Language services among most valued by minority homebuyersMortgagePress.comMortgage borrower language services
Mortgage lenders looking to boost their business with minority
borrowers to capitalize on emerging markets should be prepared to
offer some sort of foreign language service and alternative loan
That is one of the many significant findings of a survey of real
estate agents, regarding their relationship with mortgage lenders
in 2007. The report, "How Real Estate Agents View Relationships
with Mortgage Providers in a Shifting Market," is based on a
February survey conducted by Campbell Communications.
While the study found that 55 percent of non-minority homebuyers
rely on real estate agents for recommending a mortgage provider,
that number dropped to 48 percent for minority borrowers.
Generally, agents recommend two mortgage providers to both
non-minority and minority homebuyers.
Respondents rated 16 reasons that real estate agents might refer
minority homebuyers to a mortgage provider. The most important was
"reliable in meeting scheduled closing dates." The least important
was "loan officer same race/ethnicity as homebuyer."
"The survey also pointed to two important services when it comes
to serving minority borrowers," said Tom Popik, principal of
Geosegment Systems, who authored the new report on the
home-purchase market. "One is that lenders need to be prepared to
offer foreign language support, particularly for Hispanic
borrowers. The other is that lenders need to have loan products
that provide for things like alternative sources of down payments,
such as those coming from relatives."
Of the real estate agents surveyed who deal with Hispanic
homebuyers, 42 percent said that these borrowers could benefit from
foreign language services. "Translation services at closing" was
identified as the most important foreign language service, followed
by "loan officers speak language of homebuyer."
In terms of alternative loan programs for minority homebuyers,
survey respondents identified "down payment from relatives
acceptable" as the most important factor.
In addition to covering emerging markets and minority lending,
the new study focused on a number of issues related to how and why
real estate agents select mortgage providers for their customers.
The topics included:
• Mortgage recommendations of real estate agents;
• Use of mortgage partners;
• Foreign languages used by homebuyers;
• Reasons real estate agents recommend mortgage providers;
• Lender-specific ratings and rankings for specific direct
The study found that more than half of the real estate agent
respondents reported their firms had a formal relationship with
mortgage lenders, but only a small percentage of that group said
they recommended their firms' mortgage lender partners. Nearly
three quarters of respondents reported that they relied on a
separate list of informal mortgage partners or a single informal
For more information, visit www.campbellsurveys.com.