Loan officers need to network to get work.
We already know how networking is the best tool in your mortgage business belt. But do you really know how to use it? The term “networking” has become a catch-all term for “getting business,” and that can be pretty overwhelming. Here, we’ll break down the basics to make networking as approachable as you are, and lead you to those leads.
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
Sometimes you just have to know the people you’re looking to lend to. Not just the demographic, but the actual people. Door knocking may be out of fashion, but it’s long been proven effective for real estate. Consider donating a couple of hours each month to making the rounds with a fellow agent. The relationships you can develop will be invaluable to your business.
Give yourself a night out.
Check out the local events and make sure you introduce yourself. Hit up the local coffee shop for open mic night, check out the wares at the farmer’s’ market, or volunteer at the next charity run. Keep in mind, this is a chance for you to get to know people, not just sell them. It takes the pressure off, as you don’t have to have a sales pitch ready with each handshake. Perhaps a few key phrases here and there, but know that this is an opportunity for you to see who you’ll be working with for financing and lending. It’s okay to cool the hard sell for a minute.
Make your social activities even more social
Once you’re up on neighborhood events and have them on your calendar, share that information with people on social media. Tell folks about the upcoming pancake breakfast, or put the local community theater’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace on the calendar on your website. Share photos of local gatherings on your Instagram page. Get a group together to volunteer at the food pantry. Is there a new restaurant opening? Get a group to try it out or write a review on your blog (remember to keep up that content!). The more you promote the community, the more the community will promote you.
Don’t forget your friends…and their friends…and their friends…
The power of referrals cannot be overstated in any business. For loan officers, working your referral base means going outside of your comfort zone. Talking to the people you know is pretty easy, but what about the people they know? It’s time to use the degree of separation to your advantage. Start with what you and the new prospect have in common (likely, your mutual friend or colleague) and then discuss what they’re looking for in their financing needs. Does your dentist have colleagues that need home financing? Of course. What about teachers? Friends of friends? Think of ways to engage your base and expand it.
Digital ads for the folks you know
Now that you’re doing all that referral work in real life and in your social profiles, you can engage your network with digital ads. Digital ads for your network, or your sphere, are subtle and non-intrusive. They remind the folks you know that you’re a loan officer, that you’re an expert in your field and that you already have a relationship. It’s an easy way to ask for referrals without actually asking.