By Chik Quintans
Certified mortgage planner
The Key to First-Time F T me
Homebuyers’ Hearts: me ye s’ H a ts
Meeting in person marks the first step
toward gaining customers for life
Before you can provide leader- ship and lending solutions for first-time homebuyers as their
mortgage broker, you must earn their
trust. You can do this by meeting these
and other prospects in person, fielding their concerns and managing their
In-person meetings offer great opportunities to build rapport. You can’t
match this on the phone, through e-mail or online.
This is especially true when meetings
take place in your office, presuming
your office is a place you’d like to show
off to clients.
In-person meetings also give you
an opportunity to answer prospects’
questions and educate them about
their purchasing decision. For ex-
ample, homebuyers continue to have
many questions about tax credits and
their application in specific situations.
Although these credits may seem like
old news to brokers, buyers often don’t
comprehend them fully.
On the Web h
Internal Revenue Service Form •
No. 5405 (for claiming the first-time-homebuyer tax credit):
National Association of Home •
Builders’ guide to homebuyer
tax credits: federalhousing
Meeting face to face
If you work in the same town, city or
metropolitan area as your prospects,
you should attempt to meet potential
clients in person. When you don’t meet
people in person, you jeopardize your
ability to gain trust.
Funding the American Dream
For many brokers, first-time homebuyers most likely will need help with
their expectations. Because of the confluence of low interest rates, affordability, and tax credit for first-time and
move-up homebuyers, some prospective homebuyers might think they have
more buying power than they actually
do. This often occurs because of misconceptions about upfront costs, including closing costs.
On the other hand, some first-time
buyers are nervous and uncertain
about making a home purchase, even
when their finances are in excellent
condition. Often, these buyers fear
making a mistake that may eliminate
their ability to take advantage of other
In these cases, you might find it useful to put a larger frame around today’s
real estate market. You can do this
by sharing historical charts of interest rates, home affordability and tax
Adding context to the current state of
the market can offer prospects clarity
and confidence. It also can help prospects realize the opportunity in front of
them and give them the courage to take
advantage of it.
At the same time, you should recall
the shifting underwriting landscape of
today’s market, the possibility that a
lender with which you work could still
go out of business and the multitude of
other things outside your control.
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Beyond answering questions, brokers
must field prospects’ concerns. For
more than two years, consumers have
been bombarded with negative news
about mortgages, brokers and the industry at large. Ask prospects their
opinions about the industry and how
they feel about working with a broker.
Welcoming an open dialogue will help
address fears they may have. It also
demonstrates your genuine concern
about their opinions.
In addition, by allowing prospects an
outlet to voice their feelings, you place
their needs ahead of your own, which
can go a long way toward building trust
and rapport. After they’ve told you how
they feel, speak to their worries individually. You can do this by putting the
current market in context, serving as
an objective voice, and admitting the
role some mortgage brokers may have
played in helping perpetuate the mortgage crisis and economic downturn.
Generally, mortgage prospects
wouldn’t be sitting in your office if they
weren’t looking for leadership from you.
Prospective borrowers seek solutions
and a path to homeownership or beneficial refinancing.
If you think borrowers aren’t in position to take out a mortgage, don’t tell
them otherwise. If troubled homeowners face an uphill struggle to achieve
improved mortgage terms, tell them as
much. Failure to so or painting a false
picture will create suspicion and harm
When you look out for clients’ best
interests, you can earn trust even when
delivering news they may not want
There is an adage that says, “
Under-promise and overdeliver.” Mortgage
brokers would be wise to heed this advice. If you tell a client you can close a
loan within a set time frame, make sure
you can do it. Anything less will harm
In many cases, you have one chance
to turn prospects into customers. Your
ability to build trust will likely determine the outcome of that singular
Ph. (585) 256-2600 Fax (585) 256-2836
Licensed in CA, FL, NY, NJ & VA. Information provided is for mortgage professionals only and is not intended
or authorized for consumer or public distribution. All programs, rates and terms are subject to change.
Explaining the pros and cons of every decision can go a long way toward
managing borrowers’ expectations.
You also can offer insights about the
risks of homeownership, thus allowing
first-time homebuyer clients to consider
whether they want to buy right away.
Chik Quintans is a certified mortgage planner
with Atlas Mortgage in Lynnwood, Wash.
Quintans is a loan-officer director for the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals
and also serves on its social-media committee.
Visit www.facebook.com/teamcq. Reach Quintans at (425) 771-2095 or by e-mail at chik@
teamcq.com. He’s on Twitter: @chikquintans.