MortgageReal Estate

How to connect authentically with your community

In today’s market, relationships matter more than ever. Strong partnerships with real estate professionals is a start, but mortgage professionals should also invest time and energy in connecting with their community at large. After all, the wider your sphere of influence, the more opportunities you have for business. 

But how do you embed yourself in your local community and start building authentic relationships? 

Ted Bogert, market leader with Future Home Loans, has found a unique way of connecting to his community in Orlando, Florida, and the surrounding area. 

Bogert is the creator and host of “The Ted Show,” a locally popular show that streams on Facebook Live. He invites guests with “amazing stories” to share their experiences, as well as discuss business, arts, community, relationships and more. 

“I wanted to showcase…  the amazing things that are going on in our community that you wouldn’t see normally,” Bogert said. “It allows me to connect those people to the community that follows The Ted Show. It just continues to snowball, and it’s a passion project that gives back so much.” 

Through his past experiences with nonprofit work, his current position and the show itself, Bogert has a network of connections to a variety of interesting people in different fields. Bogert is happy to flex that network to be a resource for people looking for just about anything, anywhere — even if it’s not related to his mortgage business. 

“I want [people] to come to me,” he said. “I want them to think of me, to stay top of mind and know that if they need to find something in Orlando or Florida or really anywhere in the world, I have connections, because the show is global. Strictly from a business perspective, staying top of mind is a beautiful thing, even if it has nothing to do with [mortgage]. I want them to still think of me first, which goes a long way in the long-term relationship.” 

Here are his tips and lessons learned building lasting community relationships:

  1. Don’t lead with business. Bogert said he doesn’t lead with business in conversations, even when he’s working with other people in the mortgage and real estate industry. Instead, he’ll ask what he can do for them and encourage them to share things that they care about. He’ll even feature people from organizations they’re passionate about on the show. 
  1. Be relational; not transactional. Bogert’s goal is to build authentic relationships through his work, both on The Ted Show and with Future Home Loans. 

“If you live and work in a community, it’s important to not be business-minded as far as making things transactional,” he said. “By showing people my love for our community, our global community, I’m giving them more of a relationship than a transaction. I’m not just here to ask, ‘What have you done for me lately? Make sure you use me for all of your mortgages.’ I think anyone who takes that transactional approach is doing everybody a disservice.”

  1. Be proactive. Bogert said that the word he’s chosen to set the tone for his year is “Ask.” He said he has all of these connections in Central Florida, but he’s historically been passive about using them to grow his mortgage business.

“I wanted it to grow organically, which it did. And then I realized that by not asking, I was doing everybody a disservice,” he said. “People thought of me, they kept me top of mind — but I didn’t have them thinking of me as a mortgage person, they were thinking of me as a resource.” 

Instead, Bogert has begun to ask for business from the people he’s built relationships with, and that’s opened doors and generated opportunities for business that he wouldn’t have had otherwise. Conversely, he is consistent in referring business to others.

  1. Build trust. 

“I’ve spent so much time investing in relationships, because they’re real relationships to me — I don’t have acquaintances,” he said. “The people [I’ve featured] on the show have become friends. We do business together, and they refer me people. I feel like I finally built up enough trust and rapport, and I’ve earned that opportunity.”

  1. Get authentically involved in the community. Bogert recommends getting authentically involved in your local community as a way to build relationships. 

“In enmeshing yourself, smart small — you don’t have to do all of it and be all things to all people at once,” he said. “I think if you start small, you don’t have to call your whole database and you don’t have to spend the day throwing business cards at people. Really take the time to find out what they need and how you can be a resource for them.”

Bogert advises keeping a mix of real estate and non-real estate related community connections.

“When you get involved in the community, don’t make every single thing you do about real estate. [If you do,] you have no other footprint in the community,” he said. “I think it’s important for people to [avoid having] tunnel vision.”

He noted that even LOs must have something other than the mortgage industry to talk about with people. You should have multiple interests and have real conversations with people about things like family and local goings-on. 

“I don’t like it when I sit down and all we’re talking is business,” he said. “There’s got to be other topics that you talk about, otherwise people drown you out. It’s so important to be multidimensional and not always lead with business.” 

“Authentic relationships are critical, absolutely critical,” he said. “And I don’t know how to do it any other way.” 

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