Are you a mortgage broker or lender looking to find better ways to build relationships with agents? As the refinancing boom dies down, you may be feeling eager for real estate agents to send business your way — and there really is no time like the present to start reaching out.
Read on to learn how mortgage brokers and lenders can build their business by fostering better relationships with real estate agents.
What makes a good lender partner?
There are several key factors to developing and maintaining strong connections with real estate agents. The best lender partners should possess the following skills:
When time is of the essence, good communication becomes crucial. Whether it be good news or bad, it is vitally important that lenders are comfortable touching base with their agent partner. Good communicators will be able to overcome any obstacles that arise throughout the transaction.
The best partnerships are those based on shared values and work ethic. Be open and honest with real estate partners to uncover if your principles align.
New agents will typically use multiple different mortgage brokers and lenders in the area until they find one who is compatible with how they operate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to new agents, and let them know that you are available to help with their next deal.
A good lender will set clear expectations about the products and programs they can offer and what the forecasted timeline looks like. Setting goals will help hold the lender, the agent and the client accountable on the journey to closing.
Why is it important to build a relationship with an agent?
Real estate agents and their lender partners collaborate to reach a common goal: achieve the best possible outcome for the client. Lenders and agents working together with a team-oriented mentality can better tackle challenges and ensure that the client’s needs are met.
Get more referrals
Real estate agents target prospective property owners, buyers and sellers. To provide the best possible service for those looking to buy or sell property, agents rely heavily on mortgage brokers and lenders to handle all of the financial aspects. Building a relationship with a popular real estate agent will keep the referrals coming your way.
Benefits the client
When a lender and an agent have a strong partnership, it streamlines the entire process. A notably good-natured relationship will ease the stress of the buyer or seller from the initial paperwork all the way through closing day.
What do real estate agents expect?
Every real estate agent will have a host of different expectations about what their lenders should provide. Most agents expect lenders to deliver the following:
Wide product selection
Because real estate agents work with many different types of clients, they look for lenders and brokers that offer an assortment of products and programs. It is standard for lenders to offer conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loans.
However, many agents want to work with lenders that offer specialized options for their clients that don’t meet the typical requirements, such as HELOC, jumbo or 203K loans.
Agents want to refer their clients to a lending partner that offers favorable terms and rates. A local mortgage broker may have access to more lenders; they may also offer a more diverse portfolio of mortgage products, more competitive rates and lower closing costs.
Real estate agents expect that they can trust mortgage lenders and brokers to offer top-notch service to their wide array of clients. Homebuyers often have little to no experience with financing a home and will require a significant amount of guidance. Agents will especially want to see that lending partners have a documented history of closing on time.
If an agent consistently uses you as a referral for their prospective buyers and sellers, they may expect some promotion in return. Consider paying for a close partner’s next Zillow advertisement to include your name or logo underneath theirs. One free way to support your agent partner is to promote their efforts on your social media channels.
Mortgage information varies from state to state, which is why it is important for agents to have a reliable broker that can help their clients get the best financial offerings for their unique situation.
Do’s and don’ts of building relationships with agents
- Do: Focus on building personal relationships with real estate agent partners outside of work.
- Don’t: Cold call agents and start spitting out all of the different products and rates that you can offer.
- Do: Follow up with agents for future transactions.
- Don’t: Be too pushy or bother real estate agents repeatedly.
- Do: Be patient! It takes time to build a strong team.
We can’t stress enough how critical it is for lenders, brokers and real estate agents to work together throughout the home buying process. Keep this in mind as you start to build these business relationships and remember to stay true to your values — the rest will fall into place from there.
Roger Odoardi is a co-founder, partner and licensed mortgage broker at Blue Water Mortgage Corporation, an independent mortgage broker offering New Hampshire Mortgages as well as mortgages in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Florida and North Carolina.