21 Sources Of Business For Realtors Your Broker Will Not Tell You About

21 Sources of Business For Realtors

21 Sources of Business For Realtors Your Broker Will Not Tell You About

I am always looking for new ways to pick up some business, and there are secret things some realtors are doing that bring in a ton of business. I am going to expose these tips so that some of you can increase your business. The 21 sources of business for realtors you broker will not tell you about.

Now before we go any further, I want to warn you that some of these sources of business lie in the grey areas and others are against some real estate boards policies. So please don’t shoot the messenger, I am not a realtor and I am not promoting some of these real estate tricks. I am merely putting it on the table, because we all know people use all of these as sources of business.

The first person to the customer will usually be the person that closes a deal with them. I wish you all of the success in getting there first.

Canada's lowest mortgage rates. Mortgage broker
Canada’s lowest mortgage rates. Mortgage broker

The 21 Sources Of Business for Realtors!

  • Trade Shows

Trade shows are an amazing source of business. I have done several trade shows including home and garden shows, wedding shows, St Albert lifestyle expo and K-Days. The most profitable of these were K-days, and the wedding show. I have done many others but these were the best. Last week we received a lead for a new mortgage and I asked my wife that had taken the application what the lead source was. Her response was that it indirectly came from our k-days trade show that we had done 5 years earlier. The lead was a referral from someone we had done a mortgage for there!

We save the customers data and try to stay in touch with them over the years, thereby adding to our database! Now I have approached these trade shows a couple of different ways. Some I was very aggressive with trying to bring them into the booth to offer my various services, and other shows I was little more passive.

Honestly the greatest success we had was when we were brining people into the booth. We gave away a free T.V in a draw and offered a free mortgage evaluation to people. As realtors you are in sales and at the right moments a little pressure may be needed. Not over aggressive, just enough to get the job done.

  • Data Mining

On the weekends when I am hanging out on my deck or watching a show, I ensure I am inputting any new clients into my database that I may have missed. I also do searches that could reap rewards such as mortgage renewals in the next year etc. If you are diligent enough to input your past clients purchase dates, you can have great success in calling the clients that you sold 4 years ago and seeing how they are doing. Many of them will be deciding to move as their mortgage renewals come up and many of them may need to up-size!

There are many searches you can do when you are data mining, including following up on leads that have come in over the last 6 months. Real estate clients sometimes take a long time to buy and many sales are lost by realtors for just not following up. It is the same thing for my mortgage industry. So much that I have hired a full time person to follow up on the old leads. It pays over and over again.

  • Telemarketer from India and the Philippines (grey area)

Telemarketers can be super cheap and they can make random calls hunting for leads. Obviously in north America we have to be really careful ourselves about this (do not call list). Many of the telemarketers that make these calls do not have any consequence.

I would never have a telemarketer call on my behalf or say my name in a call, however if they made calls from themselves and then sent me qualified leads it can be worth it. I did this a few years back for a 1 year term and I averaged a minimum of a deal a month! This also helped to fill my database pretty fast.

I realize that in many markets this is not allowed by the boards, but we all know it is still happening.

Sources of real estate referrals
Sources of real estate referrals
  • Email Drip Marketing

Drip marketting is a gold mine. This is when you send automatic emails to all of the people in your database. I have 2 separate emails that go out to my clients every month. One is automated and the other I create and send out manually to the group. I usually get 2-3 responses for every drip email I send out and close 1 deal minimum from this. My database is at around 10k people that I have dealt with over the years. I have not done deals with all of them obviously, but I still establish a relationship with them.

  • Church

Church can be a great source of business for realtors. I actually found out about this indirectly when my aunt who is a major church goer referred a client to me. It was her priest and I ended up doing his mortgage. 2 weeks after I dealt with him the leads started to pour in. So far I have done 5 mortgages for his church in a 6 myth period.

A smart agent would offer some sort of special to the churches in Edmonton so that they can capture more of the business and give the church members a great deal for volume sales. If you are ever interested in exploring this I would be interested in collaborating.

  • BNI Groups

BNI is business networking groups. There is usually 1 member from every industry and they are mandated to refer business to each other. There is a cost for being a member and you have to be able to mingle and speak publicly. They meet once a week very early in the morning prior to business hours. I know some realtor that do pretty well through these groups. However it can be pretty time consuming and if you are really busy it can be too much. I do know some realtors who have had to back out of it due to the time it requires

  • Other Realtors

There are agents out there that generate a ton of business, more than they can handle. Oftentimes they prefer not to deal with the buyer clients, as these can be very time consuming. They will usually give those lead to “buyers agent” and charge them a 25% referral fee. THis can be very lucrative for a buyers agent, as well as the originating agent. In fact I know several “buyers agents” making over 6 figures!

Lets Work Together Edmonton Mortgage Broker
Lets Work Together Edmonton Mortgage Broker
  • Unaddressed ad mail (grey Area)

When I used to sell I did a lot of undressed ad mail, this is mail that goes direct to a customers house. It is does not have a clients specific name on it, it is general mail. I would target target an area (neighbourhood) and send the mail there in a given month. I was doing the entire city on rotation.

It does cost a lot of money, however the response can be amazing. Depending on your closing ratio, this can be hugely profitable. There are agents that are making multiple 6 figures just by doing this.

To do this you would use the Canada post geo targeting map. You can do it by postal codes or areas. Check with your brokerage as you may have a deal set up with Canada post already.

One popular mailer out there will see that “We have a client that is looking to purchase a property in your area”. True or not, “other agents” hate when you do this. Not all of them, but some will challenge you. You can get called out from the real estate board about this type of mail, but very unlikely that you would actually get in any trouble. If you actually have a client looking in an area, then you are going over and above for your client by sending out this type of mail. The spinoff is that you will probably pick up a few listings!

  • Direct mail to Expired (Super Grey area)

In the US and many other markets, it is totally fine to target expired listings. However in other markets it is not allowed by your board. Expireds are an absolute goldmine, as many agent fear them. A lot of the time the sellers are looking to switch agents because the original agent was unable to sell their home. They can be frustrated at times and ready to lower their price just to get rid of the home.

There are agents that target these and are making a lot of money in doing so. Some of these agents will tape a letter on the sellers door, and others will pursue the seller on the phone. When they post a letter on the sellers door they will usually do it to a few of the neighbours as well as to not look like they are targeting that specific listing. Either way it gets the job done, but it is hugely frowned upon by the board as well as other agents (especially the seller agent)

  • Mail under door in Condo buildings (Super grey area)

Apartment condos do not get a lot of undressed ad mail in comparison to regular residential property. There have been times that I had a client looking in a specific building. So I put flyers under their doors that said I have a client that wants to buy a 3 bed unit in your building. I ended up listing several units. You are not supposed to do this, and some sellers get mad about it and may call your broker. However this can be an area that you can do really well in. Remember I am not telling you to do any of these, just stating the facts that these things happen and someone is making money off of it.

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  • Facebook or any social media self promotion

Self promotion on social media is huge, that’s one of the places I will be posting this article. My purpose in writing it is to help you agents and by doing so establish a professional trust level with you. It might also help you increase your sales thereby possibly bringing in more mortgage business to my team.

Some of the other things you can do on social media is to post your sold unit, this shows you social circle that you are selling a lot. Post market stats, showing your circle that you understand the market. And post you awards, showing that you are one of the best in Edmonton. You can also start a personal business page and invite your social circle to join!

I get a lot of business from social media, it is a way of me telling my social circle that I can be trusted and I am the only one capable of giving them the best service! I really hate the concept of calling everyone and asking them for 3 leads, I know it works but I do think it makes you look a little desperate. I want to come off as very busy and very professional to my circle. Not desperate.

  • Google paid ads

You need to learn google. Some agents are getting a tone of business and leads by posting google paid ads. This is the ad that pops up at the top when you search something. For example a client might search edmonton best realtor north side. The agent that pops up at the top of the search will be someone who paid to be there. It is called pay per click.

  • Google business profile

You can register a business profile with google so that your clients can rate you. The more ratings you get the higher you will rank. Some agents get a lot of business from this.

  • Paid lead gen

There are companies out there that focus on getting leads for realtors so that they can sell them. Normally it is an online thing. The cost for this can range from $500-3000 per month depending on the number of leads you buy. This is a huge opportunity for realtors, however you have to have a good infrastructure for follow up and call to make it worth your while. The closing ratio on these leads are very low.

  • The Newspaper

Yes it still exists and seniors are reading it. Most agents have stayed away from the newspaper for many years and this has created an area of possibility. With the right ad you can get some senior business because they are still reading it! And the best part is that the ads are cheaper now than they used to be!

  • Blogging

Blogging helps you website rank higher on google. It tells google that you know about the area you speak about and the more you do it, the higher you will rank. Blogging is writing articles about your area of expertise (real estate) and posting it on your website. It is exactly what I am doing right now!

When I blog, I try to write content that will last forever. Something that my readers (in this case you), will be interested in reading. And something that shows I am an expert in my field. I want to prove that no other mortgage broker understands your challenges as well as I do. I also want to express that I wish to help my readers get better at their businesses so that we can all do better together!

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  • Pinterest

Pinterest can bring a lot of volume to your website. You start by taking amazing photos of property. Then you pin it to pinterest with a link to your website. When someone clicks on the picture they are auto directed to your site. It is genius and an area that very few realtors use. The majority of the pinterest users are women and we all know, they make the final decision! lol

  • Past clients

Past clients is an area that I failed miserably at in the past. Now I have a major focus in this area. Past clients can help you bring in an enormous amount of business. They can be like your own mini army, rallying for you on their social media and in their social events!

I try to stay in touch in multiple ways, one on social media. I mail them birthday cards and christmas cards. I also have a mandate that myself or someone from my team will call all past clients once every half to see if they have mortgage related questions. This really keeps me top of mind. I have had discussions with many lawyers, realtors and insurance agents and very few of them are staying in touch this much with their clients. My goal is to have my clients feel married to me and be able to be the one stop for them for all things mortgage.

Due to this, I get a lot of interesting spinoff. I get a tonne of real estate leads! So far this year I have referred out over 200 leads to my real estate agent partners! Many of these leads have closed. Some of my top realtor partners have made over $30k this year alone in leads from my past clients!

  • Christmas cards and Birthday cards

These are your free touches on your clients that show you actually care about them. Clients appreciate when their realtor stays in touch with them. This opens up areas where you can start a dialogue with them and makes it easy for them to contact you. When I send out christmas cards, I send it from myself and my family. I really want my clients to know I am not a robot and that I am a real human with real life things. This helps to strengthen your bond with the client.

  • Customer Appreciation events

A customer appreciation event can really work for you if you are the type of person that is good at mingling. I don’t do them myself because I am not great in this area, however this year I will be doing a movie night at a theatre (when people are comfortable to do this….). Everyone likes to get something for free, including myself. Very few agents do this because it can be an expensive out of pocket thing to do. If you have an event like this, you can expect to get more leads, you can expect to strengthen your bond with the client and you can expect good long term business growth if you throw these events regularly (annually).

This is an area where your relationships can go from business to personal. Make sure you don’t get wasted as client perception here is everything and you still always want them to consider you the professional they can refer their grandma or sister to!

Direct Mail Marketing for realtors
Direct Mail Marketing for realtors
  • Open House Giveaways

This is brokerage dependant, check with your broker owner to see if they allow this. You can give away an iPad, or tv or something of the sort at your open houses in exchange for customer data. Make it like a draw! Obviously you would not do this for every open house, as it would cost you way too much, but you could do a small draw every month!

Get the client to fill out an entry ballot with the following questions, Name first and last, Phone, Email, will you be selling a home before you buy your new house? Timeframe for buying, Price range you are buying in. Do you have a realtor?

This gives you all of the information you will need to immediately know if they are a lead!

  • Ask your broker

Many brokerages in the city have been around for a long time, and they actually do get call ins and website leads! Many brokers do not want their agents to know about this, as the leads are passed to their favourite realtors (brokers please don’t hate me lol). Other brokers may keep the leads for themselves or pass it to their kids who are realtors.

I recently spoke to an agent that was leaving their brokerage and shopping for a new brokerage. On of the reasons is that in 10 years she has never received a lead from their brokerage. It was a high volume brokerage that definitely gets a lot of incoming leads. I spoke to this agent again a few days later and they told me they were staying at their brokerage now because their broker gave them a lead.

In my opinion the leads should be shared amongst the office in a large brokerage evenly so that no one feels like they are getting ripped off.

A proactive agent would speak to their broker directly and tell them that this is one of their expectations. This will set a great foundation for you and your broker. They make money from you being there and do not want you to ever leave, or even speak to other agents about leaving the brokerage! Lt the broker know if you are happy you have no reason to ever leave.

Postal code reverse search Canada
Postal code reverse search Canada
  • Postal Code Reverse search

Postal code reverse searches on yellow pages.ca, white pages or Canada post can reveal a lot of interesting data. You will find out about property addresses, how many homes in an area and the names and phone numbers of some of those properties. When I say some, it is because some people do not have their public info on these sites.

If you are looking for a clients name or address, this can be a great place to start in direct targeting a potential lead.

  • Neighbourhood search

Neighbourhood searches are another feature you can find online. It is a great tool for realtors because you will be able to find out the clients names and phone number for a given area. Again perfect for targeting a neighbourhood. You can quickly become the agent for the neighbourhood if you can direct target by name instead of blanket mail (unnadressed ad mail).

  • Divorce lawyers

It is really sad, but it is fact. Divorce lawyers can be an amazing source of business for a real estate agent. I work with a couple of divorce lawyers in my mortgage business and we are able to pass some leads back and fourth. When there is a divorce or separation the divorcees will usually either sell the home and buy 2 more, or they will refinance the matrimonial home through a spousal buyout and then the person leaving will purchase a home.

Lets do some quick math on this….If they sell and both buy you are getting 3 transactions approx $20, 000 in commissions. If they do a spousal buyout you get one transaction approx $7000. Either one makes the relationship of major value. If you refer back to the divorce lawyers, they will be more likely to refer to you!

  • Real estate lawyers

Most agents will never receive a thing from a real estate lawyer. I speak to the lawyers I refer to about my expectations before I refer them. I want something in return….if they cannot provide leads I ask for a discount for my clients and a high level of customer service!

When a realtor refers me they all receive a gift certificate for every deal closed, they will also receive the benefit of every lead that ever comes from the client being referred back to them.

  • A mortgage broker with lots of clients (me lol)

Which brings me to my next point. A top mortgage can be the ultimate source of referral business. I market heavily to a very long database which brings in a lot of leads.

When you refer a client to me they are assigned to you along with any leads that come from them forever! So essentially dealing with me helps build your business over time. I will put your name on the birthday cards that go out giving you a free touch on your client every year! I know and understand how busy you are.

Further to this, I get deals done that other brokers can’t! Your closing ratio will go up significantly by having me as a referral partner! y team consists of 3 people that are all focussed on one thing, getting more deals approved and high levels of customer service. Because of this the client experience is way better and the clients tell their friends and family about this.

Having a top mortgage broker on your side is essential to real estate. The top brokers have access to lenders that a midrange broker may not. They will also understand the products better. Every bank has different products and one clients situation may not fit every banks rules.

My team studies this. We get loads of deals done that have been declined with other brokers by exhausting every effort. I hate losing deal and money lol.

  • Financial advisors

Financial advisors delve deep into the clients personal finances. They are often the first place savvy investors go before they buy a home. I have found that they can be good referral sources as long as you stay in touch with them often.

  • Builder direct

Building relationships with builders can be highly lucrative. Although they generally don’t pay full standard commissions you can benefit from the volume. Many realtors are afraid to approach builder or are unprepared for the questions they ask. Before calling a builder you should have a plan. Understand they have been approached before and that you will need to have a greater feature and benefit than the last realtor in order to build the relationship.

For example, I approach you to be a referal partner and know that my feature is that I am the most aggressive broker in Canada. My benefit to you is that I get more deals approved and can refer more business to you in comparison to any other mortgage broker in the country.

Insurers are the companies that insure the bank that a mortgage will be paid. This is for all of the people putting less than 20% down. Now pay attention here because this is an area where there is major money. If you can get a foot in the door wit an insurer to sell their foreclosures, you will set yourself up for success. Every year there are thousands of foreclosures happening. The insurers designate specific agents of their choosing to sell these foreclosures. They do not pay full commission, however you will receive a lot of volume. You may be thinking that you may not qualify to be one of these agents for the insurer because you are not a huge seller. This is not true. The fact is very few agents contact the insurers and many top agents do not have time to be accountable to the insurer.

  • The Courts (foreclosures)

Many realtors have discovered that the courts and court lawyers are in charge of getting rid of foreclosure properties. If you can get your name on the list, you will get some ongoing business out of this. 

Bankruptcy and foreclosure in Alberta
Bankruptcy and foreclosure in Alberta
  • Bankruptcy companies

Bankruptcy companies are a goldmine for realtors. They can help you get access to the clients before they go into foreclosure. By creating this type of relationship, not only can you receive a lot of business you will also be able to save the sellers huge money in fees and legal expenses.

  • Business card with your sales stats and a close

The purpose of a business card has changed so much over the years. One strategy you can use is to put your sales stats right on the card to differentiate yourself from the competition. You will be leaving the cards when you go into showings and you may pick up some listings this way. In most markets you are not allowed to directly poach a seller, this is a way of starting a dialogue without breaking the rules.

  • Neighbourhood farmer markets and events

The more exposure you have, the better. If you are mining an area, you should be attending all of the areas events. I know of one agent that markets in a suburb of Edmonton. He is everywhere people are in his area. And because of this he is making easily over a million in commissions per year!

  • Cultural Events

Our team is super focused on working with good realtors. We want to help you to succeed and reach new levels of sales so that our businesses can grow together. Over time the relationships and the seeds we build today are going to pay us in the future. That is what business is about! We all need to stop treating our businesses as single transactions and focus on the long term strategies that will pay us on our days off. I personally know realtors that are not even living in Canada right now and are still making multiple 6 figures in Edmonton. This is only due to the type of marketing they do and growing their client base. I hope you have found this helpful. Let me know if we can be of assistance to you or your clients with any mortgage related questions.

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