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Changing the discussion with your clients will separate you from the others who are merely doing loans. It will put you into the realm of the trusted adviser.
You likely will get many basic questions from clients. They may ask anything from, "What type of loan is best for me?" to, "How will this purchase affect my taxes?" to even, "Do you know a plumber?"
Most of the questions clients will ask are pretty straightforward. If you don't know the answers to the less-common ones, it's no big deal. If you don't know the answers to the ones you should, however, it could cost you the deal. You must be prepared, and that means you have to become a student of your craft.
Know your stuff
Start by focusing your attention on the following areas:
Loan programs: The first thing you should know is what types of programs your company offers and the lenders that provide them. This may seem elementary, but you would be surprised at how many people don't know this.
To start, read the rate sheets. You will find most of what you need to know there. You don't have to commit all of it to memory, but the more you know, the more of an expert you become.
Taxes: You don't need to be able to prepare a tax return, but you should understand how the purchase of a house, a second home or an investment property affects an individual's taxes. Be able to explain what is deductible and help clients restructure debt to make more sense from the tax perspective.
To master this area, start by meeting with your tax professional. And although being informed about taxes is important, always explain to your clients that you are not a tax professional or a certified public accountant (unless you are). Let them know that you understand a portion of the tax code but that they should always verify the information with a tax professional.
Legal issues: The legal questions you will get will mostly be about transferring property and title issues. When it comes to rentals, people may ask you if they should put the property in a trust or a limited liability company. Again, always be sure to tell your clients that you are not a lawyer.
This is a great opportunity to set up referral partnerships with attorneys. For instance, you can gather a group of clients interested in owning rental property and bring in a lawyer to talk to them. The attorney often will do it for free. This will help you build a professional relationship. Another referring relationship is always helpful in building your mortgage business.
By changing the discussion you are having with your clients, you can provide a service they cannot get anywhere else. This not only will set you apart from the competition, but it also will help you develop trusting relationships. Along with that comes a much easier path to growing your business and your income.
Howard Bono is the owner of Old West Mortgage, a net branch with Seattle Mortgage.
His business is 100-percent referral and focuses on educating and creating wealth for his clients. He is the author of the book The Money Thing Made Easy. Bono can be reached at email@example.com or by visiting www.TheEverydayMillionaire.com.
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