For Ballard, the integration of the protection plan with the text codes included on Realtor signs has reaped a whirlwind of leads, clients and deals.
“When you integrate those text codes with those of the Realtors, and the client is taken to a website that advertises the price drop protection plan in conjunction with the inflation hedge offer, it will make the phone ring, definitely,” says Ballard. “We were shooting for 90 (Realtor) signs in 90 days, and we are 12 days out from that goal; we’ve easily established that goal.”
Partnering with Realtors has always been a delicate dance, admits Ballard, as like many brokers he was in the position of being on the outside looking in when it came to establishing a relationship with a top-flight Realtor.
“I guess I was like a lot of brokers – many top Realtors wouldn’t give me the time of day,” laughs Ballard. “One top Realtor, Terry Eng, told me he is bombarded daily by (mortgage) brokers looking for deals. I told him about the Buyer Protection Program, and he came on board. It has kept his phone ringing, and mine too.”
Terry Eng is one of only 167 Realtors since 1962 to have earned the prestigious Lifetime Real Estate Medallion – quite a catch for a mortgage broker during a slumping housing market.
“I've been selling successfully in the Vancouver area for over 20 years and the Buyer Protection Plan is one of the most innovative ideas I have come across,” says Eng, “especially in a slower market that we have been experiencing in recent months. It is a great tool to motivate buyers and sellers to come off the fence and act now instead of waiting for things that may or may not happen because of uncertainty about the market direction.”
Williamson understands the difficulty of opening that door between Realtor and mortgage broker – but judging from the results Eng and Ballard are getting, the Buyer Protection Plan is working.
“It is hard to get a foot in the door with a high-end Realtor,” says Williamson. “But with this plan, you create the relationship and it is almost like turning the tables on the Realtor – they are coming to you with the leads.”