We sat down with Tanna Guthrie, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Kansas City Homes, to ask her a few burning questions on the minds of loan officers, and to seek her advice on how to build stronger agent-lender relationships.
Q: We all know homebuying competition is fierce right now. Selling prices have climbed dramatically and direct-to-consumer loan officers are relying on purchase leads, and it’s tough. Can you provide us with a perspective on how borrowers are reacting to this market, and tell us some of the ways you’re remaining competitive and patient through this crazy purchase market?
A: Well, it is tough because we’re all in bidding wars. As a real estate agent, we know we have to counsel our buyers. First, pre-approval is critical. Counseling buyers on the importance of a pre-approval before we start to even look has been very important in staying competitive in the market.
Q: Let’s say someone has decided to be a loan officer. How should they build a relationship with you?
A: I believe in giving people a chance, so quite frankly, just ask. I have a lender I’ve worked with for years. We’ve helped each other out a great deal, and now we’ve worked together for years. However, I am always open to working with other lenders. I was new to the business once, so I know how important it is to give people a chance.
Q: It sounds like constant communication is very important to you. What are some of the things that you like to hear from your lender?
A: It’s very important when you call a lender that you aren’t taken to a recording saying they will get back to you in 24 hours. The nature of the business is to get in touch quickly, so calling or texting is preferable. The biggest tip I have is to respond to communications in a timely manner to stay top of mind.
Q: Let’s talk about marketing tools. What are you looking for in terms of those tools when establishing relationships?
A: Brochures and information around interest rates are always helpful. Having a calculator or an app that you can pull up instantly to plug in the numbers is great. Buyers want to know their possible payment information quickly, so being able to see what their payment might be, interest rate, PMI, any lender fees, etc.
Q: Do you have any additional tips for loan officers looking to cultivate relationships with agents?
A: Don’t be afraid to reach out, it’s that simple! If you provide valuable marketing collateral and stay in constant communication with your agent throughout the process, you’ll be all set.
It’s the little touches that make all the difference when building relationships with agents. Easy and frequent communication between the lender and agent are key. Providing tools and resources that help serve the buyer better are essential in this competitive market. Finally, remembering that it’s not just about how lenders can get more business. It’s consistently providing added value to the buyer that will encourage a positive relationship.