By David Lykken
Special to MPA
As in many industries, the way people have shopped for homes has changed dramatically. In many respects, real estate agents have lost their edge. Ten to twenty years ago, it would not have been uncommon for people to spend their weekends driving around neighborhoods looking at "For Sale" signs. Now, not surprisingly, people simply use the Internet to search for new homes from the comfort of their existing homes.
Mortgage bankers, when seeking to build relationships with realtors, need to understand this shift as much as anyone. Just as realtors needs to work harder to prove their value to consumers, mortgage bankers need to work harder to prove their value to realtors. So, how do we do that?
The key advantage realtors have is so longer data. Consumers have information on prices and the number of homes available in any given geographic region--essentially anything that can be quantified. The realtor now must bring the secret knowledge to the table--knowledge of the neighborhood, of the school system, of the parks, of the best places to eat.
If mortgage bankers want to build relationships with realtors, they will know these things too. The value is no longer in the data. Anything that can be looked up on a spreadsheet is no longer a competitive edge. We must be able to demonstrate to realtors that we know their market as well as they do, and that we can use that insight to help them build their business. It's a new world, and it's going to take a new approach.
David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.