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How a Small, Family-Run Brokerage Makes a Big Impact With a Successful Lender Relationship

Speed, trust and results. For Metropolitan Real Estate Group—a small, family-run brokerage serving the Metro Detroit markets—those are the keys to making a big splash in the industry. The trifecta has also led to a long and profitable business partnership with Quicken Loans.

“We’ve been working with Quicken Loans for 30-plus years, providing appraisals for them with a quick turnaround to make sure we get loans closed in a timely manner,” says Kelly Lauderbaugh, CEO of Metropolitan Real Estate Group, referring to affiliate Metro-West Appraisal Co., LLC. “On the residential real estate side, we’ve been working with them for the past seven years.”

The secret to their success? The client experience, with communication as the foundation. That’s why they work with a lender that’s on top of every transaction.

“They proactively communicate through every step of the process and do a really good job of hand-holding and talking people through it,” says Lauderbaugh. “They foreshadow what’s going to happen.”

The evidence is in their flexibility to address challenges as they occur, regardless of the day or time.

“In today’s world, everyone wants an answer now,” says Metropolitan Real Estate Group Associate Broker Don Rousseau. “They need to move as quickly as possible to get an answer and get things done. Urgency is much more important today than it was 20 years ago, as business moves at a much faster speed.”

“Having someone who is available on the weekend or in the evening is important,” says Steve Lauderbaugh, COO of the brokerage. “No one likes surprises, but they happen. Clients want someone who is solutions-focused.”

Metropolitan Real Estate Group prides itself in the level of service it provides from beginning to end, for every single client, regardless of whether they’re a first-time buyer or looking for a luxury home.

“Working with Quicken Loans helps us deliver on that promise,” says Rousseau. “While their rates aren’t always the lowest, the service is so good, and they’re proactive in every process. We mirror their culture.”

That’s the cherry on top for the folks at Metropolitan Real Estate Group. In fact, according to Steve Lauderbaugh, while you don’t always know if vendor partners have the same goals in mind, with Quicken Loans, it was clear from the start.

“From a cultural standpoint, we’re both very much in line with doing the right thing for the client—and that speaks for itself,” he says.

Although small compared to brand giants, Metropolitan Real Estate Group hopes to make a big impact this year, closing $100 million in sales volume. That’s why they work alongside a lender that can give their buyers the competitive edge.

“One way Quicken Loans is helping us is through its verified approvals,” says Rousseau. “Most markets are highly competitive, and today’s buyers need more than just a pre-qualification or pre-approval to stand out.”

“Verified approval gives us, and our clients, a competitive advantage,” Kelly Lauderbaugh emphasizes.

From a results perspective, however, the true test is being able to recommend their services time and time again.

“It’s good to have someone on the other end that you can refer with confidence,” says Steve Lauderbaugh. “Our buyers know that they’re in good hands and that Quicken Loans will always do the right thing.”

For more information, please visit or call 866-718-9842. 

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at