I was meeting with a prospect the other week, and the prospect said: “If title sales reps stopped bringing bagels and donuts to Realtor offices, bakeries would go out of business!”
We had a chuckle — but the more I thought about it, I agreed. Not with the actual comment, but with the sentiment that we (title reps) created that mindset with our real estate agent and lender partners.
In many markets around the country, the title insurance sales rep behaves and is seen as the “order taker/bagel pusher.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have offered a marketing solution, taught an agent a valuable lesson in real estate technology or helped them in their business and they said — “Wow, I didn’t realize title companies offered this help for their clients?” Have you said this?
The title sales rep should be viewed as a great business partner/ally for their clients. How? By putting down the bagels and adding value!
Leading with value is key
When I started in the title business back in 2005 in Phoenix, the market was red hot. Title sales reps were everywhere, and title companies had “too much” business because homes were selling quickly, and mortgage loans were easy to obtain.
At that time, adding high-level marketing services to clients was not a necessity…then the market crashed in 2008, and things changed.
Real estate agents had to learn how to be valuable and market “over-priced homes, short sales and foreclosures.” A far cry from putting a sign in the yard and having it sell in one day (or in hours) for 10 percent to 20 percent over asking price.
Title companies had to add value as well to help their clients, so the dynamic started to change. The bad title sales reps were let go, and the good ones stayed. The valuable “problem solver” title sales reps who could provide marketing solutions became a great ally to their clients’ businesses.
Build knowledge and teach agents
Title salespeople today need to position themselves as a resource for most things real estate marketing, real estate technology and title insurance information to their clients. Your title sales rep can be an advanced marketing assistant who is a direct ally to the Realtor’s business, helping them every step of the way.
Realtors need assistance streamlining their business, and experienced agents need assistance taking their business to the next level. Our job as title sales reps is to have just as much or more knowledge than our agent and lender clients as it portrays to marketing, offline and online.
Yes, we sell title insurance — but how do you gain those title orders? By leading with value with your agent and lender partners and helping them grow. You can teach them about topics uch as:
- Business planning: How to run your real estate business like a business
- Using CRMs to manage and market to your database
- Creating an effective social media marketing strategy
- Basic website help: Teach agents to use their real estate websites and about basic SEO
- Video! YouTube Channel set-up and setting up a video marketing strategy
- Assisting in the set-up of homebuyer/seller educational seminars
- Realtor client appreciation events
Not every title insurance company or sales rep offers the same services. In fact, most of the above are not title company tools, but instead are pieces of knowledge that title sales reps can obtain to add value to their clients — and that also separates them from their competition.
Having basic knowledge of the items above will help real estate agents gain exposure for themselves, their brand, gain clients, and will keep them relevant to clients offline and online. The more business the title sales rep’s clients have, the more business for the title company. The relationship is a win/win.
The next time you think about asking a title insurance sales rep why they didn’t bring the donuts and bagels, ask them a much different question. One that can help your business grow and expand!
Wade Vander Molen is a business development officer for a national title company in the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C., area.