questions to ask a realtor

The real estate agent’s dilemma: Is partnering with a lender worth it?

Bethany RamosAbout Cornerstone, Industry Professionals, Loan Officers, Realtors

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Reading Time: 5 minutes
May 31, 2019.

Mortgage lenders are a lot like real estate brokerages: Each lender offers different loan products and could have a much different level of customer service. That’s why so many realtors stick with a preferred lender to help improve their client experience and gain more referrals — they don’t want to mess with a good thing.

7 ways the right lender can automatically boost your business

Giving buyers access to a wide variety of loan products that meet their unique needs — whether they’re a first-time or repeat buyer, interested in renovation or refinance, financing a new build, in need of down payment assistance, eligible for specialty veteran/doctor/teacher/hero loans, or buying an investment property — is a big benefit. So is working with a lender that offers plenty of partner perks designed to help a realtor expand their reach.

Building strong partnerships ranked as loan officers’ primary concern in 2018. Joe Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer of the digital mortgage services provider SimpleNexus, explains:

“Components of a successful partner building strategy include (1) identifying realtors who are willing and able referral partners. (2) Delivering excellent customer service through efficient communication. (3) Offering transparency throughout the loan process. And (4) giving the realtor tools and technology to make their life easier and the partnership productive.”

If you’re ready to grow and gain more leads you don’t have to buy, look for a lender that does seven things:

1. Has great rates, great closings, and great service.

Benefit: Save your buyers money and spread positive word-of-mouth.

Rate shopping could save your buyers up to $3,000 over the life of their mortgage. But hunting for the lowest rate can be misleading.

Our realtor partners benefit from the fact that we offer the full package: great rates, exceptional customer service, and a speedy 10-Day Close that beats the industry standard by more than four weeks. This commitment to fast closing could save your buyers a month’s worth of rent or mortgage payments.

2. Pumps out varied news-worthy content for co-marketing materials.

Benefit: Educate your buyers, look like an expert, and attract more leads.

According to NAR’s 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 94 percent of all buyers consider it “very important” for their realtor to have a knowledge of the purchase process. This trait ranks right behind honesty and integrity and above responsiveness, real estate market knowledge, negotiation, and communication. Luckily, partnering with a knowledgeable lender makes it easy.

Our Cornerstone Realtor Partners appreciate that we have a huge marketing department staffed with content writers, designers, videographers, and more. We also take the time to learn our partners’ brands to tailor the co-marketing content for their audience — whether it’s a trending blog, social media graphic, flyer, CRM, or e-book — and use our in-house print shop for a quick turnaround.

3. Develops new technology to improve the borrower experience.

Benefit: Become the go-to realtor for “mortgage made easy.”

Right now, credit card and banking apps have the highest satisfaction rankings. Our in-house designed mortgage app, LoanFly, gives buyers the same digital control over their finances. By making our loan officers highly mobile, enabling them to connect with borrowers on the fly, LoanFly also supports loan officers and realtors.

LoanFly’s new feature that allows buyers to self-generate prequalification letters from their own Borrower Portal on-demand helps strengthen an offer on a house, and it’s getting great agent feedback.

4. Equips buyers to outbid in competitive markets.

Benefit: Help clients move to the head of the line and be “cash buyers.”

A 2018 Redfin analysis found that buying a house in cash nearly doubles the chances of getting an offer accepted. Our realtor partners know cash can be hard to come by. This is especially true for first-time buyers. Thankfully, our “like cash” loan program comes in close second. Early Bird Approval gets buyers’ finances and credit approved upfront, locking a loan before the house-hunt so it’s ready to go once a home is found.

We see our realtor partners use this loan to reach new leads they may have missed otherwise. Buyers in a time crunch can move quickly since an Early Bird loan is likely to get funded faster. Buyers getting priced out in hot markets can also leverage Early Bird Approval to land a home in their price range.

Introducing mortgage made easy. Take a peek at how your clients can fly home faster, in as few as 10 days.

5. Maintains a reputation as an industry leader with excellent bank standing.

Benefit: Get buyers home happier and faster when loans are funded on time and without unnecessary delays.

There’s nothing more disappointing than putting weeks into helping your clients get a mortgage, only to have it fall apart at the last minute. That’s what happens in over a third of contract delays, creating an expensive, industry-wide problem. Our 10-Day Close was created to address this issue and cut down or eliminate mortgage delays almost completely. Smoother, faster closing times give our realtor partners the freedom to take on more clients.

As a nationally-ranked mortgage lender, we have a respected name in the industry and remain in excellent standing with all warehouse banks so you can always offer your clients reliable loan funding.

6. Practices inclusive lending through a workplace awarded for diversity.

Benefit: Let buyers feel heard, valued, and confident that they can find an affordable mortgage.

Digital connectivity makes mortgage easy, but one-on-one connection makes lending matter. As an award-winning Best Workplace for Diversity and Best Workplace for Women, we can proudly say our loan officers provide one-of-a-kind service to all borrowers, regardless of race, age, or gender.

With an eye out for inclusion, we keep our realtor partners up-to-date on the latest industry changes to help protect their buyers against discrimination. And as demographics of homeownership shift toward first-time buyers throughout the U.S., we work with our realtors to target segments that support ongoing growth in our communities.

While inclusive lending can help to build business, Willie French, Cornerstone Senior Vice President of Human Resources, says:

“Cornerstone values diversity and inclusiveness because it’s the right thing to do.”

7. Provides a personal touch and communicates with clients each step of the way.

Benefit: Make homebuyers happy so they’ll tell their friends.

“Buying business” doesn’t work, as we’ve seen in some recent industry headlines. But based on our 31 years of mortgage experience, we know that putting people first does. At Cornerstone, we take great pains to use our technology as intended: not to replace the human experience that 79 percent of consumers are looking for, but to take digital shortcuts and offer our borrowers more face-time.

In-house structures. Long-term rate locks. Super-speedy loan processing. Up-to-the-minute app-based loan status updates. A 100-percent commitment to closing on time. These are all ways we put buyers and realtor partners first to show them their time and money aren’t being wasted.

Let’s make mortgage easy

You know that for you and your buyers, time is money. That’s why it pays to partner with a nationally-ranked mortgage lender that offers great rates, expedited in-house processing, ultra-fast loan closings, and bend-over-backward service that can get your clients home in 10 days. Making mortgage easy saves your buyers time and money and makes it possible for you to take on more clients. With the right partner, everybody wins.

For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.

Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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