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E-Trade launches real estate broker program

Member program to reward referrals

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Robert Bernabe is familiar with the apprehension real estate agents often have when a home buyer wants to obtain a mortgage through E-Trade. "Often the Realtor is wary of an online lender. Either they've heard horror stories or it's outside their range of comfort. We understand that," said Bernabe, head of retail mortgage lending and VP of E-Trade Financial. As E-Trade closes more mortgages word of mouth about positive experiences spreads among real estate agents, Bernabe believes. The company wants to capture those experiences and translate them into more business through its newly launched Realty Members Program, which encourages brokers to recommend E-Trade to home buyers and sellers. The majority of E-Trade's mortgage customers now come directly to the company, not through a real estate agent. With the new program, launched at the end of 2003, that could change. Real estate salespeople who sign up for the free program get tools and content to display on their own We...