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Top 10 Suggestions TO LENDERS to smoothen deals with Realtors! See my other blog for Realtor Suggestions! Even with 12 inches of snow today, appraisers found the igloos to appraise!

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For purposes of clarification:   

              OTP= Offer to Purchase           GFE= Good Faith Estimate      CHATTEL=Personal Property           MLS= Multiple Listing Service       BOA=Board  of Realtors BNI=Business Networking International

Hello everyone!  My blog earlier this week was top 10 suggestions to Realtors, so I thought I would go the other direction and give my fellow originators some suggestions also when working with Realtors!  Sooo...here goes! :)

1.  The minute you get an OTP,notate in the file, in the sky, on your palm, on the wall in your office, or anywhere for pete sake, exactly the day that the LOAN commitment is due! 

Logic:  Realtors cannot stand having to remind you of the due date for loan commitment!  I realize most of us can more than meet that date, so if they get it early....yipppeeee  skipppeee!  This is VERY important, that is why I made it #1.  Though we are in a market where there are not as many buyers as sellers, in MY OPINION that makes meeting this deadline even MORE important!

2.  In addition to the Loan Committment due date, find out from the realtor, (or you may know already), IF they need to have this signed by the borrower!

Logic:  Some Real-estate companies don't care if it is signed or not.  Some do.  If you are going to be working with this particular Realtor on a daily basis, find out, and start a list for your desktop.  That way, you will know from company to company.  I am sure that if you ask the BOA they will tell you it DOES have to be signed!  Who's responsibility that is, is up to each individual relationship I believe.

3.  Return phone calls! 

Logic:  Wow, this should be such an easy one.  Just make sure you layout realistic expectations for return calls!  For example, you might even want to consider adding to your voicemail that you return your calls between 10am-12 noon, and 4-6pm.  That way, if they call and leave a message at 1pm, they know not to call again till after 4pm!  Obviously, TODAY, we are all very busy again, so this becomes vitally important!  Also, there are honestly all kinds of exceptions to this, so it truly depends on how you manage your time.

4.  Choose to only work with 5-9 realtors. 

Logic:  The shotgun approach does not work.  You need to make sure the Realtor knows how much you value their business, and you simply cannot give them the attention they deserve, unless you have a manageable number of them.  This also let's them know that YOUR time is valuable too!  You have to surround yourself with people who want to work, write deals, and close!@ 

5.  Work a trade show, event, or even a homeshow TOGETHER!

Logic:  Showing a unified front is very important today!  Power team marketing coupled with "sharing" of customers, ideas, and marketing ideas, helps BOTH of you!  I will also be blogging a list of ideas on this next week! 

6.  Give the Realtors you are working with DEALS!

Logic:  This is a HUGE ONE!  It is very well known that Realtors make alot more money per deal than we do.  Hence, if you are very clear that they make 3 times as much as you do on a deal, they will understand that you will give them back one deal for every 3 they send you!  Now, the challenge is where do you get this deal?  I could blog on this subject for hours and will next week!  However, it is very well understood that in today's market, getting in front of the borrower before they get to another lender or realtor is one of the biggest challenges we are facing.  I completely understand a Realtors point of view when they say that "where is a deal coming back to me?"  This solidifies the working relationship financially as well as shows them how much they matter!

7.  Send them a "thank you card" at the time of referral, as well as when the deal closes!

Logic:  Regardless of how much money you make on a deal, how grateful you are for that deal, and more importantly HOW BUSY YOU ARE, SEND OUT the card!  You don't have to give out gifts all the time!  While nice, they are not as personal as a nice note of appreciation!  Because I try extra hard to be funny as well as personal, I send out tickets for two to the comedy club here in Madison Wisconsin.  It makes for a nice night out, and it isn't something people do every day!  EVERY TIME I have sent out one of these, I get a call back saying HOW MUCH FUN THEY HAD!  Yes, this is a gift.  But, I bulk purchase them cheap, and they are a $40.00 value!  You could get them paintball tickets, amusement parks..etc...If you KNOW their likes, take notice, and do something out of the ordinary like take them fishing!  We all HOPE good service is enough, but that something extra is always very nice! 

8.  SHARE your "looky lou" lists, email lists, internet leads etc..

Logic:  Couple of Saturdays ago, one of my Realtor pals came in for 3 hours.  We shared ALL KINDS of leads, called customers together, and stuffed envelopes TOGETHER!  This was fantastic!  Lenders, you have to keep track of this stuff on Excel Spreadsheets and burn them to disc!  That way, WHEN or IF the borrower calls, you know it is due to that specific marketing campaign!  Again, if you are working with 5 realtors it is not so bad!  If you are working with 25, it will get lost in the shuffle, and you will end up giving the lead to someone else by mistake!  Imagine if they were in your office by chance, and they see a file on your desk of one of THEIR customers!  This right here is ONE reason why Realtors are reluctant to share their prospects with you!

9.  Contact your Realtors and GET their prospect lists from them!  Even the people that say things like, "I don't want to buy a house till next spring".   They are also known as 'tire kickers', or 'looky lous'!

Logic:  Is it really going to get any better interest rate wise for anyone?? I doubt it!  Sit down one night, and CALL each and every one of these customers!  Get them pre-qualified!  You know, if you create some excitement and sense of urgency, it will really help get their customers off the fence!  In the end, they may turn out to be YOUR customer too!  Pre-qualifed borrowers tend to be very loyal, as you became the driving force within the buying cycle! 

10.  Lastly, and I think this is very important, so it will have three parts! 1) Set up a time to meet with every Realtor either once a week, or twice a month! 2)Stay on top of their goals!  Help them track them!  3)  Interview them!!   Find out from a professional, local marketing perspective what they are hearing, what customers are saying is important, and what they are afraid of!  Be prepared to take notes, then schedule followups only AFTER you have developed a strategy on how to approach them!  An example of something that is a challenge would be Non-warrantable Condo's. 

Logic:  I meet with mine in this fashion, and then once per month also, I have my entire "sphere of influence" get together at Denny's or someplace like that, and share leads, ideas, strategies, and prospects as a group!  This creates a strong, trusted bond, and bringing leads and prospects is encouraged! Unlike a B & I group, there is nothing required!  Sharing occurs when trust has been earned!  People will love you for doing this, but it does take a facilitator, or someone to really take charge! 

All in all, over my 20+ years, I have seen the people that practice some, a large part, or all of these suggestions, become VERY successful.  More importantly though, they stay or REMAIN successful!  Time management is the key!  As Ben Franklin said, "To love life is to love time.  Time is the stuff life is made of"  Manage your time as well as you can!  You WILL get back what you put in, especially regarding Realtors!  They have a very important job, and remain a constant within our every changing mortgage industry!

Too see my top 10 suggestions to Realtors follow or cut & past this link! 


Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

Darin @ One Source Mortgage, LLC

Lodi, Wisconsin


James Wirth
Everett, WA

All great things to consider, thanks for taking the time to put this together! I'm going to print this and see what I can apply to my business. Thanks again! --James Wirth

Dec 19, 2008 10:36 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Darin - Another well done articulation, my friend.  In regards to the committment date, I have a little secret into making sure it is fulfilled on time.  We'll talk soon:)

Dec 20, 2008 09:20 AM
Greg Wilson
1st Cornerstone Realty - Schaumburg, IL

Hello, thanks for the post.  I always try to follow as many of the tips as possible.

Dec 20, 2008 12:36 PM