JJ Mazzo is a branch manager and senior loan officer with
Summit Funding Inc. He also is a mortgage coach with The
CORE Training Inc., one of the country’s top mortgage and
real estate coaching firms. Mazzo resides in San Juan
Capistrano, California, with his wife and two beautiful
daughters and is a member of the Orange County Association
of Realtors and a new member of Giveback Homes. Reach
him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Begins Outside the Office
Leverage events to build partner relationships and fill your pipeline
By JJ Mazzo
Have you ever wondered why some mort- gage originators seem to grow their business every year despite the ups and owns of the market? Constant growth
requires a mix of strategies.
One often-forgotten strategy is leveraging events
to give potential partners an opportunity to see your
brand and provide you with valuable warm leads.
These events can be seminars, lunch-and-learns,
coaching sessions and even large-scale community
events that attract hundreds of potential business
This strategy is an example of how partnerships can
keep your pipeline consistently full. Mortgage originators are in the business of servicing other businesses,
and events help attract agents and other professionals
who can bring you clients that need your services.
Be sure to utilize your database and all marketing
channels — dialers, mailers and social media — when
promoting these events.
When planning your first events, consider starting
small to gain confidence and build consistency. Organize neighborhood events with a Realtor like a dog-photo day or a shredding event after tax day. Sponsor
ice cream trucks in the summer, pizza parties before
Halloween, food drives at Thanksgiving and toy drives
during December. Participating in these neighborhood
events will bring a smile to your face and help grow
your brand within the communities you service.
When you’re ready, add more events on a regular
schedule. Small seminars or lunch-and-learn events
held at a local restaurant can be marketed to your database of partners and held monthly at the same location
and time. Keep lunch events at 15 to 25 participants to
create a sense of scarcity and utilize a valuable teaching
topic that relates to your partners and helps them grow
You can educate your partners on how to generate
leads, for example, or how to manage their time or set
goals for the next year. Include guest speakers, presentations, handouts and promotional items for participants to take with them. Make these events fun and
exciting, and choose a venue known for quality food
and a relaxing atmosphere. You want to leave a lasting
impression on all attendees.
Be creative and try not to call these events lunch-
Build on success
and-learns. If you have an event at a local Mexican
restaurant, for example, call it “Sizzling Seminars” and
taining. Don’t forget to block enough time to answer
questions and spend one-on-one time with those
attendees who want to connect afterward to discuss
As you get more comfortable planning events, consider adding a regular social mixer at a fun and relaxing
venue. This is your opportunity to get to know your
partners on a more personal level and meet any friends
or colleagues they may bring along, who could be
potential new prospects.
If your mixer only attracts five partners, don’t fret.
This gives you a chance to spend some intimate time
getting to know everyone who attends. It’s not always
about the quantity of attendance but the quality of the
time you get to spend with these professionals.
Again, try having these mixers at the same venue
each month, and schedule each one on the same day
and at the same time. Consistency will be the factor that
will eventually lead to social events that can garner 20
to 30 attendees. You also can consider co-sponsoring
a mixer with an industry ally, which can reduce your
costs and attract professionals you might not otherwise have the chance to meet.
Evening mixers are an excellent way to explain your
programs and team structure to potential partners, or
get feedback on what you’re doing well and where you
need to improve. The more face-to-face time you get
with agents, the more you can leverage those relationships and grow your business with them.
As your brand and name recognition grow in your
market, you may want to organize one or two large
events during the year to attract the entire community of partners in your area. You can host an Oktober-fest party, a casino night, a barbecue competition or
a carnival, for example. Tying in a local charity and
donating sponsor proceeds or having attendees bring
nonperishable food items for a local food bank will
help raise awareness for the event.
One of the best ways to make large events successful is to invite your vendors — and even your competition — to participate as sponsors alongside you. Taking
the lead on organizing these events will show you are
committed to the local real estate community and all
who work in it.
Invite escrow companies, printers, home movers,
financial planners and even other mortgage professionals to help sponsor, but keep these events free for
real estate agents. Think about who brings value to the
partners in your market and explain the value they will
get from participating: The exposure they receive from
the event is sure to increase their business.
If done right, you can ride the exposure from these
events throughout the year by creating a social buzz
with your brand attached. Social media is a great way
to promote these events, and you can help build that
buzz by posting live feeds, video and photos both
during and after the event.
n n n
When you put all of these events together, you will build
brand recognition that will lead to business partnerships with agents. It is important to not just organize
the events, however. You must leverage them afterward. Using leveraged events to grow your business
while partnering with other industry professionals can
provide you with knowledge, skills, assets and relationships you may have never considered. n
For more articles on
View these articles and more at
“Attract Referral Partners With
Strategy and Authenticity,”
“Mine Your Database for Nuggets of Gold,”
“Digging Deep With Financial Advisers,”