By Jesse McCarl
You may not be a big fan of loan officers in general. A lot of real estate agents view them as a necessary evil. You may get nagged with phone calls of originators wanting to work with you, they seem to under-deliver on promises, and they don’t seem to understand your timeline. However, a strong real estate agent and loan officer relationship makes a world of difference. Here’s what to look for in a loan officer to make your team unstoppable!
1. Don’t Just Check Experience. Check the Specifics.
A loan officer with experience is great. But more specifically, you want someone who offers products that you work with. If you encourage a lot of your clients to pursue 15-year mortgages, find a loan officer that makes that happen. Finding someone with a lot of jumbo loan experience may not usually be very much help to you, even though they’re great at what they do.
2. Be Realistic
Not every loan officer can produce every kind of mortgage. Cultivate an atmosphere of honesty and transparency so that you don’t waste your time waiting on something that isn’t going to come through. You can have a really good loan officer who just isn’t a good fit for every kind of client.
It should be obvious, but a loan originator can’t read your mind. Be clear about the deadlines and expectations you have set. Encourage open dialogue so there is no disappointment down the road.
4. Seek Knowledge First
A lot of loan officers take the approach of flattery to win over agents’ business. They try to sell themselves to you. What they don’t realize is that you’re in the business of personal branding and customer service. You can’t simply be won over! You should look for information and presentation. The most knowledgeable officers trump the most personable.
5. Remember They Need Your Business More
You may always need originators, but you don’t have to pine after their business desperately. Their constant attempts to reach out to you may get old fast, but it should also serve as a reminder that you always have options. There’s never a reason to bend over backwards for a loan officer who is ill-prepared, untimely, or generally unprofessional.
6. Remember It Is Not Personal
There are some agents that work exclusively with a loan officer they know they can trust. That’s fine if you have the pipeline and experience to make that work. But remember, it’s nothing personal if an agent doesn’t want to work with your loan officer. Let the buyer know the benefits of your network, but know that you get your commission check regardless. Plus, now you know exactly how to screen the other officers right off the bat!