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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   July 2014

What Realtors Want

Follow these simple tips to improve your network and gain more referrals

Whether you're an industry veteran or a newcomer to mortgage origination, Realtor referrals are undoubtedly a major part of your working life. And make no mistake — your business is a major aspect of their careers, as well.

In a perfect world, Realtors and originators work together without a hitch, and both parties' business improves from the process. In reality, however, many originators struggle to satisfy their Realtor partners' preferences and professional needs, and those originators' pipelines take a hit as a result.

As with many aspects of the mortgage industry, knowledge is power when it comes to building your Realtor network, so the more you're in step with what your Realtors need, the better. In particular, consider the following five tips to keep your Realtor partners happy and your pipeline flowing.

  1. Communicate: Almost every Realtor has had a relationship or transaction that could have been improved by better communication. Clear and consistent communication is a key part of Realtors' business, whether it's between themselves and their team or themselves and their clients. Bearing that in mind, originators should tell their Realtor partners exactly what's needed and set expectations early. Mortgage professionals should provide constant updates; your Realtor partners should never wonder about what's going on with their clients' loans.
  2. Be timely: When it comes to timeliness, the bottom line is that originators need to do what they say they're going to do when they say they're going to do it. Consider this as an opportunity to wow a Realtor with your abilities, such as providing things early and closing early. To put it simply, be sure to call with updates when you say you're going to.
  3. Be creative and flexible: Every transaction is different and no two borrowers are the same. Originators need to be able to have the control and resourcefulness to solve problems and be able to adapt quickly to changes. Some Realtors don't necessarily want to be a transaction's problem solver. They have enough details to worry about, and they're not as familiar with a mortgage bank's underwriters as you may be.
  4. Give their customers a "good deal": Understandably, Realtors don't want to get complaints from their clients about the loans offered or the fees that are charged. When originators do their job and lock down the best loan possible, customers are happy and your Realtor partners look good.
  5. Don't ignore declined deals: Many Realtors value working with originators who can bring referrals back to them months after an initial borrower could not get approved. Likewise, many originators are guilty of overlooking someone whose loan has already been declined only to hear later that the borrower eventually did find a lender. Whatever the case may be, don't overlook the value that may exist in seemingly less-than-ideal situations.

Applying this information to your mortgage practices and daily disciplines can markedly improve your transactions and networking. An increase in Realtor referrals is often preceded by an improvement in relationships and trust, so sharpening your business in these regards today may mean big dividends in the future. 


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