The prevalence of home purchase mortgages, as opposed to refis, will continue to increase. For Loan Officers, that means relationships with Real Estate Agents are more important than ever. However, there are many barriers to engaging real estate professionals. Here are some ideas on how Originators can offer unique value.
Surveys regularly affirm that around 50 percent of buyer decisions on choosing a lender are controlled or influenced by Real Estate Agents. That means most established agents already have go-to Mortgage Bankers and Mortgage Brokers. If you have cold-called Realtors, you know that the conversation does not last long unless you can offer something different.
The good news is that, according to management consultants Oliver Wyman, more than 50 percent of agents refer their clients to more than one lender. Even though major real estate brokerages endorse a preferred lender, only eight percent of Realtors refer to only one lender. Keys to getting on the short list are:
►What can you do for me? Realtors commonly ask, “If I give you leads, do you have leads for me?” It is unlikely you will have more leads than the agent. Jason Frazier suggests a great answer in a HousingWire.com article titled “Teach Your Realtor Partners How to Fish.” He suggests that by taking a short online course on Facebook advertising, you can present yourself as an expert advisor to the agent on online lead development.
►Inspire confidence! Agents say they must know that the LOs they refer will offer great service. Treat your first referral customer, and every subsequent one, as critical to your career. It may be. Get bad reviews from one referral client and you may never receive another.
►Offer what the others don’t. Realtors may be missing opportunities if they only work with buyers who prequalify for agency loans. Non-QM loans represent the fastest growing segment of mortgage finance. By specializing in and teaching agents about these newer loan products, you will help them increase the number of homebuyers they can serve. Explain that these loans have fair rates, can close as quickly as other loans and rarely default. You will stand apart from most other mortgage professionals.
At Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, our Account Executives, Marketing Department and service team focus on giving Independent Loan Officers the resources needed to prosper in this purchase-driven market. To learn more on offering unique value to Real Estate Agents, contact your Account Executive by calling (866) 837-6312 or by visiting at http://AngelOakMS.com/map
Tom Hutchens is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, an Atlanta-based wholesale and correspondent lender leading the non-QM space for four years and licensed in over 35 states. Tom has been in the real estate lending business for nearly 20 years. He may be reached by phone at (855) 539-4910 or e-mail Info@AngelOakMS.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2018 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.