The Care and Feeding of Lending Professionals

With the financing end of real estate transactions getting more involved as time passes, your relationship with your lending professional is more important than ever. Here’s what you as a real estate professional need to know about the care and feeding of your lender partner.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

The highest-regarded lending professionals in the world are of little use to you if you are unable to reach them or if they don’t give you timely and accurate information on your client’s file. If you are working with a new lender for the first time, be sure to set your expectations of the level of communication you need right at the very beginning of the process.

Note that few lenders send out regular updates to clients unless something new comes up, such as a problem that the client needs to be aware of and perhaps handle.

Help Them Help You

The flip side of the lender who is too busy to help is the lender who is truly doing the job but the client is unresponsive. Most home buyers, especially first-time buyers, are unable to grasp the enormous level of detail that must go into each file to get it to the closing table. Do your lender a favor and explain that to clients.

Seemingly small things can hold up or stop the mortgage process. You need to work with the lenders to keep it moving, as they want to get to the closing table as much as you do.

Get More Face Time With Buyers’ Seminars

With the summer buying season winding down as students return to school and cooler weather starts creeping up on us, it’s more important than ever to get (and stay) in front of new and existing clients. A home buyer seminar is a great way to do this.

Real Estate Is a Contact Sport

As in other businesses, much of the success you have in real estate depends on the amount of time you spend face-to-face with people.

Postcards and emails are excellent ways of maintaining relationships, but there is no substitute for a captive audience.

A home buyer seminar gives you a chance to tell them why they need a good real estate agent and why you’re the one they should be working with.

Assembling Your Team

Having a team of professionals you can present as part of your services will go a long way in adding to your credibility.

And having a mortgage professional, a real estate attorney, a home inspector and possibly a credit repair specialist rounds out the list of services you can provide to potential clients.

Even if your clients wind up using professionals other than the ones on your team, the message you’re sending out by having them available speaks volumes about how far you are willing to go to help your clients.

Another benefit to having a team is that all will share in the marketing expenses.

The larger the budget, the larger prospective audience you can reach out to.

Where to Have It

Using a neutral location to hold your seminar is a good idea.

Holding it at a real estate office sounds great in theory, but potential attendees may perceive this as some type of hard-sell presentation and may opt to pass on it.

Good ideas for reasonably priced or even free locations include community centers and large conference rooms in libraries.

Unless you have a large budget to spend, keep it simple at first; you may have a low turnout the first time around.

Once you get an idea of what turnouts you can expect, you can do the seminar on a larger scale.

When to Have It

Because most people work in the daytime hours and during the week, the times you can expect a large audience will be limited to nights and weekends.

Friday nights are probably out, as most people want to wind down from the week and may be less inclined to spend the evening at a home buyer seminar.

Monday through Thursday nights are best, and the period from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. works for most. Any later than that and attendees may pass you up in favor of bedtime – theirs or the kids’.

Who Do You Invite?

For a maximum turnout, you want your invitees to live as close as possible to your seminar location.

People living in apartment complexes and rental properties are an obvious target audience.

Your MLS likely provides rental listing information, and you can target renters whose leases will expire in coming months.