I continue to be amazed at the sheer number of people who do not even attempt to complete a profile on Active Rain. Or Zillow. Or trulia. Or.......Match.com?????
I mean...really, what is the point of setting up all these social media sites if you are not going to use them? Somewhat like attending a networking event to hand out cards. Never taking the time to connect with people to any degree? How's that working for you?
I spend a fair amount of time answering questions on various rea estate Advice or Q&A forums. I do so for two reasons (neither of which is to act like a "Smarty Pants", btw).
- I have built my career on educating and enlightening people on the mortgage process. I spend time on Advice and Q&A forums because I want people to understand the process enough that they can protect themselves! And, I really do not like to see the " pain" some loan officers and lenders put borrowers through.
- The other reason I spend time on Advice and Q&A forums is much more basic. IT MAKES ME MONEY!
Just the other day I was contacted by a borrower, in another state, who had seen my profile, answers and reviews on one site or another (I really do not know) to ask me questions on FHA 203K program. Why? Because I have written and extolled the value of that product for a long time. But, he didn't want to just know about the 203K, he wanted to know what I thought was his best course of action for his situation. In other words, just by my comments and posts on Advice and Q&A forums, I was already his "TRUSTED ADVISER"....not one iota of concern about rates, costs, etc. The gentlemen wanted knowledge, not the lowest price in town.
I believe in Karma and "what goes around, comes around", so I ALWAYS spend as much time as the potential borrower needs to answer and educate him/her on the best options for their scenario. I do this for every call or contact, whether they are in my licensed state, or not. And, I always ask the caller if they are working with either a real estate agent or a mortgage professional. Hopefully, not the latter, as why would they be calling me????
In this case, the potential client needed to find a new property to move his disabled Mom in with him after the recent death of his Father. Mom wants a separate space of her own, so finding a home with a Mother in Law suite or guest quarters is necessary. Knowing the odds of finding a property that had both a MIL and wheelchair accessible is a long shot, I knew he MAY need to get a renovation loan. He needed a mortgage professional who has experience in 203K or other renovation loans; just in case he does not find that one needle in a haystack.
Immediately, a mortgage professional I have "known" on the Advice and Q&A forums for years came to mind. All I needed to know was could he originate loans in the borrowers area. Immediately, I reached out and, lo and behold, he did! The referral was made immediately. Why? Because I know and trust this mortgage professional. He is my TRUSTED ADVISER in that area of the country.
Next, I needed a real estate agent who is comfortable with construction. Of course, I posted the referral on Active Rain (where else would I?). I got several responses, so I went to each of their profiles to find out WHO they were. Only one response had a completely developed profile...and he was perfect! Former contractor, FHA consultant and experienced as a real estate professional. I emailed and called the agent (the borrower is not my client, but I am vested in wanting to provide the best referral possible). He called me back and he is everything, and more, his profile told me he was (honestly is crucial here....just as it is on Match.com!!!! LOL!). BAM! The referral was made.
I called borrower with referrals and he is totally committed to both a mortgage and real estate professional that he has never met because I, as his TRUSTED ADVISER, could refer him to MY trusted advisers! Two potential commissions, at no cost or time to them, because they have established their credentials on Advice and Q&A and had taken the time to really portray their experience on their profile.
No, I did not make a commission on this...and, many may think I wasted time. But, I think not. First, it gave me the impetus to get back in the RAIN and because I know it will come back to me tenfold.
Now, quick, go update your profile. And, don't forget Match.com!!!