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Tools of the Trade: Develop and Grow Your 203(k) Business

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By Nick Caruso

For many prospective homeowners, securing a loan for a property in need of repair can be a difficult process. Those wanting to improve on the home and secure an affordable mortgage in one fell swoop should look no further than the Lowe’s/REbuildUSA™ 203(k) program, providing real estate professionals and homeowners with a streamlined approach to tackling the government’s 203(k) program.

With a government-approved 203(k) loan, homebuyers acquiring distressed properties can secure a single mortgage providing funds for the home purchase as well as for necessary renovations. The Lowe’s/REbuildUSA™ 203(k) program is the home improvement solution many buyers need for products and services required by a streamlined 203(k) loan. This program speeds up and simplifies the process, ultimately getting the loan closed and the home improvement work completed faster and more efficiently.

But before homeowners can take advantage, real estate professionals can advance their knowledge and success in this arena by taking part in the 203(k) Specialist certification program REbuildUSA membership.

As part of the Lowe’s/REbuildUSA™ 203(k) training program and REbuildUSA membership, real estate agents can take advantage of powerful benefits:

- The 203(k) Specialist designation training provides practical information, strategies, marketing ideas and organizational tools to help you develop and grow 203(k) business. After completing the course, 203(k) Specialists become eligible for free leads through consumer marketing campaigns by both Lowe’s and REbuildUSA.

- REbuildUSA’s Project Portal allows agents to set up appointments quickly and easily with their local Lowe’s store. The portal taps into Lowe’s nationwide network of more than 1,700 stores and 10,000 licensed installers.

- REbuildUSA’s Membership Center houses marketing tools, information and resources all designed to help successfully grow your business.

Specially trained Lowe’s associates are available in stores across the country (with the exception of Texas), and can help customers plan projects and select products, while Lowe’s approved installers handle the installation. The Lowe’s/REbuildUSA program provides a huge selection of products and services under one roof, giving customers the ability to immediately improve their homes by adding equity with the repairs and renovations.

“I thought I was already a 203(k) specialist. This course showed me I was only halfway there,” says Andrew Lietzow, CENTURY 21 Signature Real Estate, Urbandale, Iowa.

“This course is excellent and very beneficial to any real estate agent that wants to be successful in the 203(k) space,” says Jay Gardner, Howard Hanna, Brecksville, Ohio.

In the past 18 months, the number of 203(k) loans processed in the United States has skyrocketed to more than 30,000. This increase is just the beginning, as 2.2 million foreclosures are projected to hit the market in 2012. By becoming trained in the 203(k) procedure, real estate professionals can begin to tackle the opportunities of this industry niche.

The Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® is free for NAR members and offers exclusive, personal marketing tools from Lowe’s through its partnership in NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program.

For more information, visit www.lowesrealtorbenefits.com.

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