Change in Business Plans - Take out Fear of Financing (ASAP!)

Reblogger Eleanor Thorne
Mortgage and Lending with Equity Resources NMLS 67179 Licensed in NC

This is one of those NO BRAINER wake up calls we all need.  I just finished Accountability Coaching - and they reminded me that I need 12 to 20 Exposures every day... not to my real estate partners, but to the PUBLIC.  Writing notes, sending personal emails - reminding folks what I do. 

Then I should have 3 presentations to Real Estate Partners A DAY... reminding them what I do, and helping them with their marketing!

Well, if you're a real estate partner that I meet in the next few weeks - this is going to be part of what we discuss!  How to get the FEAR of FINANCING out of our business plan!

Original content by Janet Guilbault NMLS #238304

There is a new disease out there: Fear of Financing (FOF). FOF is a psychological disease that prevents people from buying houses. While we have yet to discover a cure, you as a Realtor can sell more houses if you understand it, and help potential buyers overcome it.

Buyers have already heard that same tired old real estate mantra: "Prices are low.  Rates are historically low. This is a great time to buy". They believe that, too.  So what's holding them back? 

Their secret fear that they won't have the ability to finance the American Dream.

And they probably won't talk to you about this, either. Fears show weakness. Fears are embarrassing.

Sometimes it is easier just not to get in the elevator if you are afraid of elevators.  Enduring those few minutes of fear inside the elevator, and getting to the top floor? Just not worth it.

So they just keep walking, and never get to the 10th floor.

Maybe you are losing buyers because they just keep driving (right past that house they love, overcome with an attack of FOF).

Frankly, Fear of Financing is easy for your buyers to justify. It does take more to qualify than it did before. But FOF has reached a frenzy that is out of control and a bit irrational. It is hurting business.

People approach me all the time with this statement: "I hear you can't get a loan on a house anymore......." The statement sort of trails off because they don't want to finish it by saying this: "unless I intend to brave rejection and the possibility I may not qualify".

The media likes to promote FOF...have you noticed?

Let's face it, the fear of rejection looms large in all of our minds. It is why it is hard to interview for a job. To make your  sales calls. To try out for cheerleader or the lead in the play.

Rejection stings.

So how do we get buyers to that warm and fuzzy place where they believe the RISK is worth the REWARD?

The Antidote for Fear of Financing  

How about selling houses by attaching financing options and quidelines to each listing that you have? Lenn Harley said it best when she commented on Leander McClain's featured post, describing her best marketing strategy for 2008:

Shifting from advertising our services to buyer to offering financing opportunities for prospective buyers has made the difference.

Okay, I will pause here and remind you of something I have written about many times: Financing sells. Look at the car business. When they want to move cars they do this by selling financing, not the car. Does it work? Yes indeedy.

I love looking at flyers Realtors put in those little boxes on your signs. I bet prospective buyers do too. But only one in a hundred I look at has payment options, rates, or a call to action if the client would like to get pre-qualified. Why is that? 

If you don't HAVE a mortgage partner to help you with this, you need one.

I know from personal experience that some people will call the mortgage person on the flyer BEFORE they will call the REALTOR on the flyer. Wouldn't you rather capture that lead by having them call YOUR mortgage partner?

Okay, still on the topic of signage: Why is it that I almost never see one of those little signs that hang below the big signs say something like this: GREAT FINANCING AVAILABLE. Or this: SPECIAL FINANCING. Or this: LOW DOWN PAYMENT. Or if you happen to have a really SMART mortgage partner: BELOW MARKET FINANCING (seller has agreed to "buy down" the rate for future buyer).

Do you really think a sign that says "I'M GORGEOUS INSIDE" will do a better job of hooking a buyer? I don't.

And to those of you who send newsletters: do you have a spot on every newsletter for a mortgage update?

Right now it is extremely important that every POTENTIAL BUYER understand that there is still money to loan, and that you as a real estate professional can provide financing direction and assistance.


  1. Make it easy for every person who responds to your marketing to have a clear idea of what they need to do to GET FINANCING  
  2. Give them the option of calling the mortgage partner BEFORE they call you (this gives you 2 chances of getting a call instead of just one
  3. Show them payment options on your listing flyers. Tell them you have financing for "a broad range of credit situations".
  4. Don't try to become an expert on mortgage rates and guidelines. Become an expert on overcoming what keeps your customers up at night. That's the way a marketing genius thinks.
  5. Encourage the discouraged. Remain upbeat and positive about financing. Give them that glimmer of hope that they are secretly hoping exists.


Written by Janet Guilbault, Mortgage Lending Expert with RPM Mortgage, Based Out of the San Francisco Bay Area 925-552-3867 (Direct)





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Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

I couldn't agree more.  I called up my mortgage partner to see if she could "hook me up" with financing sheets as she's done in the past....still waiting to hear from her.  Perhaps she's working on a loan app right now!  Or maybe I can find another mortgage person around here that needs some business and an exclusive opportunity to work with me on my new listing that's not a short sale. 

Nov 12, 2008 02:06 AM #1
Leander McClain
North East, MD
Cecil & Harford County Realtor

Eleanor -  Thanks for the shout out in your post.  Better yet, thanks for the info you provided on financing.  One of the things that I learned in reading the responses to my featured post and your post above is .....Financing sells.  You are right.  How many times are customers sold on the big brand new shiny (fill in the blank) once they are shown that it can be theirs for only (fill in the blank) payments of (fill in the blank) per month.  Thanks so much.

I have some homework to do...but I am sure it will be worth it.

Have a great day


Nov 12, 2008 12:45 PM #2
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

I just had a lender stop by my open house to drop off financing sheets. It has been a while since they have been out. Looks like they may have to push a bit harder in the future.

Nov 12, 2008 02:43 PM #3
Frances C. Rokicki
Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC - Bolton, CT

Eleanor, I am save this!  We have overlooked the obvious!  There are people who have good credit and funds to buy.  We just need to get past the fear and I think you hit it right on the spot!  I am gong to implement this on my listings, now!

It's a Good Life!



Nov 12, 2008 10:08 PM #4
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas - Leander, TX
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States

Eleanor - Yes, it is easy to let fear bring us to a stand still these days with the constant barrage we've been under. There ARE sales happening out there, and buyers ARE getting financed! 450 sales in my neck of the woods August-October 2008. Glad to see you carving out your market share!

Nov 13, 2008 04:46 PM #5
Terry Miller
Miller Homes Group - Tyler, TX
Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator

Thanks for the great advice. I will check back often. I really like the blog. I am new at blogging but I am beginning to learn quite a bit from reading blogs like the ones I find on Active Rain. If I can ever be of help just visit my blog or my website:   

                                                                 Thanks, Terry

Nov 17, 2008 05:51 AM #6
Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner
Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners - Orlando, FL
Chris Brown 407.367.2974

nice repost... i follow janet as well! =0)  missed you ont the call tonight


chris the implementer

Nov 17, 2008 11:30 AM #7
Lovejoy Team
Re/Max Alliance - Brandon, MS

Very timely. I'm meeting my mortgage broker for lunch. I'll discuss this with him today.

Nov 18, 2008 03:03 AM #8
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Eleanor, I think fear has some play in the recent market but inertia seems to be the predominant factor we are seeing.  I think buyers are frozen in place waiting for something to happen to get them moving.  Rather like a voyeur at a traffic accident, they are gawking at the economic mess the media is peddling and not paying attention to the local market. Big mistake.

If you figure out how to get them movin', give me a shout!

Nov 18, 2008 10:14 AM #9
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

I like your business plan, and your change of focus is what you need to do in the changing market to survive.

Nov 18, 2008 04:11 PM #10
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Eleanor Thorne

Equity Resources 919-649-5058
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