Beginning his career in El Paso, Texas, in 2003, Broker Associate David Acosta developed big plans for the expansion of his Keller Williams firm, the David Acosta Real Estate Group. “We wanted to grow, and every time I went to a convention in California, people would talk about the price points there—one sale in California could make my whole year. So I investigated it further and Keller Williams had the systems and expansion team in place that let me open an office in Los Angeles.”
Acosta now spends 20 days a month in California and 10 days a month in Texas. “We have two main offices—one in El Paso and one in LA, which covers all of West LA, from Hollywood to Santa Monica, and we are going to start building a team in San Diego.”
Of course, operating in different markets means adapting to the demands of different clientele. “In Texas, we divide our business half and half between new construction and resale,” explains Acosta. “We work with a couple of local and regional dealers, and actually host their model homes and do the marketing to capture the client. In California, there’s a really exciting international market. So we deal with first-time buyers looking at $500,000 properties all the way up to international clients looking for multi-million-dollar properties. We’re also looking to start working with developers in the LA market as well.”
Working with such a wide spectrum of clients necessitates that Acosta and his team be prepared to offer a variety of services when it comes to all aspects of the transaction, including mortgage financing. Quicken Loans’ virtual business model piqued his interest, and Acosta had the opportunity to learn more while attending a recent NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals) event.
“Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson did a 20-minute presentation and was really encouraging and empowering,” recalls Acosta. “I was very impressed with their operation and their people, and very surprised by the turnaround time, the way they handle customers and the programs they offer.”
While Quicken Loans’ online model is not for everyone, Acosta considers it an important offering for many of today’s home-buying consumers. “In El Paso, the demographic may be a little less in tune with technology—they still want face-to-face interaction,” he explains. “However, in California, they just want service and speed, so they love the Quicken model.”
According to Acosta, Quicken Loans’ online 24/7 model is right in sync with how people interact and do business in today’s culture. “The fact is, people are always online,” he explains. “Most of the leads we have nowadays are coming through the Internet. Even if people are responding to a yard sign, they’re going to the website or using the text-message service to get information on the property. With Quicken, people can interact in the morning before they go to work or late at night when they’re unwinding—they can get online whenever they have an opportunity and get the answers right away. They can work according to their schedule and still have the same point of contact and strong support from Quicken. That’s a great value to our clients.”
Perhaps more importantly, Quicken Loans delivers when it comes to deadlines. “Clients always want to close in a timely manner,” says Acosta. “And for any real estate practitioner, if you can alleviate some time in the process, that’s awesome, especially in a market that’s fast paced where you’re competing against cash offers. To get a loan with no contingencies can make a big difference. Through its Mortgage First program, Quicken collects all the information and has all they need to know to get a borrower fully approved.”
In addition to its attractive, turnkey online process, Quicken Loans also appeals to the growing contingent of consumers who have soured on big banks. “They’ve already experienced that it’s more complicated to go through a traditional lender,” explains Acosta. “With Quicken, they get customer service, rapport and a good feeling on the other side of the phone…and Quicken relies on the REALTOR® to be the partner in the transaction.” The icing on the cake? Quicken Loans provides services in Spanish and an array of other languages, helpful to Acosta’s large Hispanic clientele in El Paso and international clientele in Los Angeles.
Above all, Acosta believes it’s critical for real estate professionals to get the word out to consumers that mortgage financing may now be within their reach. “A lot of programs are coming back into the market that were here prior to the meltdown. It’s up to us as real estate practitioners to go out there and tell the world there are options and ways to get people qualified.”
For more information, email AgentRelations@QuickenLoans.com.