The relationship between lenders and Realtors® is a symbiotic one. In other words, it’s a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Cultivating this relationship is integral if both of you are to succeed.
Realtors® and loan officers, however, don’t always speak the same language. Each seems to have a different perspective — even though the end goal is the same.
The loan officer may not appreciate the hard work that goes into assisting their mutual client in finding the right home, making an offer, and negotiating the final terms of the sale. Conversely, the Realtor® may not understand and be frustrated by the loan process and the various bumps in the road that arise as their client’s loan application moves toward approval.
The result of this miscommunication can mean lost opportunities for both parties.
There are a number of skills that loan officers bring to the table that Realtors® can benefit from:
1. Product knowledge. Loan officers understand a wide range of loan products — both government-backed and private — as well as current interest rates and other marketplace conditions. If you have a client that doesn’t fit within the guidelines of a conventional mortgage, your loan officer has the ability to match your client with the loan program that meets their unique needs.
2. Ability to pre-approve customers. In a competitive housing market, giving your clients a leg up is everything. A loan officer can quickly provide your client with a pre-qualification and price range so they can begin house hunting. Loan officers at Embrace Home Loans are also able to assist with a fully underwritten approval through the Approved to Move™ program. When your client is Approved to Move™, this only leaves the appraisal and title search to be completed once their offer has been accepted.
3. Customer service. A good loan officer recognizes the critical role they play in servicing your clients. They make themselves available to you and the borrower and provide regular up dates throughout the loan approval process. They return calls, educate buyers, and build rapport. Loan officers are team players and are able to resolve “sticky” situations and/or offer suitable alternatives for your shared client if necessary.
4. Fast closings. Because the loan officer is the central point of contact in the loan approval process, they have the ability to escalate issues internally which could potentially delay a closing. They also coordinate the external resources, appraisers, title agency, closing attorney, etc. to close more quickly when necessary.
The best loan officers provide their Realtor® partners with true value-added service. As with any partnership, a good rapport is critical. Successful business partnerships must be build on trust and reliability, as well as shared expectations and goals. In order to grow your real estate business, a solid working relationship with an experienced loan officer is an absolute must.