Real estate agents are the most common first point of contact for homebuyers
Mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers may wish that weren’t the case since buyers should always be pre-approved for necessary financing before looking at homes. But most prospective homebuyers don’t think this way. Their first stop is often with a real estate agent – and the importance of pre-approval first is exactly why it’s critical to educate agents, and in turn, their prospects, about the importance of having their home financing in order up front.
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MAKE A PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH YOUR BORROWERS
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Your time is valuable, and so is the agent’s. Why would anyone want to drive around for hours visiting homes that prospective buyers ultimately can’t afford? Avoid the worst-case scenario of buyers developing expensive tastes for homes they won’t qualify for and having no interest in purchasing anything less. When buyers don’t buy, agents don’t sell, and you don’t close loans.
Pre-approval first sets the range, and establishes proper expectations
Aside from actually closing loans, the best thing a mortgage banker can do for a real estate agent is to perform a thorough analysis of a prospective home buyer’s finances and creditworthiness. Instead of a cursory verbal review, seasoned mortgage pros know that until the figures are verified on the appropriate documents, everything is hearsay and subject to change.
Collecting documentation and credit reports is the only way to assure your prospects – and their agent – that they’re qualified for the homes they’re interested in. It’s even better if this is done before they’ve expressed interest in a particular home or price range. This way buyers might be pleasantly surprised by the price of homes they qualify for.
Building relationships with your agent and your borrower
What exactly does the phrase above mean? While you will hopefully establish relationships with agents and close lots of deals together, your responsibility is first and foremost to your clients. In other words, what you share with an agent should be first discussed with your borrowers to determine what may be discussed with the agent. Some might want the level of personal financial disclosure to be limited to what they are qualified to borrow, or what they can spend to purchase, but without many specific details. Others might want you to convey exactly how well-qualified they are.
There are times, such as in competitive bidding situations, where a borrower’s resources and creditworthiness can make the difference as sellers weigh the pros and cons of one offer over another. Establishing these boundaries with your borrowers and real estate agents can keep things ethical and comfortable for all parties.
Getting and keeping your agents informed
Agents perform a multitude of tasks and have many roles and responsibilities. If you want to be a true resource to your agents, and win their loyalty as a result, you must help them perform as efficiently as possible. Your aim should be to assist in the activities that will help them – and you as their teammate – succeed and close deals.
Updating agents on financial market conditions, program changes and new opportunities to help their prospects is where it starts. Co-branding and co-marketing as a true team is where your relationship should head. Buyers understand that professionals who regularly work together can have a built-in efficiency and rapport that can make the whole process move along with a lot less friction.
Step in where your agent may not excel
Everyone has their primary set of talents, as well as skills that need developing or types of work that are less than enjoyable.
If your agents don’t like marketing or have their own CRM for marketing, you can essentially share yours through co-branding and list sharing. And with today’s award-winning CRM systems such as Surefire from Black Knight, marketing to your agents and their clients can be a “set it and forget it” process that can create clients for life. Marketing to maintain relationships with past clients is not a universally practiced pastime. Yet, past clients, especially happy ones, can be the best source of future business and referrals. Surefire can be an easy way to stay in touch with both prospects and past clients to gain their business now and in the future, and be a source of referral business.
Agent relationships can be your lifeblood in good times and bad
Never discount the value that even just a handful of high-producing agents can bring to your own mortgage business. If you need to start building agent relationships or just adding more and better ones now, give Surefire a look by signing up for a demo today. Surefire makes real estate agent marketing easy and is already filled with a wide variety of award-winning content. Easy, high-value agent marketing can make landing more mortgage business easy, too.
Brian’s entire professional career has centered in real estate. He’s designed, built and brokered homes. He’s provided over half a billion dollars in mortgage loan financing to everyone from first time-buyers to the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies He’s a published author with articles in periodicals,
hedge fund websites and trade publications. Brian has traveled the country and been on broadcast radio to speak in front of hundreds of his industry contemporaries. He’s also created and developed hundreds of educational products from print to digital used throughout the U.S. and beyond, which make the process of buying and financing a home easier for all. Brian is a father, real estate investor, outdoorsman, pilot, skier, golfer and plays ice hockey in several men’s leagues every week of the year.