The business of mortgage broking is a business built around people, relationships and connections. Referrals are a big part of your business growth plan and when you’re just starting out in the industry, referrals can take time (and money) and patience. I’m a big believer in the saying “you earn your referrals”, and I’ll explain that a little further on…
This article aims to give you some advice on where to start, how to find, how to maintain and ask for referrals.
Where To Start – Sources of Referrals
At the start of your broking journey; it’s a numbers game. As you’re new in your career the more people you talk to, the more you learn. The more you learn how you can help them and vice versa. So if you’re new to the industry, make sure you are always in ‘searching’ mode. Treat every communication and every interaction as an opportunity to present yourself as an excellent professional.
When you’re starting out you’re looking for Quantity. You want a number of referrals from multiple avenues. Partnering with real estate agents and professionals who are interacting with hundreds of potential clients a week is a good strategy.
At this stage, you are more likely to pay for your referrals however, if you can find professionals at a similar stage of their career as you, and you’re both willing to work towards a long term relationship [and you’re both on the same page in terms of commitment, client experience and professionalism] then you can start to build an excellent partnership.
Quality Over Quantity
You cannot manage what you can’t measure. Getting leads is one thing, getting qualified and quality leads is another. Further on your journey as time becomes more valuable, quality referrals becomes more important. A referral that is based on a quality relationship can be more successful than a purely transactional referral. At this stage, you’re working with financial planners, accountants, real estate developers and builders.
The old saying goes;“It takes two to tango” so make sure your referral lead source is part of a relationship. Fewer leads with more quality is best in the long run because as your business grows, there is only so much time you can give and manage and invest.
Remember this: Quantity is transactional – Quality is relationships.
Educate For Referrals
Educate for referrals, not ask for referrals. What I mean by that is this; have a look at the way you conduct business, the way you communicate, how you show up for your clients and their team. What are you doing, at every interaction that educates everyone involved that you are the BEST choice of a broker that they’ve seen?
What do you do to impress and add value?
How do you stand out from the crowd?
What is it about your communication and systems and style that makes a client and their team, stand up and pay attention?
How do you WOW them?
When you do this, you become the standout choice of brokers they can engage with. Then the referrals will come naturally because you have educated the people you interact with how excellent your service and your standards really are.
They like you. They like what you’re saying, they believe in what you can do. You are walking the walk and talking the talk. The benefit of a referral based on a relationship is that you have the capacity to make a mistake and be forgiven.
When someone says; “You’re only as good as your last deal” this is true IF there is no relationship with your referral source. If you have a solid relationship, you have a little more wiggle room to survive a deal that has not gone to plan.
You must invest in your referral partner relationships. This is not a relationship that you can be absent in for months at a time, and swoop back in when you need it. This is a relationship that you cultivate and nurture consistently. In fact, in our tips of actions that a broker must do each week, touching base with your referral partners is on the list.
To Pay Or Not To Pay?
It’s a big question, isn’t it? Do I pay for referrals, or not?
Think about this: if you pay for a referral, are you educating for that referral, or monetising it?
If you are educating then you are showing your capacity and showing your commitment. In my opinion, it’s best to earn it rather than buy it. PLUS, once you have started paying for a referral it’s a lot harder to stop paying for it. The transaction becomes rooted in the relationship. However, if you work on your relationship and establish a strong foundation without the transaction, then you’re working towards a solid and long-term partnership.
Keep this in mind: if you’re working with a referral partner who ONLY wants a transactional relationship, then they might not be the right referral partner for you.
Ask The Question
Many brokers miss out on referral relationships because they fail to ASK the question. If you’ve done a great job with a client, if you’ve been professional and gained a great result for your client, impressing everyone you’ve encountered along the way then please ASK the question. “Is there anyone at the (friends/family/colleagues/
For more information on tips like this one plus more, consider signing up for The Broker Journal™. It’s just $2 a day and comes with 30 CPD points for FBAA and MFAA members. Click here for more details.