In any industry there are adjacent businesses catering to the same basic consumer audience. Some of these businesses are in competition. Others fulfill different functions and may even work hand-in-hand with your business.
This second type of business can be tapped to form partnerships in which both parties promote the other in order to increase overall successes. In other words, you can team up to cross-promote, with each company gaining access to a new pool of targeted leads in the process.
In the mortgage business specifically, you may want to form partnerships with non-competing businesses that are likely to have the same (or very similar) target audience. Ideal partners could include real estate agents, home inspectors, title companies, insurance carriers (that offer homeowner’s policies), construction companies, contractors, accountants, and so on.
An ideal partner should not just be in an industry that targets the same basic market as you, however. Rather, they must also provide a reputable and reliable service, you must feel comfortable promoting them and allowing them to promote you, and they must be willing to trade leads.
The only real question, then, is how you can generate more referral partners to help your mortgage business grow. Here are a few strategies to try.
Find Prospective Partners
As noted above, there are several adjacent professions within your industry that could serve up good referral partners. However, just because another company is suitable on paper doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the fine print.
Does the company you’re considering as a partner have a good reputation? Is the company profitable? Is it growing? Is it influential in the market you’re seeking to gain referrals from? Most importantly, would you feel comfortable recommending this company to your own trusted clientele?
If you’re able to answer yes to most or all of these questions, you’ve found a prospective referral partner.
Any time you want to start a relationship, the first step is to make yourself attractive. You don’t go on a first date looking like you just rolled out of bed. You shower, shave, put on your best outfit, and fix yourself up.
The same basic principle applies to attracting referral partners. Finding non-competing professionals within your industry that are attractive to you is only half the battle. Both parties have to be willing to come to the table in order to strike a deal.
How can you accomplish this task? You need to make yourself attractive in the same ways other companies attract you. With proper web design you can make a good first impression, and with targeted mortgage broker SEO you can increase your online presence and rank well on Google and other search engines.
Over time you can garner positive consumer reviews and work to build a solid reputation within your industry. All of these attributes will make you an attractive referral partner.
A lopsided partnership simply can’t survive – not in your personal life and not in the professional world. If you’re constantly accepting leads from your referral partners but offering them nothing in return, eventually they’re going to tire of the arrangement and move on.
Once you’ve found suitable referral partners and you’ve done all you can to become an attractive partner yourself through quality web design, loan officer SEO, and a strong reputation for stellar service, you need to follow through. This could mean a variety of things.
First and foremost, you have to reciprocate when it comes to referrals. You need to offer leads, promote your partners to your own clients, or do both. You expect no less from your partners, so you have to deliver in kind.
You can do a lot more, though. When working with trusted partners you can trade more than just client information – you can trade industry information (within legal limits) to enhance your partnership, increasing the benefits for both parties. You could also work together on marketing campaigns to cross-promote your businesses, splitting the costs and sharing the benefits.
You could even offer to teach other businesses about what you do in return for learning more about their products and services. This can only help both partners to better promote each other to a targeted audience or specific clients in need of additional services, in turn better serving customers.
A referral partnership could be as simple as trading lists of potential leads or it could mean a lot more. When you find the right partners, offer an appealing package, and build a strong professional relationship, the ways in which both parties benefit will only grow over time.