Even if you are one of those people who considers shopping a sport, you will likely agree that there are always shopping experiences most people try to avoid. Few people enjoy shopping for a bathing suit, and it is only the vision of the Vacation You that keeps you going. Church shopping is another less-than-fun event; the people, the music, the message – where do you “fit”? For real estate agents, lender shopping is another arduous task. We put ourselves through it, though, for the client.
When everyone gets along in a real estate transaction, the whole deal goes more smoothly. When I can trust the title company to adequately research title and alert me to any potential issues, I rest easy. When I can trust the escrow company to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s, be friendly and instructive and quick, then I have fewer worries. The same goes with the lender. I’ve already written about how important it is to work with a local lender.
It’s also important to choose a good local lender.
We know you’re busy. We know that you did your research already when you found the agent you decided to use. The lender just gives you the money, so why do you need to get along with him or her? Why do you need to make sure he or she is a suitable match?
Why It Matters To Find the Right Mortgage Officer
Here are a few reasons why it’s important that you and your mortgage lender are a good fit:
- You’re trusting this person/company with personal financial information.
- Like everything else in this world, when someone likes and respects you, they do a better job for you. The saying is, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” for a reason.
- Some are better than others at closing real estate sales. If the company develops a reputation for delays or — horrors! — the inability to close a deal, you need to find a new lender. A colleague of mine has recently had only one of five deals successfully close. What have all of these deals had in common? The same mortgage company. Different lenders, same company.
Some of my colleagues only have one lender that they keep on speed-dial. Most have two or three. I am in the more-than-one camp, myself. Obviously, since I am writing this post, I think it’s important to pair the right client with the right lender, and obviously that isn’t going to happen with just one person. There is no one-size-fits-all lender, in my opinion.
How Real Estate Agents Find Mortgage Companies/Lenders To Work With
It’s not easy when you’re a new real estate agent to find the right mortgage companies to recommended to your clients. I remember having to do this during my early days in the biz. Ugh. These process generally goes like this:
- meet for coffee
- chat about what you both did BEFORE you became an agent or lender (because it is almost never anyone’s first career – we all seem to fall into it after we’ve given something else a whirl)
- lender discusses how his or her mortgage company does business and what this means to you and your clients
- agent smiles and nods and has no idea what the lender is talking about because there have been no deals, or only a few deals under his or her belt
- parties part and very rarely does this one meeting result in a lifetime agent/lender relationship
There’s a new agent in our real estate office that met with two lenders this week. Both of them are among the ones that I use on a regular basis. Guess where she met Lender #1? At a coffee shop! Guess what they talked about before they discussed business? What they did before they were in the business! Guess what happened next? You get the picture.
Actually, lender #1 differentiated himself by asking her how he could help HER succeed. That was impressive. It is in a mortgage lender’s vested interest to work with successful agents. Kudos to him for saying, “Let’s figure out how we can get there.”
The meet-up with lender #2 deviated from the norm just slightly — he told her to bring her “coffee or whatever” to his office. He also presented her with every new agent’s dream chart. It outlined for her the process of how a loan works at his bank — who gets their hands on it, where it goes next, the timeline for every step along the way. This was enormously helpful for her.
My point is this — real estate agents down a lot of lattes in the pursuit of finding the right lenders for their clients. We take note of who will do the job, how they do it, and when it closes on time. When your agent suggests that you should work with a lender he or she trusts, it’s smart to listen. Our caffeine-addled brains will thank you!