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Erika Butler, Real Estate Pro in Tampa, FL

Mortgage Lender looking for Real Estate Agent advice

Asked by Erika Butler, Tampa, FL Wed Sep 18, 2013

Agents, I am a local mortgage lender in Tampa, FL. I have been in mortgage business for 10 years not but a majority of my time recently was spent in management. I am looking for suggestions on how you choose the mortgage lenders you work with if you have never met them before? I find that just calling up agents to try to get an appointment doesnt seem effective, but once I do get an appointment the relationship is amazing from there. How do you suggest mortgage professionals reach out to you to earn your business?

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Hi Erika. Before earning my RE license I had worked in the banking industry for many years related to residential/commerical real estate lending transactions in corporate and community banking. I would suggest to first be confident, and above all be yourself.

Most IMPORTANTLY, know the business you are in and learn the business RE agents are in. Do your homework and learn the challenges agents are dealing with regarding buyer clients in today's market. Be creative and offer alternatives that may assist our buyers.

You'll be speaking with agents of varied levels of education and experience in the field so you'll need to be able to adapt and shift your communication skills frequently.

I'm always impressed when a professional mortgage lender contacts me. We meet for coffee or have lunch and get to know one another professionally. Having been in the banking industry I know the processes associated with that field. Rather quickly, I can gauge the mortgage lender's level of experience and and overall attitude. I would then decide if it would be a good fit for my cliental. Best of luck to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Cross sell the listing agent on your existing deals (if it is an agent you want to work with).

“Mr. Lister, I’ll be ready to close this deal next Friday. If you bring me another good buyer in the morning I can get you paid in 14 working days.” Would be a good example.

Or get the list of questions your title company will need from the seller's side, make an appointment with the list agent to drop by their office and complete the form for the closing.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
JSimms@cmcloans.com
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
I answer questions about financing real estate based on my decades of experience dealing with mortgage underwriters. I do not offer legal or tax advice, if you need answers from an attorney or CPA find one knowledgeable in your local market.
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Go to functions where you are apt to find the agents and network with them. Don't be pushy as some tend to be--let YOU shine through with your interactions and agents will find their way to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
DO NOT BRING ME COOKIES. :)

Seriously now... don't be pushy. Nothing turns me off more than a lender stopping by my office and begging me for business. Drives me nuts.

Also, if it's our first closing together and I didn't refer the buyer to you, don't ask for more business from me at the closing table. That one drives me nuts too.

I would just call or email agents and ask for a chance to meet them for lunch or drinks. Be yourself, be real,and connect with the agents.

Then, when they refer you business, do a great job.

When I find a good lender that kicks butt, I tend to send them more business. Good luck Erika!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Ill be by with cookies next week. :) just kidding. Thank you for the feedback.

PS: Im a good lender that kicks butt!
Flag Thu Sep 19, 2013
I would suggest working for a lender that is on the APPROVED list to get the State of Florida First Time Homebuyer Bond money.

Also I would suggest working for a lender that can offer the HomePath RENOVATION mortgage. I think Prospect Mortgage in Tampa Bay is the only local lender doing the HomePath Reno. There are many that will do the FHA 203k Streamline and regular but with the HomePath listings the asset managers like going with a buyer getting a HomePath Reno since there are less restrictions.

Co-hosting a Broker's Open is a good idea. Visiting Realtors at their Broker's Open is probably okay, too but don't eat their food! lol

Also you may want to get an affiliation with a local title company or attorney's office that can offer Short Sale management/negotiation services for Sellers/Realtors.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Nothing beats the personal relationship you can have with real estate agents. Whatever you can do to cultivate those relationships will help your long term success.

I met the current lender that I work with at a broker open house that she hosted with another real estate agent. Through that open house I was able to get a glimpse in to her knowledge of the business and that led to me referring all of my clients to her. This is just one way that you can do it but in my opinion, broker open houses are a great way to mingle with other agents.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 18, 2013
Erika,

You and I have worked together and I'm quite impressed by your work ethic, dedication, and client service! We will certainly be bringing more business your way and spread the word with other Realtors within our network. It takes time but using boards like these will create more exposure. Maintain the consistency and perseverance and it will all come together.

Hector
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 18, 2013
Thank you Hector! :)
Flag Thu Sep 19, 2013
Hi Erika,

By answering questions here on Trulia. I get many of my customers because they've seen the answer to a Trulia question.

There are many questions asked by potential buyers regarding mortgages. Many Realtors such as myself read dozens of questions each day. If I keep seeing your name along with good sound advice to the potential customer, I would say "gee it sounds like she knows what she's talking about". When I would encounter a buyer needing a mortgage I may give them you phone number for advice and or to secure financing.

Good luck with your business.

Nadine
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 18, 2013
Thank you Nadine, I just found out about this on Trulia today so I will definitely be using it to help out potential buyers.
Flag Wed Sep 18, 2013
Hi Erika -

Why not join the GTAR (or your local real estate board) as an Affiliate Member? Then you'll have the opportunity to sponsor or co-sponsor upcoming events such as new member orientations, general membership meetings, seminars and other events which will offer you face-to face time with members.

Wishing you the best of success!
Lisa
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 18, 2013
Thank you Lisa, I just joined Pinellas last month. I will definitely be looking into GTAR as well. I appreciate the reply.
Flag Wed Sep 18, 2013
The very first lender I had used to farm for ME via phone and actually gave me business. With the drop in real estate I think he left the business.

I was loyal to my lenders. When our in house lenders were visiting our office each week I was very hesitant to recommend them. Neither of them invited me to learn more about them. I decided to give one a try and his responsiveness didn't fit my needs. Then one meeting they discussed a program that I felt would be beneficial. I introduced that program to someone I met an an open house. I told them they needed to talk with my lender. When they contacted me I connected them with in house lender number two. He was awesome. The buyer got approved right away and closed on a house in 45 days.

I want to know (1) What sets you apart from other Brokers? (2) What's in it for my clients? (3) How will you communicate (4) Will you refer or generate any business back to me?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 25, 2013
Erika Butler, from 1994- 2008,, I was in the lending business as a mortgage loan processor, loan officer, wholesale sub prime account executive and mortgage broker / owner of correspondent mortgage business.

Fortunately, there are many ways to "dig out" leads. First, conduct a raw data study to determine what is closing, price range and type of loan. Then develop a marketing strategy focused on this information.

Decide whether you are a refinance specialist or purchase specialist. Although you can do both, you may discover by studying your past closed transactions those that you enjoyed one more than others.

Perhaps you realize that you prefer working with credit challenged borrowers, or mobile home purchases, or jumbo self employed clients.

Once you have drilled down what you prefer, then focus on it. There will always be a need for a good mortgage broker. Learn as much as you can.

Best regards,
Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.
941.313.1234

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 25, 2013
Erika,
You are faced with the same challenge every real estate professional faces. That challenge is distinguishing the service and product you provide from that of the other 6,000 agents or 3,000 lenders. You must be able to articulate in vivid terms..
"Why choose you?"
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A response like, "For my exceptional service" is a rookie mistake that is intreped, "Trust me with your precious client 'cause I care." That truly does not sound one sylable different than EVERY other lender, title company rep, inspector, appraiser, stager, who has invested so little mental energy.
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Understanding this is a two way street is crucial. From this understanding, lots of doors open
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Give me something to talk about. Your company, Residential Finance, does not appear on http://www.BankingGrades.com I take great pleasure in diverting business way from Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and Citi, all of whom suck capital out of the local enconomy, but you must be in the arena that allows this candid conversation.
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Finally, be aware. you need to be next or last to benefit from the calleral damage that results from inordinate closing times (60 days!!!) garbage fees, creating competing models (rebates at agent expense) and the myriad of issues that create dissappontment for an agent and causes them to scramble for new resources. Keep sending email or post mail to adivse of your closing times, services, rates......and.......wait for it.......
client referrals. You know...that two way street thing.
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When we are in need, we will go with the last or next one that contacts us or ask our peers who is the rising star. Stay plugged into the agent centric websites and be ready to pounce when you see a post by a local NEWBIE....these newbies have no resources with whom you must compete. the bad thing is 94% will be gone in two years.

Best of success to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
Thank You Annette
Flag Fri Sep 20, 2013
Thank you all for the great feedback! It sounds like I am doing all the right things so far and with my knowledge and personality its just a matter of time.

I appreciate all your responses!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
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