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Questions to Ask Your Potential Partners

Treat your potential joint venture partner like anyone else you would hire to work for your company and start with an interview. Make sure your core values align so that you will execute a shared vision. You should also review other important topics that will directly impact the customer experience, including technology integration, marketing support and operational efficiency. Most importantly, you should review investment expectations and compliance.

Some sample questions you can use for your joint venture interview include:

Core Values
– How much time will I invest in the mortgage company?
– What does the mortgage partner expect from the real estate partner?
– Do the lender’s existing core values align with the brokerage’s existing core values?
– What value will this joint venture bring to my agents?
– If there are any discrepancies or setbacks, how does your team resolve them?

Technology
– How can the lender’s technology integrate with your existing technology?
– Will there be a disruption of service related to technology integration?
– Do you have in-house developers and engineers to help build and maintain website, app and other shared technology?

Marketing
– What does the mortgage company’s marketing support look like?
– Is there existing company branding to incorporate?
– Will new brand guidelines need to be developed?
– You have the name, but is the web domain available? Have you evaluated the cost of the entity’s name?
– Do you have a lead-capture process and/or strategy?
– Provide an overview of a past joint venture launch. Can you walk me through what our launch would look like?
– What does the communication with the loan officer and agent look like?

Operations
– How long does it take for licensing to process?
– What are the licensing requirements?
– How fast can you launch a joint venture?
– Will your existing operations structure be able to support the joint venture as it scales?
– Can you walk me through the operations setup of a joint venture?
– What can delay a joint venture from forming?
– What does the onboarding process look like for potential joint venture loan officers?

Financials
– Am I financially ready to enter into a joint venture partnership?
– What is my financial risk?
– What is my return on investment and when will I break even and/or begin earning?
– What are the expenses of operating a mortgage company?

Compliance
– How do we know that this is compliant?
– Are my name and logo trademarked?
– How equipped is your compliance department to handle a new company?
– What process do you have set up to ensure that everything is RESPA compliant?

As you know, a joint venture is an exciting opportunity to start something original. However, with any investment there is risk, so it is important to have all of your questions answered so you feel comfortable prior to signing any document. Whomever you choose to be your partner, make sure you don’t feel pressured or rushed, because setting up a joint venture takes time for proper execution.

To see the answers to the above questions, visit www.cmgfi.com/jv-partners-answers.

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