I just wanted to share some information that was presented by Karen Deis on her Facebook® page. Karen is an industry professional and a friend of mine that I have always appreciated for her insight and knowledge. Here was her post:
READ THIS if you buy leads…blurb in newsletter from Garrett, McAuley Co.
Do you buy leads? We have a bank client going through an exam, and the examiners are saying that anyone purchasing leads from Zillow is actually paying for referrals, which is a RESPA Section 8 violation. The reason is that Zillow takes information from a customer and then directs the “lead” to one mortgage company, i.e., it’s an endorsement, which means it’s a referral.
So it may be possible that some people may interpret buying leads as a violation of RESPA. While at the moment nobody has been charged with any wrong doing, it is important to be aware of these developments and know that if one person sees something one way, it might be possible for others to agree with those findings. If the CFPB sees something as non-compliant, you can bet things will happen quickly!
The real reason I bring this up is because I have never been a big fan of buying leads. While I know some have been very successful using these types of tools, many of the people I have talked too haven’t met with the type of results they had hoped for. Now I know that many people buy leads and do a terrible job interviewing and following up with those leads; causing them not to see a great result. However, I also think that when you are only acting as a conduit, you really aren’t bringing significant value to the table quickly enough to create the differentiation needed to stand out as more than a commodity. Another reason is, if it were just as simple as calling those leads, then the bigger banks would already own those companies and have rooms full of people making calls trying to convert them. Not a pleasant experience for anyone, and certainly not worth any real money to the bank paying for the leads.
In my vision of the professional loan originator, referrals come from a trusted source that has had experience in working with that professional. Those types of trusted referrals allow for the basic conversation so that the professional and the prospect can listen to each other and ascertain the situation and the value the professional brings to the table. Clearly, when you are recommended by a trusted party to a client, you have a huge advantage in being able to make your case and present yourself. Heck, at least you have a chance in actually talking to the prospect!
Generating these trusted referral partners are the building blocks of a full commission origination professional. When you can establish and maintain these high quality relationships, you not only keep yourself in opportunities, but you are not ever in a position to be outsourced! As you build that group of professionals, you will find other like-minded professionals will begin to call you and seek you out as a trusted referral partner. This is the pinnacle of our business; you start attracting the very people you most want to work with!
Investing the time and energy to build your business like this isn’t easy. It takes a great deal of effort applied over time. There is no magic pill, just do the work! As we have talked about before, you need to:
- Have a clear and professional message.
- Provide significant value to the referral partner and the customer.
- Tell 100% of the truth, 100% of the time.
- Set the proper expectations and have your process over a specific timeline.
- Show up, follow up, and keep repeating the process.
- NEVER get emotionally attached to the outcome!
When you become self-reliant you never run the risk of a price increase, wage decrease, being replaced by a technology, or having what you do devalued.
——- Thanks Karen! If you aren’t following Karen Deis on Facebook®, you should!