With the Federal Reserve continuing incremental rate increases as the economy grows, mortgage lending rates will follow suit, further reducing the number of homeowners looking to refinance. It is more important than ever for mortgage professionals to forge strong relationships with increase their purchase loan business.
Home purchases have been up, and with a limited supply of inventory in most major markets, developing your realtor relationships is key to maintaining and even increasing your loan originations.
Here are some simple traits that you can hone to help you engage and build up your realtor referral sources.
The real estate business is built on relationships, and as they say, honesty is the best policy. Realtors understand that not every buyer is the same and that originators may not be able to close certain types of loans. Being upfront and honest with your real estate partners is one of the best ways to forge a trusting relationship. If there are issues preventing a buyer from obtaining a loan or you are unsure if you can close the loan, be honest with the agent and explain right away alternatives and likely outcomes.
Stay on top of your referral partner’s deals. Be proactive in reporting the status of their loans and keep them informed of developments and timelines. Remember, realtors are out seeking new business as well, and by keeping them in the loop on pending deals, you are taking a little bit of stress off of their plate. Don’t wait for them to call you, as milestones occur, inform the agent and make sure they know what to expect as the loan file progresses.
Not every loan will be a breeze to close, and realtors understand this as well as anyone. If a problem arises with a file, be accountable and stand up to find a solution. Let your referral partner know that you are on top of the situation and are working on their behalf to solve the problem and provide a solution.
The market has changed over the years, and originators need to evolve as well. Offering real estate professionals real solutions to their needs will go further than a free lunch and handful of business cards. Help teach them what you add to the equation without the hype or overselling.
The mortgage and real estate market relies more on technology now than it ever has. Use the power of social media and the internet to research your market and make connections with local agents. Explore the agent’s territory before making contact so, when you do meet, you can demonstrate confidence in understanding their needs and concerns. If you can offer the types of products that suit the majority of homebuyers in their area, a real estate agent will undoubtedly see the benefit you provide.
You do not have to prepare a speech to show your readiness to provide what your realtor needs. Demonstrating your understanding of their business needs and standing ready and willing to help them grow their business will impress them much more than a speech. Set up a meeting and come prepared to share your thoughts and ideas on how your collaboration will bring real value to their real estate business.
Once you have engaged with a realtor, don’t neglect them. It is unlikely you will get a deal on your first visit, but don’t be discouraged. Stay in contact and be interested in how their business is progressing. Remember, their business is your prospective business. Staying in touch today will increase the likelihood of you receiving referrals tomorrow.
The real estate market was built on partnerships. Realtors need buyers, buyers need loan agents, and loan agents need borrowers. Therefore, building relationships with real estate agents is paramount to obtaining more borrowers and growing your business. However, the benefit must swing both ways. Honing these traits will help you branch out, engage with new real estate partners, and build a more extensive and productive referral network.