Since most of your property buyers will require a mortgage to close a sale, chances are you’re already referring them to one or two reliable lenders. However, if these buyers are left to locate a loan officer themselves, you’re missing out on opportunities to increase sales and grow your business.
Instead, build a win-win relationship with the right mortgage officer. Since both of your livelihoods depend on serving homebuyers, you have a common business goal, so you can focus on improving your problem-solving skills, marketing, and customer service. Here are some strategies for building relationships with loan officers that will pay off in several valuable ways.
To find a loan officer who shares your commitment to customer service, ask other agents, talk to the loan officers at your closings, or chat with buyers who have recently closed a sale, then review their website, Zillow, and Facebook reviews to ensure they deliver a level of service you expect for your clients. When you have a shortlist of potential business partners, it’s time to take them for a “test drive.”
1. Your Initial Contact
Email each loan officer, introducing yourself and asking if they’re interested in working with some of your buyers. Don’t call them. Sending an email with a general request for assistance will result in a different response; the type that demonstrates how the loan officer will respond to everyday queries from shared clients.
After you receive responses, review each one, judging the quality of their answers and how quickly they respond.
2. Second Round of Evaluation
Now you can move on to the next step: ask the loan officer for help with a particular problem.
For example, if your self-employed prospects can’t find financing, or if prospects are asking you about down payment assistance, ask if they can assist. If one or more responds quickly with a smart solution to your problem, you’ll probably want to begin building a business relationship with them.
Foundations For Great Relationships
After you’ve become acquainted with the right loan officer, it’s a good idea to keep the following points in mind and share them.
1. Be Realistic
Always be clear about what you can and can’t accomplish. Set realistic expectations. You may work hard with a difficult seller, but still be unsuccessful – loan officers deal with similar problems. Any loan officer worth doing business with will appreciate your accountability and honesty.
2. Be A Great Communicator
Your shared clients will be eagerly anticipating news about their purchase, from the day you prepare their offer to the day their financing is approved, which is why both of you should answer client queries as quickly as possible.
And when things don’t go in your clients’ favor, neither of you should make the mistake of waiting too long to deliver bad news.
If your loan officer can’t qualify one of your buyers, you need to know this immediately so that you can discuss possible solutions. For example, you may need to find lower-priced properties or the loan officer may help the buyer apply for down payment assistance.
It’s a good idea to check in with each other every week to update each other with the status of your shared clients. Ideally, the loan officer will provide regular updates on each of your active loan transactions via email or a mobile app, too.
3. Use Social Media To Help Each Other
Today, thousands of people use social media to check out homes for sale and shop for home financing. It’s why social media is a great place to nurture relationships while you help each other with sales.
For example, don’t just post your listings online – be sure to mention that you know a loan officer who can pre-qualify buyers quickly. Real estate agents and loan officers who engage on social media can share each other’s posts to provide followers with engaging content, which will ultimately create more opportunities for each other.