What do real estate agents look for in loan officers?

What do realtors want from loan officers? Here are 8 ways to build strong relationships

What do real estate agents look for in loan officers?

Updated 11-09-2023

In the real estate industry, having a strong relationship between realtors and loan officers is crucial. Why? Because good realtor-loan officer relationships help provide exceptional service to clients. It’s win-win-win.

So: what do realtors want from loan officers?

In this article, we will clearly define the roles of realtor and loan officer. We will also look at the various ways loan officers can build strong relationships with realtors. Here is everything you need to know to build strong professional relationships to better serve your clients.

What do realtors want from loan officers: the basics

Before getting into what realtors want from loan officers, let’s make sure we define both roles more clearly.

The role of a realtor

A realtor is a licensed professional who helps clients purchase and sell properties. Realtors have a thorough understanding of the local real estate market, meaning they can help homebuyers find properties that meet both their needs and their budgets.

Usually, realtors who represent homebuyers are called buyer’s agents. A buyer’s agent’s primary responsibility is to help homebuyers find the right home. This process includes conducting property searches, negotiating the price with the home seller, and scheduling viewings.

Realtors also help homebuyers navigate the closing process. This part of the process includes finalizing the sale and transferring ownership of the property.

The role of a loan officer

Loan officers are professionals in the financial industry that specialize in helping clients obtain mortgages to buy properties. Loan officers’ main role is to guide clients through the mortgage application process. They also help clients find a mortgage that will work best for their specific financial situation.

The main responsibility of a loan officer is to help borrowers get financing to buy a home. It typically includes reviewing the borrower’s financial documents, like tax returns and bank statements, to determine their loan eligibility.

Loan officers also help borrowers understand the various types of mortgages available to them. They also inform the borrowers of associated costs, like mortgage insurance, interest rates, and closing costs.

Being a loan officer can be a rewarding career. For a more detailed look into this role, find out how to become a loan officer in 10 steps.

How realtors and loan officers work together

Collaboration and mutual support are crucial for good relationships between realtors and loan officers. Realtors usually act as the first point of contact for clients who want to purchase a property. To achieve this, they rely on loan officers to provide their clients with financing options.

After a client has been pre-approved for a mortgage, the realtor can begin showing them properties within their budget. If the client finds a property they want to buy, the realtor will work with the loan officer to prepare an offer.

Throughout the entire homebuying process, realtors and loan officers work closely together to make sure the closing is smooth and timely. The loan officer keeps the realtor updated on the progress of the mortgage application; the realtor, meanwhile, coordinates with the seller and all parties involved in the transaction. This professional partnership, when done well, can lead to future business opportunities and referrals.

What are the expectations of a loan officer?

Loan officers should be able to work with clients and small business owners. Beyond that, loan officers must have extensive knowledge of the industry. This includes knowing the rules and regulations of the banking industry. It also means they should know which lending products are available and the documentation required for clients to get a home loan.

What do realtors want from loan officers?

There are essentially four things that realtors want from loan officers. Let’s dive right in to give you a better understanding of each:

Reliable preapprovals/prequals

A good realtor does not want to waste time with a homebuyer prospect who cannot qualify for financing. However, realtors also do not want to miss any opportunities because the loan officer did not know how to help a borderline borrower become qualified. Realtors therefore want a preapproval letter that inspires confidence in the seller and listing agent.

Reliable on-time closing

It is important that loan officers be accountable, especially for on-time closing. In other words, they will do anything to ensure everyone in their organization that has worked on the loan file does so promptly—without mistakes. Nothing is better for a realtor than working with a lender who has been reliable each step of the way, right up to closing.


Realtors want to remain informed on the loan approval status. Keeping open communication throughout the process will help alleviate any anxiety the realtor may be feeling. When measuring what realtors want from loan officers, having lenders return their calls is usually at the top of the list. It is therefore critical that loan officers accommodate realtors’ needs of getting a quick answer, day or night.

“You have to provide transparency and you have to make sure you’re a good communicator,” said Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager for TD Bank’s metro New York region. “Overall, that’s what the industry can learn. Make sure you keep everyone in the loop, and make sure you take the time—really take the time—to go over the disclosures with the customer. We need to do a good job educating both the customer and the real estate agent.”

Lead generation help

Realtors often want help with lead generation from lenders to help them pay for marketing. Obviously, RESPA requirements must be considered. But after that is out of the way, it is important to work with realtors on the sales and marketing side of things.

How do loan officers build strong relationships with realtors?

Strong relationships between loan officers and realtors are key for reliable referral business. And when it comes to referrals, realtors still provide loan officers with the most profitable leads. Here are the top networking tips for realtors and loan officers:

  1. Share industry knowledge
  2. Utilize email marketing
  3. Increase social presence
  4. Deliver on promises
  5. Establish presence locally
  6. Be readily available
  7. Ensure open house invite
  8. Exceed lender competition

What do realtors want from loan officers? To establish a strong local presence, for one.

What do realtors want from loan officers? To establish a strong local presence, for one.

Let’s take a closer look at each to better understand what realtors want from loan officers.

1. Share industry knowledge

The mortgage industry is constantly changing. Realtors want to partner with loan officers who will help guide them and their borrowers through the different steps and nuances of the mortgage process. It is more important than ever that loan officers impress realtors with their knowledge of in-demand offerings.

As a loan officer, you can guide realtors and borrowers through a wide range of mortgage options. These options should work for homebuyers in varying situations.

2. Utilize email marketing

Email marketing helps differentiate loan officers from the innumerable emails that realtors are already bombarded with. One example of this is sending weekly industry updates and rates. In other words, timely, need-to-know information in a format that’s easy to digest works well. Other versions of this include quick rundowns borrower trends, growing marketplace opportunities, and loan products.  

3. Increase social presence

Building social media presence helps loan officers build their brand and gain exposure. It also creates co-branded opportunities with realtors. Having a large social media presence means the loan officer offers not only their loan expertise, but also a wider audience of potential clients.

4. Deliver on promises

Realtors only really want to partner with loan officers that have a proven track record, i.e., who help clients get what they need and close on time—consistently. It is important, either way, to proactively communicate with realtors to mitigate any fallout.

5. Establish presence locally

Realtors want loan officers who know their local markets. They also want loan officers who are available to meet with borrowers face-to-face. For this reason, it’s a great idea to focus networking efforts on the local market. One way to do this is by becoming an affiliate member of the local real estate agent association, particularly in competitive markets.

6. Be readily available

Lenders who have office hours on-site a couple of days each week is a good way to be readily available. If that is not an option, loan officers can provide realtors with their cell phone number. This way, loan officers commit to being incredibly responsive to texts, phone calls, and emails.

7. Ensure open house invite

Loan officers should avoid crashing the realtor’s open houses. If the loan officer gets an invite, great. Some realtors like having a trusted partner to talk financing structures with prospective buyers on the spot. Otherwise, it comes off as invasive and somewhat disrespectful to the realtor.

8. Exceed lender competition

The best way for loan officers to appeal to realtors is a willingness to go that extra mile that their competitors do not quite reach. This can come in many forms, as we’ve seen. It may mean being available for their most valuable realtor outside of work hours. This could include proactive communication when they are unavailable, for instance. A loan officer may even exceed lender competition by guaranteeing closing dates.

If a loan officer is willing and able to outwork other lenders to deliver top-tier service to realtors, they will likely grow in reputation of excellence. That reputation will then travel through the referral channels in most, if not all, markets.

What do realtors want from loan officers: closing thoughts

To answer the question, “what do realtors want from loan officers?”, it is best to first understand what each of the roles entails. While securing reliable preapprovals and on-time closings are important, communication between realtors and loan officers is paramount. There are also numerous ways loan officers can build strong referral relationships with realtors. Keep these in mind to help you successfully navigate this professional partnership.

To find out more about what realtors want from loan officers, get in touch with one of the mortgage professionals we highlight in our Best of Mortgage section. Here you will find the top-performing mortgage professionals across the USA.

Did you find this information on what realtors want from loan officers useful? Let us know in the comment section below.