Dennis Black is CEO of Dennis Black and Associates, a training organization devoted exclusively to the development
of sales and management professionals within the lending
industry. Dennis Black and Associates has trained more than
115,000 mortgage professionals throughout the U.S., Canada
and Australia. Black speaks at Mortgage Bankers Association
and NAMB - The Association of Mortgage Professionals conferences about selling strategies and is a frequent speaker
at state conferences. Visit dennisblack.com. Reach Black
The Role of the Realtor
in Digital Lending
Don’t lose sight of the crucial role real estate agents
play in business success
By Dennis Black
As we enter 2018, mortgage originators and their Realtor partners are facing a dramatic shift in the nature of the lending business. Homebuyers and home sellers are
now turning in ever greater numbers to the internet
to search for both mortgage and real estate services.
Consequently, mortgage professionals, including originators, need to find ways to remain highly relevant in
this new digital world.
How originators accomplish this paradigm shift in
thinking will determine a lot of their success, or lack
thereof, in 2018 and beyond. In that light, it makes
sense to take a hard look at some of the strategies originators can use to stay ahead of the curve in an evolving
With respect to purchase-loan transactions, mortgage
originators should never forget a crucial component to
their success: the professional Realtor. The influence the
Realtor has on the decisions borrowers may make has
always been a factor that should never be minimized.
Yet, in today’s fast-paced world, many lenders that
deal directly with the consumer via their marketing and
sales approach ignore the Realtor. That may be why
there seems to be a widening gap of distrust between
these two key players in the home-purchase world.
The trust buyers place in their Realtors should not
be overlooked. With their commissions on the line,
Realtors are going to discuss with homebuyers their
thoughts on which originators they are comfortable
with or offer local financing solutions they are more
familiar with. Therefore, the digital lender that may not
be geographically close to where a purchase transaction occurs may find itself at a potential disadvantage
because it lacks familiarity and local proximity.
To establish that level of confidence, along with
taking your first steps to build the trust that is so important on a purchase transaction, mortgage originators need to fully embrace Realtors and get them
involved as soon as possible to cement a connection
and secure the mortgage application.
One of the most important steps for an originator is
to create an early engagement with the Realtor after
interacting with a potential borrower. On a purchase
transaction, it is key to have the Realtor become a part-
ner or ally versus a deterrent or enemy. Therefore,
during phone conversations with prospective borro-
wers, the minute you uncover they are serious about
buying a home, find out what phase of the transaction
they are in.
Is the borrower in the early investigation or looking
phase, where a possible prequalification or a preapproval could be an asset? If the purchase is not imminent, it is still critical to get the borrower to make
some form of commitment to you. After that part of
the process is secure, now you can suggest a quality
Realtor whom you know or have worked with in the
past as a possible reference for the borrower.
After getting permission, pass the prospective borrower’s name on to that Realtor. That will establish trust
with the real estate agent, because you are giving them
business and a commission-earnings opportunity.
Establishing the connection
If the prospective borrower is in the process of making
an offer on a property, you need to kick it into high
gear. When you hear the words from the borrower,
“I am looking into financing to buy a home,” you
should immediately ask if the individual has found a
property and, if so, when an offer is going to be made.
If it is soon, it’s likely the borrower is already working
with a Realtor.
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