How can loan originators guide borrowers through a competitive market?

Executive on key areas of focus amid turbulent market

How can loan originators guide borrowers through a competitive market?

Opportunities are still out there for buyers in the US housing market despite high mortgage rates – and having as detailed conversations as possible to set client expectations is especially important for loan officers in the current environment.

That’s according to Clint Bryant (pictured), vice president and senior loan originator at MarveLoans, who told Mortgage Professional America that his team had doubled down on an educational and advice-driven approach as a particular focus at present.

“There are always opportunities for [buyers] depending on what their expectations are when they’re first trying to get into a home,” he said.

“I think that when you have those conversations with the clients, those are some of the things that we’ve been trying to hone in right now from an educational standpoint with first-time buyers – even experienced [buyers]: setting the proper expectations for them of what it is when they’re going through that homebuying process.”

That means getting first-time buyers up to speed with downpayment assistance programs and other options to help ease affordability, with lack of inventory and fierce bidding wars in many markets making every dollar crucial.

Preparedness, speed crucial across competitive housing markets

Recently released housing market data by showed a big April upswing in the number of homes currently available across the country – but while homes were spending one day more on the market last month compared with the same time last year, they were being snapped up by buyers seven days quicker than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryant said his team is also focusing on more than just getting clients preapproved at present – but also on strategies to get them into the home, a key way of offering extra value for borrowers in a crowded field.

“For us, it’s been really [about] forming a good partnership with the realtors that they’re working with… but [also] going above and beyond from the lending side, especially when an offer gets put on a home,” he said.

“Reaching out to the listing agent and doing a better job of due diligence as far as pre-underwriting a file, making sure we have all the documents in place so that when their offer gets accepted, the listing agent has that information ahead of time that they can present to their clients, too.”

Taking those steps helps to give all parties involved more confidence that the process will go quickly and smoothly, he said, “because we’ve already done our legwork and everything that we had to do to get the clients preapproved, which makes it a little bit more of an efficient transaction, too.”

With the current market dominated by purchase business, Bryant said speed, efficiency, and preparedness were all “essential” elements of the loan originator role, both for the good of the customer and to maintain a strong relationship and reputation in the eyes of real estate agents, who are closely attuned to the good and bad experiences they have when working with lenders.

What does thinning competition mean for mortgage professionals?

The mortgage industry is evolving, with the cooldown that’s gripped the market in recent years resulting in something of an exodus from the broker and loan originator professions.

That means challenges but also opportunities, said Bryant, who’s been focusing on new ideas and ways to get in front of consumers and grow business.

“That’s one of the things where I think yes, it’s been a challenging market – but it’s a positive thing for us, for those that actually survived because we’re doing a better job of the things that we need to be focusing on,” he said. “For MarveLoans as a whole, our company is really putting forth an effort to boost our marketing campaigns and get exposure for all of our Los, not just with our partnerships that we have with our realtors, but also direct to consumer as well as giving them information.

“So the clients are more prepared, and the more educated they are upfront, it always creates a better experience for them long-term.”

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