Get to the Point

As you may have already noticed, there’s some amateur art included in this week’s newsletter. While it’s certainly better than a crayon drawing that might grace a refrigerator that’s supposed to be “mommy” but looks more like a B-movie creature, we all acknowledge there’s a reason the guy in our office who drew this . . . is still working in our office rather than making a living elsewhere. Be that as it may, there’s a point to the picture: is this how you’re allowing your client to choose their mortgage company? In many cases, it’s probably not too far off.

Agreed, it’s wise to stay on the right side of the law and be sure you’re never accused of “steering”. With that in mind, many agents tell their clients that it’s completely their decision as to what mortgage company they use (and it is, of course) and effectively step back from the entire conversation – using the illustration to the left, they’re putting the blindfold on the buyer and getting as far away as possible so they don’t take a dart to the eye or another sensitive region. Others give the same advice about this being the buyer’s choice and go on to give three or four recommendations of different lenders – this is still giving them the darts but not the blindfold.

“Steering”, of course, means you’ve symbolically taken the client by the shoulders and marched them into a lender’s office and said, “You HAVE TO use this lender if you want to work with me.” There’s a reason that’s not just frowned upon but illegal. It’s a good law designed to protect everyone in the transaction!

Clients come to you, ultimately, so you’ll hand them the keys to their new home. (Thanks, Captain Obvious!) This means that they rely on you to give them good advice and sound counsel. When you see a particular buyer has a unique set of circumstances or know the transaction has some funky factors that don’t pop up every day, you’re performing a value-added (and legal) service by saying, “Choosing a mortgage company is ALWAYS up to you. With your situation, I would strongly suggest you consider _______ when choosing. I’ve seen them tackle issues like these before, and they do it very well – other companies haven’t been up to the challenge.”

KNOW what your individual lenders do well and better than anybody else and counsel your clients accordingly – a large part of our business comes from agents referring other agents because they’ve seen how well we’ve handled the tough situations. The smoother the transaction, the happier the client will be. Happy clients equal more referrals. Smoother transactions equal faster paychecks.

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