Recently, Jonathan Osman wrote a well pointed piece about how mortgage professionals are missing the boat when it comes to working with Realtors. I agree 100% with what he said, but wanted to bring another perspective to this topic.
Realtors are missing the boat with Lenders as well. Sure, there are 100's of lenders to call on that can write a mortgage loan for your buyers. And we all know that spam effect of the lenders emailing you constantly about sending business their way. But there are a couple things Realtors and real estate professionals should be aware of too.
I work damn hard for the agents I work with. As a matter of fact, I truly do my hardest to work WITH the agents I have relationships with as I know this is a partnership. Yet there are times when Real Estate professionals can show that they really don't get it.
For example, I recently began working with a buyer. When I first began working with that buyer, they had no agent and really no clue. I took time to work with them, get them in the position to get them approved and once they were able to qualify, I asked them if I could refer them to an agent to help them find a home. Of course, they had a friend of a friend's brother that was going to show them a couple homes.
I spoke to the agent and introduced myself. Right off the bat I knew we would have trouble as he didn't care to know anything about the qualifications or what these folks and I had been through. Almost immediately he began pushing them towards the "in house" lender which unsettled the buyers.
I now find myelf in a tough spot... Do I fight to keep the clients and let the buyers get pulled in 30 directions, or do I let them go knowing they will get crappy service (I know who the "in house" guy is and holy cow... enough said.) I am not one to just give up, but I also don't want the most exciting experience in these people's lives to become something they dread. So I gave it a good shot to keep the loan without creating a negative feeling. However, the other agent wasn't so kind and really tried to slam me (remember, he has never worked with me before.) Not too long, the buyers tell me they are torn but feel compelled to work with the agent's loan officer (as if he owns the LO) so that the agent won't drop them on the home of their dreams.
A couple weeks later, the deal falls apart. The "in house" guy doesn't take the time to really get to know the buyer's needs and eventually drops the ball. With such a negative outcome, they have decided to hold off on buying for the next year or so!
Now, if this agent had realized that the buyers were happy and comfortable with me, and taken the time to get to know me, he would have seen that I would have delivered to him happy, satisfied and CLOSED buyers and who knows what would result of that in the future. But because the real estate "professional" decided he knew mortgages better than the professionals, things go screwed up and he lost the deal and I will never work with him again.
So please understand that lenders are not a dime a dozen anymore. Too many lenders have dropped out because they could not do the right thing. Those that are fed the in house leads can cherry pick. But those of us out there working hard that understand the value in relationships will be your best ally in getting things done. Quit comparing lenders by a worthless good faith estimate or by empty promises. Evaluate a lender by their knowledge, their experience and most importantly the way they can make YOUR clients feel!