Stronger real estate agent connections will be the key to lending success in 2022 – Here’s why

If you make your living by originating new mortgage loans, I don’t have to tell you that the business is changing. You probably already know that the MBA’s latest mortgage forecast puts the purchase money at 75% of all loan volume. You’re probably already feeling it in your business.

real estate agents
John G. Stevens, President at SRE

If you’re planning on staying in the mortgage business in 2022, you’re probably already shifting your strategy to better enable you to originate purchase money loans next year. That means you’ve been thinking about real estate agents…a lot.

The purchase money mortgage transaction begins with the real estate sales contract and that’s not something our industry controls. It’s the real estate agent who has the consumer’s trust at this point. They control this business and they have a lot to say about where the buyer goes for financing.

Smart loan originators are building relationships with these critical business referral partners now. But they’re not using outdated tactics because they don’t work anymore.

In the old days, people looking for a new home drove downtown to the real estate agent’s office and looked at photos and then drove around town looking at properties all day. Those days are long are over. Real estate agents, like mortgage loan officers, work from wherever they are today. They don’t even come into the office anymore.

That means the old tactic of rolling into town with a box of donuts is no longer going to work. We don’t have anywhere to drop them off, besides, too many agents have responded to the trend of picture business cards but cutting out the junk food. Who saw that coming? We need a better way to form these connections and build these relationships.

Being where the agents are for better connections

Recently, I sat down with California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP) President Manny Morales to discuss the future of the home finance industry. He sees a future that is very different from the world we’re working in today.

Borrowers don’t go into the branch as often and they don’t expect to wait for a loan officer to meet them in person. Today, they expect to transact online. If mortgage brokers want to stay relevant in the future, that’s where they have to meet their prospective borrowers. The good news is that real estate agents are already there. All we need to do now is get our mortgage brokers into the same online space.

So, Manny and I put our heads together and announced a  new partnership with CAMP that will provide a new member benefit aimed at preparing California mortgage loan originators to compete more effectively, both today and in the coming purchase money mortgage market. CAMP is now working with SRE to build a new online marketplace that will connect consumers with CAMP’s mortgage loan originators.

I also sat down recently with NAMB President Kimber White. He’s of like mind and so he and I subsequently announced a partnership that will provide a similar member benefit for NAMB members that will prepare them to compete more effectively, both now and in the coming purchase money mortgage market. 

Under the terms of the new agreement, SRE will cooperate with these fantastic organizations to build a new online marketplace that will connect consumers with both the real estate agents they depend upon to find a new home and the mortgage loan originators they need to finance it. That work has already begun!

The new way to collaborate with real estate agents

Consumers are already going online to find their next homes and real estate agents are meeting them there to start new relationships. If mortgage originators want to remain relevant in the future — well, let’s be honest, next year — they need to be online, too

The SRE marketplace will include profiles for mortgage loan originators all across the United States. Consumers can create search terms for property type and mortgage loan expertise, such as condo, second home, investment property, single-family or any other mortgage type. Search results connect them with mortgage professionals who have been reviewed by past borrowers.

If you are a mortgage broker, I would hope you are a member of NAMB. If you are working in California, I would hope you are a member of CAMP. But you don’t have to be a member of either of these organizations to get your free profile on SRE.com. 

For as long as I’ve been a part of this industry, loan originators have struggled to find good new business leads and to forge strong connections with their partners in real estate sales. We are changing that by putting consumers at the center of the transaction and giving loan originators the opportunity to build out strong referral relationships easily. You can be part of it.

Get your profile on SRE.com today…for free! This is the future of our industry. Don’t be left behind.

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