor partner are staying top of mind with the client. You’re also staying top of mind with each other.
As responses come in from the client, you’ll naturally have conversations with your Realtor partner, and they’ll be reminded how great you are and how wonderful it is to work with you.
Marketing to Realtors Step 5: Offer solutions only you can provide (with the help of your mortgage CRM, of course).
Realtors — especially the good ones — hear from loan officers who want to “help” them all the time. What will make you stand out from the crowd? In addition to studying their marketing and complementing their efforts (Step 2), you’re going to want to offer unique marketing content the Realtor can’t find just anywhere.
And how do you do that when you hardly have time to get everything done as it is?
You use a content-rich, mortgage-focused CRM, of course.
Surefire by Black Knight has the timely materials, the value-adding tools, the deal-specific messaging and the co-brandable, multi-year, multi-channel Client for Life campaign that will help you complete all of these steps without building a real estate marketing program from scratch.
And Surefire’s content library is so rich that even your competitors who use the same system aren’t likely to employ the same marketing content you do. There’s plenty to go around.
Take a tour of Surefire today, so you can see exactly what we mean. We’ll be happy to show you around!
Start 2023 off on the right foot and build a better mortgage marketing strategy with Surefire’s free Mortgage Marketing University.