Wow, Jerry, great question!!!
I have found many more viable lenders now than I have in the almost 20 years I've been in the business.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Don't assume that I'm just going to communicate everything with the buyers or the sellers' side of the transaction. Take responsibility to do your own communicating, ESPECIALLY with me, and ESPECIALLY when there are problems that fall under the heading of "mortgage" issues.
2. Don't over promise and under deliver. Do the opposite. I had a lender last year that PROMISED me he was going to get a loan done in a short period of time. He didn't even get the appraisal done in enough time to produce the letter to meet the purchase agreement time period!! He was lame and I'll NEVER recommend him.
3. Know what our purchase agreements say and what we need from you in the way of information on how to structure the financial terms in the purchase agreement.
4. Make sure that you are as diligent about finding prospects for ME as I am for you. I'm fiercely loyal, and when I believe in someone, I do everything I can to "partner" with them in building business. It's been my experience that many lenders think the referral highway is a one way street, leading only to them.
Thanks for allowing me to post this. I may think of more later.
Good luck, Jerry~