As I get more experience and more recognition in the industry, I get to meet many fine professionals that provide services that can be used by my clients and me. There are just so many of them.
I have developed a system for venders; that has worked fairly well so far. I have a services directory that I give clients. I try to keep no more than three contacts in each category. It is made up of people I have had good success with or have been working with the agents in my office and consistently have provided top service with reasonable rates. From time to time I drop a name and replace it with someone else for one reason or another.
The challenge is saying no 30 times a week to all the loan officers and home inspectors who meet me through out the week. I know many are really good at their trade, but there are only some many loans to go around and those on my list have brought me to the dance.
I often tell the story about when I first started as an agent; I got the names of few venders from my brokers and the instructor from my pre-licensing school. I respected their opinions highly and felt that would be a great starting point.
I called the first loan officer on the list with my first buyer. I guess because I was new he did not seem to have to time to properly return calls and follow up with my client. Off the list he went! I called the next loan officer who was working with a couple of the best agents in my office. A similar experience happened and he cost me a client. NEXT!
A few years later I am doing more than few transactions, and am building my business and reputation. The first loan officer who had no time for me or my clients was hanging in my office with my brokers one day. I heard part of the conversation from the distance about how he was a little slow and he wasn't getting any business from me. My broker tried to help him out by telling me that if I needed anything I should give him a call. I asked how he was with filing. Ok I know that was harsh, but think about it. He did nothing to earn mine or my clients business. He had no time for me when I was starting out and could have used his expertise to get me up and running quicker. Now he wants me drop money in his pocket. I have not even gotten a phone call or visit for 2 years.
Now one of the loan officers on my list has been on it almost from the beginning. He spent time with me one on one and walked me through the process. He was not a new loan officer either. He was a vice president of one of the top mortgage bankers in town. To this day he has giving my clients and I the absolute best service I could ever ask for. Should I send business he earns day in and day out to someone else? Not happening.
I need to make a disclaimer. I do not tell clients to use a certain loan officer. In most cases they do not have one and look to me for guidance. I give them the list of those I have had good experience with and let them know a little bit about my experience with each one, then leave the decision with them. The bottom line is they can choose who ever they want. If they choose from the list I am confident they are in good hands.
I run into similar situations with home inspectors, etc. The pie is only so big. I do not have enough transactions to have 50 home inspectors on my list. I would also have to kill an extra tree printing my services directory.
I would be most interested in hearing from others on how they balance working with venders.