The mortgage process involves many moving pieces and relationships with a variety of stakeholders. The relationship between a loan officer and a real estate agent is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle, as the two must combine forces to help borrowers achieve their goal of buying a home.
Ideally, a strong relationship between an LO and a real estate professional leads to symbiosis and benefits for both sides, as well as for the homebuyer.
Are you properly nurturing your relationship with your real estate partners?
Here are the top five reasons to reinforce your relationship with the real estate professionals in your sphere of influence:
1. Build and maintain referral networks
First, a good partnership with a real estate professional can help you as a loan officer build and maintain referral networks.
Both the mortgage and real estate industries rely on relationships, whether that’s between you and the borrower, the real estate agent and the borrower or you and the agent.
Often, a buyer will approach a real estate agent as the first step in their homebuying process, and it’s up to that agent to refer them to a lender who will work with them on financing. By strengthening your relationships with agents you’ve worked with in the past, you can be their first choice for a referral.
The more agents you have a positive relationship with, the more potential borrowers will come your way, leading to more closed sales for you and the agent.
2. Benefit from local market knowledge
A strong relationship with real estate professionals in your area also grants you insight into local markets and improves your knowledge.
If you aren’t local to an area you service, having a boots-on-the-ground agent can be a huge asset. Agents and other real estate professionals are naturally involved in their community at even a neighborhood level, making them more acutely aware of pricing trends, housing supply and availability. Their knowledge means better guidance for you and your borrowers throughout the entire homebuying process.
3. Streamline communication
Additionally, a closer working relationship with an agent will make it easier for both you and the agent to do your job well by streamlining communication. While both of you are experts on your own side of the homebuying process, each can provide more information on their part, not only to each other but to the buyer as well.
Streamlined communication between LO and agent means it’s simpler for you both to stay on the same page throughout the home buying process. If you’re able to communicate more clearly and more often, you’re less likely to run into delays or confusion about turn times or closing dates. And, clients will be happier with the experience.
4. Improve the buyer experience
That streamlined communication between LO and agent also benefits the borrower by making the process go as smoothly as possible. Improved communication means deadlines are clearer, required documentation is less likely to get lost and the transaction may even close more quickly as a result.
Overall, an improved buyer experience leads to better customer satisfaction — and in a business that is so reliant on referrals, that can only be a net positive for you and the agent.
5. Strengthen brand awareness
Finally, strengthening your partnership with real estate agents means you can benefit from each others’ marketing. Real estate professionals are excellent at marketing themselves, and as an LO you can learn from their experiences and in some cases even co-brand or co-market together.
By working together on marketing, such as emails, videos, open house fliers and social medai posts, both you and the agent can introduce each other to one another’s contacts and increase your circles of influence. You can even collaborate on buyer education around the home buying process, leveraging each others’ expertise.
The event that strengthens bonds
Ultimately, loan officers should aim to be a valuable partner to the real estate agents you work with. By forming and strengthening those relationships, both sides of the partnership can benefit from reliable referral sources and improved experiences for the borrower.
Interested in learning more? This year’s Gathering of Eagles, which takes place June 18-21, is focused on “Forging Opportunities.” The event will feature networking opportunities for and with real estate professionals as well as speakers and panels providing valuable insights on the real estate industry. Loan officers are welcome to attend, and it’s a great way to learn more about your partners’ business and find opportunities to strengthen those valuable partnerships.
To view this year’s Gathering of Eagles agenda and register for the event, click here.