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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   December 2010

The Secret to Success: The Right Partnership

Focus on fundamentals to succeed in any market

Mortgage brokers can't bank on low interest rates and refinance business forever. They must make sure they'll have business after rates increase and should start focusing on something they've likely been neglecting for the past year — purchases.

The best loan originators are still working on the fundamentals of the business — networking and marketing — to make sure they still have business when the market slows. Although the refinance boom likely has increased their income, those top-notch loan originators haven't forgotten about purchase business.

With fewer mortgage brokers and lenders in the industry than a few years ago, consumers are receiving the short end of the stick as banks face less competition. When an industry cuts to the bone like this, customers suffer diminished service quality and have to pay higher fees and service charges — it's simple supply and demand.

It is times like these that mortgage professionals must partner with high-quality companies to ensure their long-term success. Strength in numbers is important, and larger mortgage companies that have strong partnering structures often will have the best sales results.

By forming strategic alliances and partnering with people, organizations and businesses that are trustworthy and reliable, you'll be set for the future. This will help you maintain high-quality customer service, as well as ensure your survival.

When seeking a mortgage company with which to partner, consider the following traits: an experienced management team committed to compliance, high-quality service and a stable financial situation. Your partner also should have experienced and professional processors, underwriters and trainers. Don't base all your decisions on short-term gains, however; to succeed, you must always focus on your objectives for the future.

Align yourself with the company that provides the best support. This will allow you to continue to serve your customers in the best way possible. The ideal companies are those that have solid relationships with real estate agents and other related business partners. They typically can react more easily to any market changes and are better able to navigate the current choppy waters than a mega-bank or mortgage company that hasn't kept pace with recent changes.

Make sure you evaluate your current partnerships, as well. Ask yourself what your partners have done for you lately and what they have done to help you succeed. If you cannot answer these questions positively, it may be time to start looking at your options.

If you're not sure whether your current situation is the best one, some examples of high-quality support can help you decide if you must switch your partnership. Is your company open to ongoing brainstorming sessions for co-marketing opportunities? Does it promote marketing efforts such as direct-mail campaigns, database management, integrating Internet marketing with trade groups or Realtors, or garnering affiliations with trade groups?

Focus on what's best for you and your customers. If you are partnering with a low-quality mortgage company, your customers won't be happy and you may lose them to your competition.

When it comes down to it, don't procrastinate on evaluating your current situation, even in good times. By preparing yourself with the knowledge on how to succeed, your survival will continue.


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