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Leaning on Lenders

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By Verl Workman

RISMEDIA, June 2, 2011—We’re now at the beginning of the summer selling season and it is easy to get caught up working with buyers, showing homes and even negotiating offers. The challenge is to make sure the work we are doing has the greatest return on our time investment and there is nothing more frustrating than doing all that work only to find out that you can’t get your buyer financed.

It has always been recommended that agents have a few good lenders to whom they can refer business; the reality is, however, that most agents rely on just one lender. However, with the new laws and stricter lending guidelines in place today, lenders have more widely varying criteria for approving loans and if you want to get every deal done, having a relationship with only one lender can be a risky proposition. With that in mind, it’s important to be prepared with multiple lending options.

After interviewing several top performing agents, I have learned that there are other reasons for having more than one lender who is considered part of your team. It is critical to your success that your mortgage partners not only understand your commitment to high-quality service, but also understand that you expect complete transparency and forthright communication on each deal. There is no benefit to committing to a deal if there is a possibility for denial. If your first lender feels that it may be a challenge to get a deal done, they should have a great working relationship with your other lending partners and refer the business to them. Both lenders should know how you work and be willing to communicate clearly with you and each other.

As agents, building a successful team means setting high standards and maintaining control where you can. The mortgage industry has tightened their requirements, and rightly so, but homeownership is still very attainable and many people can still qualify for a mortgage. One of our responsibilities as agents is to communicate to the buying public that lenders are writing loans. With social media, blogs and YouTube video channels, we have a great opportunity to set ourselves apart and share our mortgage success stories. Here are a few tips for how to do that:

1. Have your preferred lenders shoot a video talking about new programs and what it takes to qualify for a loan today.

2. Post success stories that show how you worked with your buyers to help them navigate through the lending process. Highlight your mortgage partner as part of your team in getting buyers qualified before actively looking for homes.

3. Use pocket video cameras like Kodak’s PlayTouch to shoot your raving fans as they leave the title office after closing.

4. Use video to overcome common objections and post them on your social networks. If buyers are waiting for the market to hit bottom, shoot a video explaining how interest rates increasing ¼ of a percent can change how much more they pay for a home and why taking advantage of low rates today can save so much more.

5. Increase your touches with your clients and provide on-the-spot information about rates, programs and processes.

Don’t be afraid to over-disclose the reality of today’s market. Have at least two lenders with different programs and teach them to work together. And finally, make sure your buyers are approved before you start showing them homes.

A founding partner of Pinnacle Quest Consulting, Verl Workman has been educating, motivating and training sales associates, entrepreneurs, and real estate agents worldwide for more than 20 years. For more information, please visit www.VerlWorkman.com.

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