Questions Loan Officers Should Ask Realtors

woman realtor holding up a "home for sale" sign surrounded by question marks

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Collaborating with realtors comes with the territory of being a loan originator, but it can be challenging to know how to start the conversation and what questions to ask. By taking the time to understand realtors’ needs and preferences, you can establish a mutually beneficial relationship that leads to more closed deals for both parties. Consider asking potential realtor referral partners these 13 questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding realtors’ needs and preferences is crucial to building a strong relationship.
  • Evaluating realtors’ client base can provide valuable insights into their market knowledge and sales strategy.
  • Building a mutually beneficial relationship based on trust and respect requires clear communication and meeting expectations.

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Understand Where Realtors Are Coming From

To build strong relationships with realtors, it’s essential to understand their needs. By doing so, you can tailor your approach and provide value that meets their goals and objectives. Here are some questions you can ask to gain a better understanding of realtors’ needs:

What are your professional goals?

By asking this question, you can learn more about the realtor’s long-term aspirations and how you can help them achieve those goals. For instance, if a realtor wants to increase their sales volume, you can offer them tips on how to identify potential borrowers or provide them with marketing materials that can help them reach their target audience.

What are your personal goals?

Realtors are people too, and they have personal goals that they want to achieve. By asking about their personal goals, you can build a stronger relationship and show that you care about them as individuals. For example, if a realtor wants to spend more time with their family, you can offer them solutions that can help them balance their personal and professional lives.

What challenges are you facing in your business?

By asking this question, you can identify pain points and offer solutions that can help realtors overcome obstacles. For instance, if a realtor is struggling to generate leads, you can offer them strategies that can help them attract potential borrowers or connect them with other professionals who can help. In turn, you will get to help more clients reach their dream of achieving home ownership and gain even more business, a win-win-win.

Evaluating a Realtor’s Client Base

As a loan officer, one of the most important things to consider when building relationships with realtors is evaluating their client base. This information can help you better understand the types of borrowers they work with and tailor your approach to meet their needs. Here are some questions to consider when evaluating a realtor’s client base:

What’s your typical client profile? 

One of the first things you should ask a realtor is about their typical client profile. This includes information such as the age range and lifestyle of their clients. Understanding this information can help you determine what types of loan products may be most suitable for their clients. For example, if they typically work with first-time homebuyers, you may want to focus on FHA loans or other programs that offer low down payment options.

What type of financial histories do your clients typically have?

Another important factor to consider is the financial history of the realtor’s clients. This includes information such as credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, and employment histories. Understanding this information can help you determine the level of risk associated with working with their clients. For example, if their clients have high debt-to-income ratios, you may need to focus on loan products that offer lower monthly payments.

Gauging a Realtor’s Market Knowledge

When working with realtors, it’s important to understand their knowledge of the local real estate market. As a loan officer, you want to partner with realtors who have a deep understanding of the market and can provide valuable insights to you and your clients. Here are some questions you can ask to gauge their market knowledge:

What are the current market conditions in your area?

We all know the market can be unpredictable and change rather quickly. It’s a good idea to reach out to realtors to better understand how certain communities and neighborhoods are being affected. Realtors may have on-the-ground knowledge you can’t get elsewhere and may also be able to spot trends before they hit the headlines.

What are the average home prices in the neighborhoods and territories you specialize in? 

A mutually beneficial partnership is one that results in a win/win for both parties. By being upfront about the numbers, each party can decide for themselves whether the partnership will be lucrative and whether they can help each other. This is particularly important in highly competitive markets like Colorado and California. 

What are the most popular types of properties in your area?

Remember: your clients aren’t actually buying the house. They’re buying the bigger backyard, access to the better school district, and/or a quieter, safer neighborhood to raise their family in. By understanding the most popular types of properties, you can begin to understand your clients’ motivation. This will help you establish better rapport in the long-run.

Are there any upcoming developments or changes that could impact the local real estate market? 

It’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on the trends so you can get ahead of roadblocks and prevent pipeline bloat. If a realtor is privy to this kind of information, you can also help your clients make better-informed decisions. 

Analyzing a Realtor’s Sales Strategy

When working with realtors as a loan officer, it’s important to understand their sales strategy to better align your services with their needs. Here are some key questions to consider:

What is your pricing strategy?

Realtors have to price homes competitively to attract buyers while still making a profit for their clients. As a loan officer, you can help realtors by providing them with information on current interest rates and mortgage options that can help their clients afford the homes they are interested in. Understanding a realtor’s pricing strategy can help you tailor your services to their needs and build a stronger relationship. Additionally, it can reveal whether your values and ethics align. 

What are you currently doing for marketing? 

Marketing is a critical aspect of a realtor’s sales strategy. They need to attract potential buyers to their listings and generate interest in the homes they are selling. As a loan officer, you can help realtors by providing them with marketing materials that highlight the benefits of your mortgage services. You can also offer to co-market with them to reach a wider audience. Understanding a realtor’s marketing techniques can help you offer more targeted support and build a stronger partnership.

Establishing Communication Guidelines

As a loan officer, it’s important to establish clear communication preferences with your realtor partners. This will ensure that you are providing them with the information they need in a timely and efficient manner, and they are doing the same for you. Here are some key questions when it comes to understanding a realtor’s communication style:

What is your preferred communication channel? 

It’s important to establish which communication channels your realtor partners prefer to use. Some may prefer email, while others may prefer phone calls or text messages. You should also consider using a project management tool or software to help streamline communication and keep everyone on the same page.

How frequently should we update each other?

Another important consideration is the frequency of updates. Some realtors may prefer daily updates, while others may only need updates on a weekly basis. It’s important to establish this upfront to ensure that you are meeting their expectations and that they are meeting yours.

Keep It Casual

This isn’t an interrogation. It’s simply a way for you and a potential referral partner to get to know each other better and see whether there may be a good opportunity on the table. If things don’t work out with one realtor, don’t fret. There are plenty of potential referral partners out there to connect with, even outside of real estate. 

By asking these questions, you can get a sense of how well the realtor understands the local market and whether they can provide valuable insights to you and your clients. Additionally, if a realtor is knowledgeable about the market but isn’t a great fit, they may be able to provide you with referrals to other real estate professionals who can help you grow your business.

Expand Your Referral Network the Proven Way

The LOs we work with are busy. Good Vibe Squad shows loan originators how to build thoroughly vetted referral networks and strategic partnerships without scores of coffee dates, lunches, and open houses. Our proven system works for you to streamline the conversion process from lead to close. With our guarantee and hands-on support team, you’ve got nothing to lose. 

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