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partnership_7_16_topRISMEDIA, July 16, 2009-Real estate transactions can be complicated, but according to a 2008 Harris Interactive consumer survey (“Room for Improvement: Perspectives of the Real Estate Consumer and the Professionals Who Serve Them”), home buyers who used a one-stop shop in their latest real estate transaction were more satisfied with their overall experience than those who used services from multiple providers.

And whether it’s the desire to ensure best-in-class customer service, provide a robust online networking capability or just help streamline the efficiency of completing transactions, real estate brokerages that work directly with lenders can often provide a level of service that makes them more attractive in this real estate market, which can help increase new and repeat customers and referrals.

Many leading real estate brokerage firms are already taking this approach. According to RISMedia’s 21st Annual Power Broker Report & Survey, 44% of the country’s top 950 brokerage firms offer mortgage and escrow services (based on annual sales figures for 2008; Real Estate magazine, April 2009,
p. 74).

There are a number of ways to partner with a lender to provide a one-stop shop. Bank of America Home Loans offers a unique combination of neighborhood presence and nationwide resources that could help a broker’s business grow. Some of the programs include:

-A wide range of products and options, from Space Rental Agreements to Joint Ventures
-Experienced mortgage loan officers who understand the local market
-Dedication to operational excellence, efficiency and personal service
-Access to the Clarity CommitmentTM, a simple, one-page summary of key loan terms-allowing the borrower to review loan details in easy-to-understand language.1

Space Rental Agreements

Through a Space Rental Agreement from Bank of America Home Loans, a mortgage loan officer works side by side with agents in the real estate broker’s office to offer clients mortgages, loan processing and closing services.

As part of the agreement, Bank of America Home Loans pays a monthly rental fee for office space; provides customers with on-site turnkey loan services, from the initial meeting to closing; and works to identify the mortgage loan officer who best fits the company’s style, culture and staff.

By working in such close proximity, real estate professionals and mortgage loan officers can offer more efficient and timely service to home buyers. One such real estate professional is Nancy Thompson, operating principal of Keller Williams Realty Coastal Area Partners in Savannah, Georgia, whose firm has Space Rental Agreements in three of their offices.

“It’s a tough real estate environment, but if we’re all working together, we have a much better chance for success,” says Thompson.

Sales Manager Michael Caputo leads the team of three mortgage loan officers, each of whom work out of Keller Williams Realty’s offices. “With Michael and Bank of America Home Loans, the odds are great that if they say we will have a closing, we will have a closing, and it will be smooth,” says Thompson.

Keller Williams’ Savannah office joined forces with Bank of America Home Loans two years ago, after having a disappointing experience working with other banks.

“We began using Bank of America Home Loans because other companies did not have the products to match customer demand. They didn’t have the right cultural fit with our organization,” says Thompson. “Bank of America Home Loans had it all. And as the market evolved, so did Bank of America Home Loans. They stay ahead of the curve when it comes to products, people and support. That means a lot.”

Culturally, Thompson says Bank of America Home Loans fits right in. “Michael and his team are always present for our Tuesday meetings, which are critical to keeping everyone on the same page. They come to the meetings prepared, share the pitfalls and other things they see happening in the market, talk about new products and help train our people so when we say ‘do the right thing,’ people know exactly what that means. They’re invaluable.”

Online Real Estate Center

Another way real estate brokerages can join forces with Bank of America Home Loans is through its Preferred Real Estate Broker Network® and the Bank of America Real Estate Center®.

The Bank of America Real Estate Center enables members of the Preferred Real Estate Broker Network to connect with the millions of potential leads in one place via bankofamerica.com. By taking advantage of one of the largest online customer bases of any financial services company, Bank of America helps its Preferred Real Estate Brokers generate new opportunities to grow their businesses through marketing and property-listing opportunities. Bank of America offers its Preferred Real Estate Brokers what no other lender can:

-Access to a customer base of one out of every two households. More than 59 million households trust their finances with the bank.
-The opportunity to market their companies and expose their property listings to more than 30 million active Online Banking customers
-Opportunity to include a “Featured Property Listing” on bankofamerica.com in listing presentations as part of a marketing plan for potential sellers

Marketing Service Agreements

Gerrett Snedaker, owner of The Wine Country Group in Sonoma, California-which uses the Online Real Estate Center-has a Marketing Service Agreement with Bank of America Home Loans.

“We jointly market Bank of America Home Loans as part of our marketing efforts through both print and electronic media,” says Snedaker. “In turn, they assign knowledgeable and well-qualified loan officers to handle our business and be resources for our agents.”

Why did Snedaker choose to make Bank of America Home Loans part of the Wine Country Group team? “We were looking for a firm that has competitive loan products, is known to our clients and agents and which we believe will be one of the firms ‘still standing’ after the various consolidations in the financial industry are complete. At the end of the day, it is good to be associated with one of the leading lenders in the country.”

Marketing Service Agreements offer a real estate brokerage the flexibility to choose the number and type of marketing activities it does to promote Bank of America Home Loans. However, for larger firms looking for a more robust and longer-term relationship, Bank of America Home Loans offers Marketing Alliance PlusTM. This more extensive agreement includes added elements of the one-stop-shopping experience that home buyers appreciate.

Joint Ventures

Joint Ventures offer one-stop shopping for home buyers and help create a powerful and memorable brand identity.

Response Mortgage in Bellevue, Washington, a new Joint Venture between John L. Scott Real Estate and Bank of America, is a great example of how Joint Ventures can help build partnerships that allow for a best-in-class customer experience.

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, says his firm had offered in-house mortgage services for the past nine years, so his agents and their clients had come to rely upon the firm for the one-stop-shopping approach.

“During the past year, there has been a major tightening of the credit markets, making it difficult for our in-house lender to operate,” says Scott. Through its relationship with Bank of America Home Loans, Scott looks forward to continuing to provide the same level of service their customers have come to expect.

Why are Joint Ventures so popular with home buyers, banks and real estate brokerages? For starters, when the goal is to create successful homeowners, Joint Ventures can make every interested party in the transaction a winner.

With so many moving parts in a transaction, it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to have greater convenience throughout the process. Instead of having to travel to multiple locations to get what they need to close transactions, both literally and figuratively-home buyers can get everything they need all in one place.

Joint Ventures provide speed of communications throughout the process. If transactions rely on multiple, independent parties, it’s likely that they also have to rely on just as many communications platforms. This approach can lead to confusion among the parties and, as a result, unsuccessful transactions. On the other hand, with Joint Ventures, platforms are integrated, resulting in more effective
communication.

Erik Hand, president of Response Mortgage, attributes the desire for a best-in-class customer service experience as the driving force behind the formation of the Joint Venture. “Bank of America Home Loans has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to customer service that we feel is critical to supporting our clients and agents. After researching all of the options, we chose Bank of America Home Loans as our mortgage partner because of their strength and stability, which ensures we’ll have a stable mortgage partner as part of our team.”

Something to Build On

Home buyers can have a more satisfying experience if real estate brokerages and banks work together, which can help bring them-and their family and friends-back time and time again in future transactions.

And that’s something to build on.

SIDEBAR

Bank of America offers a unique combination of neighborhood presence and nationwide resources that could help your business grow. A relationship with Bank of America Home Loans gives real estate professionals access to:

-A wide range of products and options, from Space Rental Agreements to Joint Ventures
-Experienced mortgage loan officers who understand the local market
-Dedication to operational excellence, efficiency and personal service
-Access to the Clarity CommitmentTM, a simple, one-page summary of key loan terms-allowing the borrower to review loan details in easy-to-understand language.1

For more information, please call 1.800.243.0717 to learn more about Strategic Business Alliances with Bank of America Home Loans.

THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED FOR MORTGAGE, REAL ESTATE AND/OR BUILDER PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY AND IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR CONSUMER OR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION.

Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC
Equal Housing Lender

© 2009 Bank of America Corporation.
Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.
AR82328

1 The summary is provided as a convenience, does not serve as a substitute for a borrower’s actual loan documents and is not a commitment to lend. Borrowers should become fully informed by reviewing all of the loan and disclosure documentation provided. Not available on all products and programs.

192.168.100.61