September 20th, 2009 7:30 PM by Preston Ware
What makes for a valuable mortgage consultant for a realtor?
One way to ascertain what a realtor looks for in a good mortgage guy is to start with what a mortgage guy looks for in a good realtor. Maybe the fundamentals are the same. Looking back over the years, I probably haven’t courted the realtor relationship as much as I should have. Instead, I took the consumer direct approach knowing that I could always stand on my own two feet if I had to. A benefit of this was that I have always been good at providing referrals to the lucky realtor.
Thinking about a realtor buddy of mine whom I recall as the best ever here are a few attributes that he demonstrated on a consistent basis.
1.) He was extremely honest and focused.
2.) He could talk your ear off. Not babble just a lot to say.
3.) He had amazing instincts. Once I remember he made a comment about a listing that had abnormally low homeowner’s association dues. The listing was for a townhome that supposedly had a master insurance policy as well. Money was tight for the borrower so he drove half way across town and asked three random people in the parking lot of the complex and he was right, the listing was wrong and the new borrower would have been forced to find their own insurance making this place not a great value.
4.) When he gave a referral people believed him. In fact we got to the point that he would not work with any customer unless they were working with me as the finance guy. I have another realtor buddy who loves me to death who would tell his customers that I am so good “ I can part the red sea” That is a little bit of an oversell there.
5.) When we communicated it was efficient communication. We didn’t go around and around in circles and we remembered everything that was said.
6.) It was us against the world. There was no throwing each other under the bus. No matter who you work with, there will be set backs. This didn’t necessarily pertain to a customer or a file, but it did pertain to throwing some money at a marketing idea that didn’t work.
7.) We had other things to talk about. This guy happened to be a genius with the stock market so he would discuss a hot stock every now and then and give me a tip.
8.) He had a sense of humor.
9.) We did some co-marketing together. My favorite routine was call capture. I recall certain instances when the customer would call the hotline and then call his # on the sign and then I would be on the other line following up on the call capture. The customer would say, “Wow you guys rock!
10.) We made a bunch of money together.
Sadly my buddy moved from South Florida to upper state New York because his mother was ill and he wanted to help out his family. #11. He had his priorities straight .
So now I turn around and try to perceive what is it that a realtor needs the most from me, the mortgage guy. Hopefully I fit the criteria.
1.) I always thought the most important thing I do is be correct and have the ability to say yes, no or maybe on day one of looking at a potential customer. It is important to have the ability to look deep into the file and spot or avoid any potential pitfalls that can come back to bite the deal in the rear end at the end of the process. For me the worst possible thing that could ever happen would be to have my favorite realtor burn his/her time and gas and parade my borrower around for a month or two and then have the deal die a week before closing. To me that has got to be reason #1. Fortunately that is yet to happen.
2.) I have learned that there are other motivations for realtors. Nowadays many larger realty companies have become large enough where they own the mortgage company and the realtor get a piece of the mortgage pie. That is understandable but not everybody does that and usually those types of arrangement will lead to over charging the customer. I still enjoy working with the moms and pops out there.
3.) How important is the mortgage guys ability to market. Whether it is holding first time homebuyer seminars or doing some direct mailing together or his ability to refer previous customers, by joining forces we should be doubling our prospects.
4.) For me in today’s internet world I would think it is important to have an active professional web site. Linking up and driving traffic back and forth is easy and makes sense. Someone who can contribute 400 words every now and then helps add content to the web site and keeps the content looking fresh and enhances Google’s opinion of us with higher indexing and rankings.
5.) The ability to give the handoff referral to each other. If a realtor tells me to pre-qualify a guy, I will chase that person for quite a while to may sure the task gets done. It works the other way also. I want to work with someone who gets along with everybody I refer and is on his or her toes. If I refer someone and my future customer doesn’t get the warm fuzzy feeling they are looking for, that reflects on me and the deal may stop.
6.) Creative ideas and marketing ideas are the fun part of our business. Our world is constantly changing and we have to adapt. For a while, my realtor buddies and I had our own hot sauce with our pictures on it. At every lunch and open house customers found out that he had a lot of “hot ideas” or that it was a “hot buyers market”, and that my rates were sizzling, it was fun!
7.) Find a mortgage guy who is doing business now. Not that they were the biggest deal in town in 1990. In my world, you are only good as your last file. I am looking to make customers so happy; they refer to me for the rest of their life! I don’t know what the realtor version of this saying is but I am sure it is out there.
8.) I know something you don’t. On the flip side, this prerequisite pretty much guarantees that every person reading this article is a good candidate to work with me. I would love to hear some ideas.
9.) The ability to give the shameless plug for myself! I read somewhere the other day that 87% of real estate transactions are originating on the internet. I am looking for a few smart people in my service area which includes 17 states that want to try to leverage the power of the internet and other media together. Yes, this could mean you. J
Written by Preston Ware
First South Mortgage