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Are you being seen?

By
Mortgage and Lending with Zenith Mortgage Advisors NMLS# 5016

John Keil wrote a blog (Right place right time) about being in a realtors office, and getting a couple of loans out of it.  That got me to thinking.  Initially, my new business was built exactly that way.  I visited realtors offices, trying to build and develop relationships with them to get some leads.  While tedious at times, it worked.  I built a business that has grown into a very solid income stream from realtors and past clients.  Over the course of 9 years however, I have gotten lax with that aspect of my lead generation.

When I realize that, I get my butt back on the street and go see my realtors and past clients.  Invariably, I get business out of it every time.  It's not only about meeting new realtors, but rather about reminding my realtor friends and referral partners that I'm still alive and in business.  I say that only partially tongue in cheek.

No one stays up at night wondering how to send you business.  If you aren't there, consistently asking for it, you're not likely to get it.  I've seen it with great friends, family, etc.  Out of sight, out of mind exists even in the strongest of relationships.  Go see your people!

I live this on the other side as well. As the owner of my office, all the wholesalers and AE's want to get my business.  If they try to schedule meetings, I blow them off or stall.  I'm a pretty busy guy.  However, if they are consistently stopping in to see if they can help with any loans, they almost always leave with a deal.  I may just not think of them for that particular scenario, or loan.

An AE came by last week.  In passing he mentioned his strong ALT-A program.  He was right, and will get 4-5 more loans from me every month now.  I didn't know they did any ALT-A business, let alone having a great program spread.  Was it his fault or mine?  If he didn't tell me...it was his, and it cost him!  What are you missing out on?

Go see your people.  Lenders, go see realtors and closing attoneys. Realtors, go see your lenders!  They have business to give...are you asking?  Everone should go see their past clients once in a while.  Face to face...it's the best way to sell!

Marc Brinitzer
Big Valley Mortgage - Sacramento, CA

No one stays up at night wondering how to send you business.

So true Bob!  You make a great point too about seeing this issue from both sides.  As lenders, we forget about our vendors as easily as our agents forget about us.  it  really is as easy as just getting out and being seen, especially right now when less seasoned lenders are disappearing every day.  You gotta let people know you're still available and interested in their business.

I think with the spotlight on predatory lending, ARM resets, and borrowers losing homes because of bad exploding mortgages, good lenders have an opportunity to differentiate ourselves by being visible and doing quality business.  A lot of the "green" lenders focused entirely on refi business or made token gestures to the Realtor community.  I've been in my market almost 20 years.  That of course helps.

I'm interested in knowing how you are responding to the fact that agents no longer control as much business as they used to. I'll read through your archives to see if you've previously commented on that. 

Feb 25, 2007 08:12 AM
David Petrovich
S.P.O.C.H. a 501c3 Charitable NP - Oakhurst, NJ
I have an appointment to see a broker about some of her more challenging preforeclosure situations. As long as I'm going out... I think I'll stop in and see a few more on my way back to the office.  It can't hurt to drop off a brochure or two.  Good suggestion.
Feb 25, 2007 08:58 AM
Bob Prevelige
Zenith Mortgage Advisors - Hopkinton, MA
CMPS

Marc,

I think you've made a couple of good points that I omitted, especially the one about green LO's going after refi's when those of us who've been around know that those are just the gravy.

As far as you comment about agents not controlling the business like they used to...I agree...kinda.  I wrote another blog, albeit with some aggravation.  Check it out.

Feb 25, 2007 12:31 PM
Jackie Peraza
Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC - Framingham, MA
Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts

Bob - There is a tremendous amount of wisdom in this one little sentence:  No one stays up at night wondering how to send you business. 

I'm wondering if you would consider re-posting this and maybe even offering it to the 'newbies group'.  I am always surprised when folks stay within their own little markets, not realizing there is so much to learn from other successful and experienced business owners; and that much of that wisdom is transferable. 

Jackie

Oct 30, 2007 03:07 AM
Bob Prevelige
Zenith Mortgage Advisors - Hopkinton, MA
CMPS

Jackie,

thanks for the feedback.  To revisit this post after I worte it will help me too!  I'll try to post it in the newbies group as well.  I hope someone can benefit from it.

 Bob

Oct 30, 2007 03:35 AM
Dave Armstrong
VanDyk Mortgage - Grand Rapids, MI
Senior Loan Consultant - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Bob,

Great post and great advice.  It is my firm belief that developing a relationship with an experienced professional Mortgage Broker can provide great benefit to a Real Estate Agent and definitely vice versa.   I have a couple Realtor partnerships that have been beneficial to both parties and am in the process of trying to grow that number. It is my goal and plan to visit Realtor offices and introduce myself and my Company.  Any advice from my fellow active rain members on the best way to approach this?

Dave

Oct 30, 2007 04:04 AM
Frances C. Rokicki
Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC - Bolton, CT
Broker-Mentor,CRS

Bob,  I haven't seen you on in awhile, good to hear you are busy!  Are you doing your popbys when you visit those offices? ;) Are you going to the Orlando TP in January?

 

It's Still a Good Life!

Fran Rokicki, Clubnet~Mentor

Oct 30, 2007 10:07 AM
Bob Prevelige
Zenith Mortgage Advisors - Hopkinton, MA
CMPS

Dave,

The key to a successful relationship with anyone, realtors included, is knowing what YOU bring to the table.

  It's nice to think they will send you all their business because you dress well, or because they like you.  Reality check.  While those things are important, they don't really cut it, especially today when every deal is make or break for many realtors personal finance.

So here is the challenge.  Write down, actually write down what makes you different from every other lender/broker walking in the door.  After you have done that, look at the list and ask yourself, "Is this something that no other lender will say AND something that a professional realtor would want"

"I give great service", "I have lots of programs", "I close loans on time"  BIG DEAL!  Those are the minimum entry points to this business and everyone will say that.

Once you can write out and define what makes you different, you can find realtors who think those qualities are valuable, and have a great partnership.  I wish you all the success in the world.

 

Bob

Oct 31, 2007 01:48 AM
Kris Krajecki
Kris Krajecki - FOX VALLEY MORTGAGE - Huntley, IL - Huntley, IL
Mortgage Broker Huntley, IL

Great pep talk! I think I will stop by some open houses this weekend!

:-)

Oct 31, 2007 02:26 AM
Bob Prevelige
Zenith Mortgage Advisors - Hopkinton, MA
CMPS

Erica,

Thanks for confirming my idea, but I have a thought for your business...partner up with one lender, and be loyal to that professional.  What they can give back to you and your clients should be more than valuable enough not to worry about handing out 3 cards to every buyer,

When I refer business to a realtor, I give one name. An appraiser, one name. An atty, one name.  That way I offer loyalty, and I receive it in return.

There are no RESPA issues with recommending only one person, as long as that person isn't compensating you in any way for the referral.  If you try that, I bet you'll see your business bloom.

Bob

Oct 31, 2007 02:36 AM
Bob Prevelige
Zenith Mortgage Advisors - Hopkinton, MA
CMPS

Hi Fran,

 I probably won't make the TP in Orlando this year.  I am taking the kids to Jamaica for Christmas, so I'll still be recovering.  Talk with you soon.

Oct 31, 2007 02:42 AM
Dave Armstrong
VanDyk Mortgage - Grand Rapids, MI
Senior Loan Consultant - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Bob,

 

Thanks for the tips on preparing for my visits to Realtor offices.  Good advice and on target.  I know I bring a lot to the table and the biggest challenge is getting the opportunity to show that to the agents. 

I totally agree on the advice of partnering up and only referring one lender and being loyal to them.  That is how my partnerships have worked, especially since I was able to show them that I was as or more competitive than the local banks.  We've built great synergy in handling the transaction and my agents are comfortable and happy when I am the lender of choice of their client. They know the transaction will go smooth and that they will look good in their client's eyes for referring me.  For me to be successful that has to happen and I make it happen.

 

Dave

 

Oct 31, 2007 04:10 AM