Brokers flock to old-school lead generator

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Open houses are no longer just for rookies, with a growing number of seasoned brokers reincorporating them as a way of grabbing some of the highest conversion rates in the business.

“Five out of every 10 people I meet through an open house will ultimately get a mortgage through me,” said Deepak Bansal, a Mississauga-based agent with Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Village. “We’re only talking about an hour or so, but it works, and the thing is that you may not necessarily convert the lead for that particular property, but by staying in touch, you’re getting them when they do find that property.”

That strategy hasn’t been lost on the growing number of mortgage professionals now reintroducing the old-fashioned open house to their marketing and sales strategies. It’s also perceived as a way of bettering the kind of 10 - 30 per cent conversion rates they routinely get through their online efforts.

The open houses also allow for the kind of warm leads more focused on relationships than rates.

Mortgage professionals are also using them as a way of taking back control of the broker-Realtor referral partnership by creating leads they can then share with the real estate professionals who host those open houses.

“The approach is important,” Bansal told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Brokers have to sell it to Realtors as a way of helping them generate business from prospective homebuyers that have no real connection to them outside of the open house.

“Most will likely buy another house and by you, the broker, staying in touch with them, you can refer them back to the Realtor hosting the open house as someone to act as their buying agent.”

It’s similar to the sale patter Bansal and other brokers offer Realtors who may be reluctant to have a mortgage professional onsite, arguing it only benefits those brokers.

“Realtors aren’t open to talking with a broker if you just walk into an open house,” he said. “It has to be presented as an opportunity for Realtors.”
 

  • GTA Broker on 2012-03-27 4:34:43 AM

    I would question the intelligence of ANY realtor that would allow
    a mortgage agent/broker( or bank rep, home inspector, etc.)or any person who
    is trying to sell a service or product and is not a true potential client/ buyer.
    If the realtor read the listing agreement with the seller, the realtor would see that they are given permission by the seller to admit ONLY potential clients. Furthermore
    Realtor's E&O & the seller's homeowner insurance may not cover theft/physical damage or liabilies caused to or by a mortgage agent or broker.
    Realtor's beware!

  • Deepak Bansal on 2012-03-27 7:50:10 AM

    Dear GTA Broker, valid points you raise, thanks for your feedback. When working at open houses with realtors, the realtor and mortgage professional should likely already have developed a trusting relationship between them. Furthermore, I agree with you that it is indeed the realtor's responsibility to obtain permission from the seller to allow the mortgage professional to attend the open house with them. However, in my opinion, it is important for the homeowner to understand the reason the mortgage professional is there as well, not only for their own and the realtor's benefit (full transparency), but primarily to help pre-qualify potential clients that walk through the front door, which can ultimately help the home sell quicker. Those are my two cents. Feel free to call me if you have anything to add: 416-347-9292.

  • Rob Campbell, Verico The Mortgage Wellness Group on 2012-03-27 6:31:42 PM

    Dearest GTA Realtor,
    Thank you for taking the time to add such wonderful insight. Unfortunately, your comment is implying that all mortgage professionals are thieves.
    However, as Deepak pointed out, the Mortgage Broker is there to weed through the tire kickers and nosy neighbours and get buyers prequalified. ANY Realtor should be able to see the value in that, I'm sure.
    Especially during a busy Open House when the Realtor can't manage to speak with everyone coming through, The Mortgage Broker can help engage with those people, and at the very least get their name and contact info for that Realtor to follow up.
    What happens when a dodgy Realtor visits the home without clients, is there potential there for theft? Silly me, of course not! What was I thinking.
    Focusing only on something like theft or damages without exploring the possibility of exponential value is stupid.
    Deepak, great article. All the best.

  • Mike on 2012-03-28 1:53:00 AM

    GTA - Errors and Omissions will not protect theft either. A smart Realtor and home owner will see the benefit of having a trusted mortgage professional in attendance. This is no different than the realtor bringing an unlicensed assistant along. As long as the Mortgage agent is not giving Real Estate advice all is good. If you as a mortgage agent cannot see the value then maybe you should revisit your marketing. To a Realtor, if you keep in touch with the client you can help steer that client back to that Realtor. Like the mortgage agent says in this article, where else are you going to meet as many potential mortgage clients all in one place in a matter of 2 hours?!?!

    I promote this practice to our clients who are using the working business card, go to the open houses and send the clients out with your app on their phone!

  • GTA Broker on 2012-03-28 7:44:50 AM

    Rob & Mike thank you for bending my words to serve your purposes. I was not implying that mortgage brokers are thieves.
    I was stating the following facts. Realtors are legally referred to as "occupiers" of a house when they are running an open house. They don’t own it but are responsible for it. They have signed a listing agreement with the property owner to allow ONLY "potential clients" into a home.
    Mike, Realtor's E&O insurance, through RECO, does have a theft & damage rider on it, and I would be very surprised if it paid off if any “non-potential client" was at the open house & caused damages or there was a theft. Furthermore the Realtor could be putting themselves the homeowner & the homeowner’s own insurance at risk by inviting you in. Your presence is not worth the risk to a knowledgeable Realtor.
    It may be a golden opportunity for a mortgage agent/broker, bank rep, home inspector, etc., but not necessarily a golden opportunity for the Realtor. A smart Realtor will have the "potential clients" focus on the property for sale, not have them have sidebar conversations with bank reps or mortgage agents/brokers.
    I recognize the value of financing. I recognize the need for pre-approval. I am not blind to your marketing strategy. However you don’t seem to have any comprehension as to the multiple risks your presence can cause. We have had realtors assaulted at open houses. A man & wife team are accused & facing charges of stealing in excess of $500K in goods over two years from open houses. Realtors need you hanging about an open house like a hole in the head.
    As to you being of assistance at a “busy open house”, if the Realtor is running a proper open house as is recommended, there are a very limited number of people in the property at any given time and the Realtor is attending to them.
    As to your comments about “unlicensed assistants”, read the RECO Registrar’s Bulletin. They aren’t supposed to be at an open house any more than you are. http://www.reco.on.ca/UserFiles/Registrars%20Bulletins/Registered_unregistered%20assistants%20trading%20in%20real%20estate.pdf
    If your time is so invaluable that you can waste it hanging around open houses, I would suggest you need a real marketing plan to get people to come to you.

  • George on 2012-03-28 8:18:26 AM

    Hey Gta broker, given the length of your posts it seems that you yourself need help in marketing as it looks like you have way too much time on your hands. You are so negative it is no wonder you are a failure in this biz. Change your attitude and maybe you might get some deals to work on.

  • Welbanks on 2012-03-28 2:32:53 PM

    Great article Deepak and nice reply Rob. I love when others that comment hide behind a false pen name - "GTA Broker". Why not use your true name and share your fountain of knowledge that we can all praise you properly when we see you? Not to take away from your point, but you could have certainly put a more positive spin on it than the know-it-all tone that you took.
    Realtors should be careful of many things at an open house. And something tells me there is more trouble out there besides the mortgage broker trying to help them.

  • Deepak Bansal on 2013-10-18 11:46:45 AM

    @MortgageBrokerNews If you are ever looking for a broker to comment of industry topics and provide regular guest posts, I would be pleased to comment.

  • Dave B. on 2013-10-19 5:03:06 AM

    GTA Broker - it seems clear what you're saying. Realtors can't allow non-potential clients into an open house. Period, end of story.

    All that means is that we mortgage brokers must find another way to get this business rather than putting the realtor at risk.

    Wouldn't it be nice, having this knowledge, to tell the Realtor we know we can't be there and don't want to interfere, but we're available, on standby, for any client wanting to talk on the day of the open house?

    Let's let the Realtor do the work of selling the house, and we'll be there to close the financing.

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