When buyers ask you for your lender referrals, how many agents have just been sending them a list of the “top three” and then take a back seat with a wait-and-see approach to find out what happens next?
I raise my hand here. I am guilty of this!
Times have changed
I have done just that for most of my 25-year career, because quite frankly, the lending side of the business was not what attracted me to real estate. I always left it to my trusted lending experts to handle the financials for my clients so I could focus more on my clients and their needs to get their transaction to a smooth close.
Be at the helm
However, with so many more cash buyers and a highly competitive market, things have changed dramatically, and we need to up our game and take more control, even on the lending side of things. Knowing with whom we are working and what their financial strengths (or weaknesses) are can really make or break a deal when we are trying to structure that offer and win that bid in a multi-offer situation.
In the past, I felt segregated from the process. At most, the more sophisticated lenders would spit out automated emails to agents when key milestones in the loan process were met. Quite nice as it kept us in the loop; however, we were always in the back seat waiting, along with our clients, for this information.
Now, there are integrated systems with 24/7 access so that we agents can stay on top of the loan like never before with data access throughout the entire mortgage process. Systems designed for agents so that we can work hand in hand with our lending partners and stay informed ahead of our clients. This has been a game changer for me, because it allows me to circumvent unforeseen situations that could blow a deal apart.
Two easy tools that could work for you
Let technology put you in control for each client’s home loan process like never before with access throughout the entire mortgage process. With these tools, you have the advantage of keeping the lender in the palm of your hand, staying on top of the daily mortgage rates in real time and having the qualification tools to help your clients find the best solution for their home loan needs. Here are two that do just that:
“Agent Advantage” Portal:
This proprietary portal, designed for agents, is offered by Proper Rate and Guaranteed Rate. Yes, it has many bells and whistles that can help you with lead gen, drip campaigns, co-branded marketing and even coaching. But what really sets this platform apart is the Loan Status Monitoring function. All of your clients can be managed in one database which allows you to monitor their loan status at all times. You can check in at any time, see when an appraisal has been ordered and even review it once complete! It’s super-efficient, keeps you informed for your clients and saves time from when the initial invitation link gets sent all the way to the “Flash Close” — and everything is done remotely.
“Rocket Pro” App:
This app by Rocket Mortgage keeps you up to date with the daily mortgage rates and also allows you to manage your clients within one database. You can send loan application links to your clients with qualification tools to help them find which loan would best suit their needs and acquire preapprovals within 24 hours. It gives you vision into your client’s loan process with real-time optional push notifications for every step — from appraisals and underwriting all the way to the clear to close. It even allows you to securely upload documents, which puts you in greater control of your client’s home loan process.
Digital mortgages — wave of the future
Both of these tools also offer complete digital mortgages. If you are working with lenders that still have platforms that require your clients to tediously upload countless documents — i.e., pay stubs, bank statements, etc. — then you need to consider partnering up with lenders that have gone 100% digital. This means that applications are streamlined and can be completed in minutes, saving your clients time and hassle. Clients can have their income and assets automatically verified with minimal information. This can essentially eliminate all paperwork, plus all documents can be signed digitally. These enhancements not only simplify things — they also provide a smooth process that your clients will appreciate.
So, no more sitting in the back seat in the dark waiting for updates. Use these tools to take the helm, and guide your buyers to one of their best home lending experiences ever.
Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at anne.luxhomechicago.com.