The importance of the loan officer (lender) and realtor in the home-buying process can not be overstated. As a realtor, having a trusted lender that you can recommend to your new clients is a huge help as many homebuyers have little, or even no, experience in borrowing to finance a home purchase. The bond between a loan officer and a realtor is a source of new business and referrals as well. It offers a rather unique co-branding opportunity that extends your reach as a realtor, while also providing a reliable stream of business to the lender.
If you’re a lender wanting to build relationships with realtors, below is a list of what realtors, specifically those at DaVinci Realty, look for in a lender:
As you take on new clients it’s important that your lender can turn around both pre-qualifications and pre-approvals in a timely manner. Today’s market is highly competitive and as a realtor, you want to know that when it’s time to make an offer your client’s financials have been properly vetted. You don’t want to go into an offer and realize your client’s financials have not been properly vetted. Therefore finding a lender that knocks out reliable pre-approvals is very important as things tend to move much faster in today’s market. A slower lender could mean your client not being able to put in an offer on a dream home.
Realtors tend to have clients with a wide range of needs. You would want to find a lender with an array of loan products that could come into play with different clients. There are the standard Conventional, FHA, and VA loans. Although, you’ll want a larger product that your clients could make use of. There are home renovation programs like the 203(k), USDA rural development, and loans for clients who don’t meet the standard income and asset requirements. These non-QM products evaluate income based on bank statements and asset holdings. These programs are ideal for sole proprietors and investors who have the cash on hand but not the stable income stream that normal loans look for. Having an experienced lender, with many different products and types of loans, helps you be able to work with many different clients and make it a good experience for them. The more products the lender offers the more people you will be likely to help as a realtor.
Turning any loan application around requires a decent amount of help from the lender. Putting together all of the required documents and processing them through underwriting to get the “clear to close” requires a high level of competence across your lender’s organization. A seasoned lender or loan officer knows where the pitfalls might occur and how to avoid them to make sure that everything is in place for the closing and that the closing is conducted on time. Your clients expect things to happen on time and that’s where most of the responsibility falls on the lender. It’s good that your lender keeps you in the loop and your client so that everything is completed on time as the final stages of everything lay in their hands.
Superior Customer Service
Expectations are always high when one professional hand off a client to another. You will want to look for a lender or loan officer who shares your commitment to providing excellent service. You want a lender who listens to your client’s needs and can find the best loan program, interest rate, and terms to meet those needs. A knowledgeable lender who takes the time to explain the importance of your client’s credit score, down payment options, the underwriting process, and exactly what is needed for a smooth closing is a lender that you want to use. You will want someone who picks up their phone whenever possible and always returns your calls in a timely manner. A good lender will communicate proactively and keep your client up to date on the progress of their loan application. All of these things make a good lender and someone that you would want to work with and recommend to your clients. Superior customer service always makes dealing with the closing much easier and eases the stress of a client.
You and your client want to work with a lender who you can trust and count on. Someone who won’t fail to disclose an issue as soon as it arises and has an alternative to fix the situation whenever possible. Trust and transparency are very important in home closings. When something goes wrong, such as closing is delayed or your client’s loan application is denied, you want a lender who will alert you immediately, take responsibility, and be able to explain the reasoning to you and your client.
Some or most realtors want a lender who is local. A local lender knows their market and can be available to meet the borrower face to face. Local lenders tend to ease the stress and anxiety some of your clients might have in regard to the process. Being able to meet face to face helps create a better customer service experience and will create better relationships and trust with your client. As a realtor, it also helps your personal relationship with a specific lender in much the same way it works between client and lender. Dealing with someone you know and can meet tends to be easier to hash out issues and make things go smoother.
Whether you’re a realtor or lender, it only makes sense to make connections with the other. Not only is it good for business, but it also ends up working in your client’s favor and acts as a value proposition to them. If you’re a lender, the above is what the Denver area real estate experts at DaVinci Realty look for and expect!