In a high-volume year when originators feel stretched in a number of directions, many have found success by effectively outsourcing their marketing to a few key real estate agents. They’ll establish firm relationships with agents and use their legwork to generate record volumes without having to invest heavily in online marketing and pipeline building. It seems like a winning strategy, let the real estate agent find clients while the originator does what they do best, closing loans.
That strategy hinges on the real estate agent, though. Mortgage pros need to prove their worth to the real estate agent to secure the relationship. To find out what mortgage professionals can do better to win over real estate agents and create a strong pipeline, MPA spoke with Gavin Hammon. Hammon is a real estate agent with Compass in New York City. For Hammon, who has conducted over $80 million in sales across Manhattan & Brooklyn, if a mortgage originator is going to win his trust, they need to focus on one thing: communication.
“It boils down to how clearly are we communicating with each other,” Hammon said. “To me, that's vital. When there's a gap in time, and there's no response, everyone gets nervous. Managing nerves is obviously an important part of the process and we want to keep everything moving along at a pace that everyone's comfortable at. We can get that comfort by keeping communication up throughout the process.”
In Hammon’s past experience, his only major disappointments have come when a mortgage professional failed to communicate adequately with his client, sparking anxiety about the deal. If the loan officer or broker isn’t talking to the client, Hammon has to chase them down on the client’s behalf, costing him precious time and souring his view of the mortgage professional. Given how long loans are taking to close these days, Hammon said it’s extremely important that communication is maintained, even if it’s just a reminder that things are still in process.
Hammon currently uses a few trusted mortgage professionals in his practice. He trusts them, he explained, because he can simply leave the client in their hands and know that through the financing process that client will have all their questions answered and anxieties addressed. He trusts those mortgage pros to get a great rate, sure, but their level of communication is the difference maker.
Local knowledge is crucial, too. In a market as complex as NYC, Hammon said his clients who have come with their own financing without much of a presence in the city suffer from a delayed process as their loan originators struggle to navigate the difference between co-ops and condos. Knowledge, he said, can streamline the process.
Hammon himself is noticing the slow turnaround times for loan closures, something he noted all his colleagues are having to cope with. Interestingly, nobody had yet told him where the bottlenecks are, emphasizing that mortgage professionals need to communicate both with the client and with the real estate agent.
In Hammon’s mind, that key watchword of communication remains the core means by which a mortgage professional can win his and his colleagues’ trust.
“From the outset, if a company is just getting started in New York City then they need to acknowledge that, ask questions, be clear about timelines and transparent about what’s being done every step of the way,” Hammon said. “In a nutshell it’s communication.”