According to Realtor Magazine, 72% of the time, buyers use the lender that the agent refers. How do lenders meet realtors to get those referrals? Lenders can meet realtors through many methods, but a common one is to ply them with what I like to call the three D’s, bringing doughnuts to the weekly realtor meeting, picking up the tab for drinks, or buying a realtor dinner. The endgame is to make a realtor like you and hope that they become a referral source. Is there a better way?
My marketing methods are based on displaying my industry knowledge, creating new ways to serve both the client and the realtor, attempting to be as transparent as possible, finding new competitive mortgage products, and educating everybody involved in the mortgage transaction. I certainly have realtor friends that, luckily for me, insist on referring me, and I take pains to make sure those relationships are built solely on a professional foundation. Wouldn’t we all be better served if referrals were based on more analytical business metrics?
If you go to a lender that your realtor does not know the realtor will become borderline livid at the thought of you going outside of their sphere of control. They will tell you that they want you to go to their lender for financing because they will provide the best service and maybe even the best terms. The reality is they want you to go to their lender so that they feel they have a sense of control and can further ensure the certainty of their commission. There is nothing pro-consumer about many realtor connections to their favorite lender.
I would certainly consider anyone that an industry professional, such as a realtor, refers. However, instead of blindly following that lead, I would ask a lot of questions. I would make some comparisons and pick the loan officer that I thought would provide competitive terms, the most experience, the highest level of technology, safety for my sensitive personal information, transparency, and would close my loan on time.
Talk to me and leave a comment below…
Are you comfortable with accepting a realtor’s referral for a mortgage lender with no outside research of your own?
Do you take your realtor’s referral but qualify the referral first? Or do you find your own mortgage lender on your own?
And are you OK with picking that lender based on a coffee and a chat?
Do you pick someone if you like them and have a good feeling about them?
Do you demand to see certain metrics to try and decide how effective they are?
Do you care how much loan volume a lender does?
Does loan volume equate to quality service?
Do you prefer to see ratings, like on Yelp?
Tell me what you do.