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Mastering the Power of Two-A Loan Officer's Perspective

Tom Ninness
May 01, 2010

Mastering the Power of Two- A Lender’s Point of View “The strength of any team is magnified by the significant ties and relationships that each member brings to the entire group. If you want to see your efforts and hard-work multiply, then bring the right team together and watch it take off!”-Tom Ninness, Summit Champions. Mastering the Power of Two One of the strongest relationships from the lender’s point of view is the Realtor®/Lender partnership. Being a mortgage professional for nearly 30 years, I have established strong partnerships and my agents regularly hand out my card to their clients as I’ve earned the right to receive this elite status. Looking for relationships where I can become the only lender of choice is a key secret to the success of The Power of Two. I don’t like to share, and part of my business plan is to contribute in the success of my Realtor® partners. If you are an agent who hands out three business cards from three different mortgage professionals, then reconsider and stick with one that understands the power of two in the Realtor®/Lender relationship. How Dynamic Partnerships Develop Like all relationships, they take time to incubate. There is a three part process necessary to develop outstanding relationships. It is necessary to know your partner well, get to like them, and learn to trust each other. Much of the risk is eliminated when you discover that “essence” match that will drive your business to new heights. Dynamic partnerships understand long-term business planning, co-invest in each other’s business and create regular standing meetings designed to increase their income and growing their businesses for future growth. I’m fortunate to say that I have 10 agents who only give out my card. Some of these agents are the best in our area. In fact, one particular agent and I average around fifty transactions a year with one year we partnered 110 transactions together. If you asked this agent, why he only uses one lender, he would tell you that the lender can make or break you and that I have a proven track record of getting things done and making him look good on every transaction. Identifying Realtors who understand the Power of Two There are certain characteristics that I look for when it comes to investing in a Realtor’s business. It may take a number of interviews with the prospect to get to know, like and trust before an exclusive relationship is formed. To define a good prospect for me, I would need to know the following: a. Works full time in their profession b. Invests in their business c. Creates loyalty with their clients for long-term opportunities d. Good networker e. Produces decent number of transactions f. Professional in appearance and the way they do business g. Coachable so that I can help them grow their business h. We have an essence match i. They respect me and my team j. A person I can trust The top three would be: an essence match, a professional and a person who respects my team and me. Characteristics of great working partnerships • Like-minded. Each partner understands that the customer is an annuity. They work together to squeeze every drop out of every opportunity. They understand how to build high trust with their clients together and always communicate through out each transaction. • Partner’s care about each other’s business. They understand the concept of being an extension of each other’s business. • Partner’s give honest feedback to each other. They are not afraid to share where improvements need to be improved on to make the partnership work even better. • Each person has a good balance in their personal and business relationship. Dynamic partnerships know when to work and when to socialize. • Their partnerships are a win-win for both of the partners. None of the partners try to take advantage of each other. • Become cross-selling experts to each other. The lender reinforces the client’s decision in choosing the Realtor® and the Realtor® always supports the lender during the loan process. • Partner’s annual commissions increase together. The Realtor® doesn’t ask for referral fees or ask the loan officer to cut his commission to make a transaction work. Both the Lender and Realtor® respect each other’s profession and understand profit and loss management is important to both of them. If the partnership is working, maximum commissions are earned by both parties and outside referrals will continuously come in. What do you do when Partnership breaks up? I’ve had this happen once and believe me; it was like losing a great friend. It was my fault, and I took full responsibility for the dismantling of our partnership. I continued to stay in touch as our friendship was still important and though it took over two years, we have reconciled and the partnership is going strong. Final Thought For the partnership to truly work well, each cannot look at the other as “just another vendor”. This also applies to the title company, inspection services, insurance agent and the 1031 company. The Realtor® partnerships that I’ve formed over the years are fun and exciting. We are always looking for ways to help each other. There is a true friendship and we look to add to each others’ life. I hope that you can form the same kind of partnerships in all of your key areas of business. Tom Ninness is the President of Summit Champions. He has created the “90 Day Journey” for sales professionals. To learn more about Summit’s products, coaching, and the 90 Day Journey, go to or You can contact Tom direct at [email protected] or call him at 303-840-0753
May 01, 2010