In the last post and YouTube video about how to operate a credit repair business, I discussed the first phase of marketing. It’s where everyone should start and that is their warm market. You can read that post and watch the video at How to Run a Successful Credit Repair Business.
In this post, we’re going to go into the 2nd marketing phase of how to operate a credit repair business. This phase is critically important as well because it will potentially bring you the most and best leads for credit repair customers. There are several industries that rely on customers to have a minimum credit score in order to qualify for financing. Because many consumers don’t have this minimum credit score it creates a win-win-win that you should take advantage of.
Who Has a Problem That You Can Solve?
In 2012 when I started my credit repair business in San Diego, I was determined to learn how to operate a credit repair business quickly. I did a lot of research. One bit of info I wanted to find out was how many real estate agents there were in the county. I Googled it and found that there were 18,000 licensed real estate agents in San Diego County. 18,000!! So, I developed a plan of action to expose what I do to a lot of them in hopes that some of them would start referring people to me.
First, I had to determine if indeed they had a problem with prospects that couldn’t qualify for a mortgage loan. I quickly found out that almost every single one of them did. For some, it happened occasionally. For others, it happened many times a week. But I can’t recall more than a few that told me they never had an issue with prospective buyers that didn’t qualify. This became the proverbial, “shooting of fish in a barrel”.
You Must Go Where They Are
It’s fairly easy to have conversations with real estate agents once you put yourself in a position to have the conversation. You need to get in the habit of asking people that you know if they know someone in the real estate business. Tell them why you’re asking and that you can help their friend or acquaintance close more business because you help their prospects get a higher credit score. By the way, you just informed your friend of what you do in the event their credit score is hurting. That’s a potential bonus!
You also need to go where real estate agents and brokers are. I started to attend networking meetings. This is a topic I will cover in the next post in detail. In just about every business networking meeting group there is a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, and a banker. All of which fit into the category of needing what I/you do.
Here are 3 organizations that I highly recommend. Don't be intimidated because they are based on ethnicity. I am a white guy and can't speak any language other than English. And, I felt very comfortable in all 3. In fact, my wife and I were invited and attended their Christmas parties.
Visit their websites and see if they have a chapter in your community.
You'll be the Most Popular Person in the Room
I also went to the board of realtor’s meetings that would allow outsiders to visit. Many such organizations have a program for affiliates. Those that provide services that realtors need such as home inspection, mortgage loans, home staging, and yes, credit repair companies. That great thing about networking meetings and other type meetings where real agent agents go is that I almost never encountered another credit repair representative or company. I was the only one. And as I like to say, I was the most popular person in the room. Why? Because every single one of them had a problem only I could solve.
Here is a side note about attending meetings and meeting people that could be interested in what you do. And, I’ll cover this in detail in the next post about business networking. You’ve got to know your stuff, yes. But I found it best to simply determine if they had a problem with folks that don’t qualify, get their card, and call them at another time. I wasn’t there to get their referrals. I was there to meet them, get their info so I could contact them later, and spend this time meeting more people. That way I didn’t appear too anxious or "salesy". And, I could simply concentrate on getting to know them, which is key to getting people to like you.
Keep the Conversation About Them
When meeting people in real estate or any “credit-related” field here are some good tips. Keep the conversation about them and their business. Ask good questions about the market, interest rates, and more. You don’t have to be a real estate expert, but you should have the ability to hang in a conversation with someone in real estate. Then when you have developed a bit of rapport you want to get to the question that has made me a lot of money. Come to know this question like the back of your hand and use it often.
The All-Important Money Making Question
“Let me ask you (Agent's first name). Does it happen that someone wants to buy a home, but you find out they don’t qualify due to their credit score? Does that ever happen”? You can ask this question in any way that's comfortable for you. But your whole reason for meeting this real estate pro is to ask it.
Based on what I’ve already told you, you already know the answer to this question. The answer is “yes”. It happens once in a while. It happens every day. Or somewhere in between. But it happens. They just told you they are losing money. They are losing time, energy, and investment into their marketing efforts, which is money. And they have no solution usually.
What Makes You Different?
Referring people to a credit repair company may have crossed their mind but they haven’t run into one. Or, maybe they referred people to a credit repair company, but that company didn’t do a good job or keep them informed. This is where you must be on your game. What differentiates your company or you from anyone else in the industry? I wouldn’t get into it right at this meeting where you just met the real estate agent. Again, I would get their info and set up a time to call them, meet them for coffee, or meet them at their office (which is the best opportunity). But at some point, you need to impress them. What do you do that no one else does?
Our company has several of what I call “differentiators”. What makes us different? What makes us better than any other company? You should be able to verbalize your differentiators quickly and with confidence. And, they should be very impressive. Part of discovering how to operate a credit repair business is realizing that you don’t want to be a “me too” in the credit repair industry.
Teach People How to Give You a Referral
Let’s say you do your job and impress the real estate agent. And, they tell you they’ll refer people to you. Success, right? Not quite yet. You have more work to do. You must school them on how to give you a referral. And, you should explore other opportunities they can bring you. Let me explain both.
Typically, a real estate agent will ask you for business cards or brochures to give to their credit-challenged customers. In their mind, this is how they give you a referral. That is not a referral. That is a suggestion. A referral is when the real estate agent edifies you by telling their prospect about you and how she/he teams up with you in these situations to help people like them. Then they ask their credit-challenged prospect if it would be ok to give you their information so you could call them. That’s a referral.
Leverage Your New Referral Source
But you’re still not done. Now that your relationship is solidified and you’ll be helping her/his prospects with sub-620 credit scores, it’s time to explore other possibilities. For example, do they work in an office that has other real estate agents in the same boat? Who would she/he suggest you talk to? Does her/his office allow vendors to come in and talk to the agents about what they do? Yes, well who should you speak to about getting on the calendar? Does she/he have a mortgage broker or two they work with? They always do. So, would it be ok with them if you reached out to their colleagues in the mortgage business? You could take this one contact and leverage it into many. Then continue leveraging with your new contacts until you have a steady stream of referral business coming to you. And here’s the best part. It’s all free except perhaps the cup of coffee you bought them.
In learning how to operate a credit repair business, networking with people in credit-related industries is a must. It typically brings you motivated client prospects that are emotionally invested in buying that something that they were just turned down for and couldn’t buy. And, they will typically have no problem paying your fee.
The Solar and Auto Industry
I already talked about real estate, mortgage, and banking. But another industry is solar. The credit score needed to finance a solar installation is higher than the credit score needed to buy the home. Many people don’t qualify and it’s a huge amount of lost revenue for the solar company. My suggestion is that you seek out people in this industry. You won’t typically find them at a network meeting, however. So, you’ll have to ask people if they know someone in solar sales or management.
Many would say that the automobile industry is also a place to seek referrals. I disagree because people in the auto business are very often hard to talk to and very impatient to see results. They live from month to month. How many “units” can they sell this month. They don’t really care about the sales they can make in 4 months. But if you want to give it a try, go for it. I believe that with the number of people in the real estate and mortgage business out there, and the commission they make on a home sale, that’s the best place to focus your efforts.
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