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How to build better relationships with estate agents

Relationships between mortgage brokers and estate agents can sometimes feel strained and tenuous, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When these partnerships are working well, they feed into the success of both businesses, add credibility and make the client experience more cohesive and satisfying.

So how do you make these relationships better? To start off, let’s look at why they are so useful in the first place:

Why build these relationships

Forming a partnership with an estate agent can be a valuable source of referral business for your brokerage. Estate agents tend to develop a close relationship with buyers during the search for a new property. When those relationships are good and the buyer trusts the estate agent, they’ll also be more likely to trust the mortgage broker they recommend.

Typically, these partnerships involve offering commission on the mortgages that come through the estate agent. That may not sound very appealing, but the number of referrals can often compensate for it. This is especially true when there is a referral quota in place.

By engaging with estate agents, you can begin to gather clients without additional sales and marketing efforts. It is an opportunity to win clients you may not have gained otherwise and to expand your reach beyond your own network.

In addition, working with an estate agent can help create a more seamless flow for the home buying process as a whole. This makes a more enjoyable client experience that can help lead to greater retention and satisfaction.

Learn more: Podcast #11 - Opening your second branch

How to get started

If you don’t already have a good relationship with an estate agent, building one can seem daunting. This is particularly the case if you have your sights set on working with more prominent figures in the sector who may already have brokers they trust and refer their clients to.

Consider, instead, developing relationships with smaller or more recently formed estate agents. 

Most likely, they’ll be more open to creating a partnership. 

To get started, make a list of those estate agents who might be interested in a partnership. From there, start reaching out and seeing whose needs, goals and values best align to your own. This should be a mutually beneficial relationship after all!

Read more: Word of mouth marketing advice

What estate agents are looking for

To make partnering with you more attractive than working with one of your competitors, take into account the things that estate agents are looking for in a broker:

  • Broker capability - First and foremost, estate agents want to know that the brokers they recommend are highly capable and able to find the best mortgages for their clients.
  • Confidence in process management - They also want assurance that you will make the mortgage process easy and clear, without letting anything fall through the cracks.
  • Quick and effective - The ideal situation for an estate agent is finding a broker that can take a client through the mortgage process quickly and smoothly.
  • Showcase market savvy - Before an estate agent recommends you, they’ll also want to see that you have a good awareness and understanding of the market and can navigate it to get the best result.
  • Clear communication - Clear communication has been mentioned as one of the most important qualities a broker can have. Brokers who are able to keep an estate agent up to date, communicate any unexpected hurdles and work well face to face with clients are more enticing than those who struggle with these qualities.

Read more: The importance of customer onboarding

Now that you know how to kick-start your relationships with estate agents, you can start reaching out to agencies, re-examine the way your current partnerships are working and start growing your business. The referrals you get through estate agents can be extremely valuable and having a good relationship in place will help both of you create a better home-buying journey for your clients.

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