Mar. 2, 2018.
What’s the biggest frustration you’ve had in working with mortgage lenders? For most realtors, it’s lenders that overpromise and under-deliver. Even worse, it’s the lenders that make big promises and don’t deliver at all.
The mortgage lender you partner with has a direct effect on your buyers. And keeping buyers happy is on the forefront of most real estate agents’ minds — not just because they’re passionate about what they do and genuinely care about getting their clients into a home they love — but because it’s the lifeblood of their business. In short, working with the wrong lender can destroy all the hard work you’ve put in to building your reputation, marketing plan, and client base.
But what about working with a mortgage lender that has the same intentions? One that’s also built their business solely on lending with a servant’s heart and putting their borrowers’ needs first? Mortgage lenders working with a heart of service do exist, even in our fast-paced industry. And partnering with a mortgage lender that’s aligned with your values can make all the difference in improving — and expediting — your clients’ homebuying experience.
We can make buying a house easy for more than just our borrowers. Click here to connect with a lender partner that will work hard for you behind the scenes.
Does your lender do this? 7 signs a mortgage lender will go the extra mile
The majority of buyers are still using realtors, says the National Association of Realtors’ Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report for 2017. And unless they’re paying with cash, almost all buyers will need a reliable outside source of funding. That’s where the realtor-lender connection comes in. A partnership that can strengthen a realtor’s business helps every client walk away with a positive homebuying experience. (One they’ll tell their friends or post on Facebook about.)
All it takes is a lender partner that’s committed to client care as much as you are. Here’s what to look for:
1. A lender that provides co-branded marketing.
This one is a biggie. Most real estate agents, understandably, struggle with lead generation. It can be a 24-hour business-building task that many agents feel they can’t clock out of. When Tom Ferry of the Tom Ferry Show, a real estate web series, surveyed 3,330 realtors about their career challenges in 2016, constant prospecting topped the list of struggles.
Working with a lender partner that provides co-branded marketing materials can ease the round-the-clock burden. Danny Tokar of Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc., says the realtor partners he works with appreciate the co-branded marketing materials he provides because it gives the buyer a 5-star experience. The cost of our marketing materials is split between all parties dependent upon the amount each party is represented in the advertisement. The result? “If we can wow our clients, it helps our referral partners look good, generate word of mouth referrals, and convert that borrower into a ‘Client for Life’ for all their future home purchases. This is imperative,” he explains.
Double your growth? Our co-branded marketing materials can make your marketing plan stronger.
2. A lender that provides in-model kiosks.
Going the extra mile often requires physical action on the part of the lender — not just lip service over the phone or via email. Michelle Gonzales of Cornerstone shows up for her realtor and builder partners by providing in-model kiosks to help buyers get prequalified on the spot.
With an in-model kiosk:
- A builder and realtor will know almost immediately if a buyer qualifies.
- The builder won’t have to send the buyer to an outside location, i.e., a lender’s office, to check if they prequalify.
- A builder and a realtor won’t lose the lead of a buyer who may be interested in a model home.
- A buyer won’t waste time or lose the opportunity to buy the property they’re viewing.
This partner support, Gonzales says, lets a builder have a “one-stop shop.” Interested buyers can quickly find out how much house they can afford before ever leaving the property. As a result, the buyer, their realtor, and the builder leave happy.
3. A lender that closes in the fast lane.
The biggest struggle for the realtor may be the constant need for lead generation, but for the buyer, it’s delays, delays, delays, and often more delays (at the last minute). Recognizing this pressing need for speed in our industry, we’ve introduced LoanFly® Express Closing, with direct benefits for our borrowers and our partners.*
LoanFly® Express Closing, which we affectionately refer to as a realtor’s best friend, keeps closing speedy. Your buyer can reduce closing day paperwork by 40 percent and leave the title company in just about 15 minutes.** LoanFly® Express Closing lets your buyer take care of the bulk of the paperwork in advance by e-signing, condensing what is typically a 90-minute closing process or longer into about 15 minutes. It’s 40 percent less paperwork, and most borrowers leave 100 percent happier.
“Real estate industry professionals have specific parts of the year, month, and day which are very busy,” Jason Peifer of Group Mortgage says. “Nothing is more valuable than time during these moments, which is why the Express Close was created. We decided to embrace fairly recent changes to the disclosure process that required an additional step in the approval and receipt of the closing figures.”
Partnering with that step creates added efficiency that cuts the numbers of documents and time at closing in more than half, Peifer says. Saving time during the busy moments relieves the pressure and reduces stress — improving the real estate transaction for everyone involved.
4. A lender that closes on time.
Not all mortgage lenders do whatever it takes to close your buyers on time – every time. As evidenced by LoanFly® Express Closing, our commitment to going the extra mile for our partners and our borrowers would be nothing without our 100 percent commitment to on-time closings. Our in-house operations that include processing, underwriting, closing, and funding make this possible for every buyer.
Tokar says Cornerstone’s 100 percent commitment to on-time closings, again, comes back to creating that 5-star borrower and partner experience. One Cornerstone borrower writes, “Brooke and her team accomplished something others couldn’t. They closed our VA home loan in about 3 weeks. They moved fast, we moved fast — and we were in our new home sooner than we ever imagined.”
Our 100 percent commitment to on-time closings can get your buyers home faster — and happier. Find a Cornerstone office in your state.
5. A lender with an online presence.
Blogs, social media, and reputation. You want to work with a lender partner that knows what they’re talking about and has a strong toehold in the industry to prove it.
When working with his realtor partners, Tokar says he appreciates being able to provide Cornerstone industry blog updates to help them stay up-to-speed with the latest programs, market news, and guideline changes in mortgage and real estate. “We live in a very dynamic world these days. It’s vital that our partners understand and can provide the latest information to their clients,” he explains.
6. A lender that locks in rates.
Along with keeping their ear to the ground for the latest industry news and regulations, a good lender partner will also have instant access to real-time loan pricing and quick rate-lock capability. This may sound like a mouthful to many buyers, but realtors and builders understand the big benefits.
Cornerstone offers builder partners a customizable program for their buyers that locks in their mortgage interest rate, Gonzales says. This is a service builders appreciate because it guarantees their clients a specific interest rate, making them more likely to complete the sale with that builder. For the realtor who’s brought their client to a model home for a visit, the payoff of the quick rate-lock is clear. A buyer can leave the site feeling secure, and a realtor will have one less detail to worry about.
7. A lender that gives their builder partners weekly updates on the loan status.
Honesty paves the way for a successful and mutually beneficial relationship, especially in professional industries. Gonzales says partners need transparency from their lender, whether it’s a builder who’s building a home and needs to know that they’re on track for closing to avoid any additional carry cost or surprises or a realtor who needs to give their client fast answers.
Along with speedy prequalifications and on-time closings, Cornerstone prides itself on clear communication:
- This means weekly loan status updates, proactive and prompt responses from all team members, and a handy LoanFly app buyers can use to stay in touch with their loan officer 24/7.
- Cornerstone sends builders weekly updates on their buyers’ loan status and whether there have been any changes on their application. A borrower’s written approval is required to disclose the details of their loan to a third-party.
- Builders and realtors like this benefit because it keeps them informed on where a client is in the lending process and offers them peace of mind as they get near closing day.
Another Cornerstone borrower writes of their loan officer, “We loved that Joe was professional and yet informal to make us feel comfortable reaching out with questions. If we needed something, we heard back within the hour.”
It’s time to rethink the realtor-lender relationship. We can help.
Whether you’re new to the biz or among the two-thirds of agents who plan to never retire because you love what you do so darn much, we’re in it for the long haul. Let’s get better together.
We go above-and-beyond in the service and support we provide to our partners, and we want to make your life easier. For all of these benefits (and more), partner with a Cornerstone loan officer in your area.
*LoanFly® Express Closing is currently available in:
- District of Columbia
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
**During normal business hours. Not all loans will qualify for LoanFly® Express Closing, and some loans may take longer than 15 minutes.
For educational purposes only. Please contact a qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.