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Saturday, March 27, 2010

There's a fine line...

If you watch someone who is really good at what they do - a great pianist or guitarist, a fantastic athlete, or a surgeon (I know, you usually don't get to watch surgeons) - they usually make it look very easy. Sometimes these things look so easy, we think we can do the same kind of thing without much effort until we try it ourselves and see how difficult it really is. This is when you have a very healthy respect for the talent they have.

The same can be true in business. I'll be the first to tell you that doing mortgages today is much more difficult than it was pre-July 2007. However, I don't have very many problems with most mortgages that I do and when I do have a challenge I am usually able to find the solution, if there is one (some people just can't qualify without major credit repair, or a JOB). The problem is that there is a fine line between wanting your clients to understand that it's going to be tough to get their mortgage done (you want them to get the idea that they need YOU on the job for them because NO ONE else can get it done) and letting them think that it will be a smooth transaction - if they think their case is easy enough then they may think that they don't need an expert and they may be tempted to go somewhere else, perhaps to someone who is quoting ridiculously low rates that aren't real.

Conversely, if they perceive that their file has challenges that you may not be able to overcome, they may panic and start calling around to other loan officers who may, with minimal information, lure the business by saying that it should be no problem, thereby putting their mind at ease. Crystal clear communication is very important to help clients understand the true challenges that are unique to their case that must be overcome while instilling confidence that success will be the ultimate result.

Don't Assume: We all know what happens when we assume. I always tell my partner that "stupid" costs. I haven't come across a situation where someone's stupidity hasn't cost me money - usually it's not mine (thankfully). When assumptions are made about a potential client especially to the extent that the loan officer decides not to take an application, stupidity is reigning. I'll illustrate this with a true story. A Realtor that I work with called to refer a client to me that needs to close very quickly. A couple of large lenders dropped the ball and the listing agent had persuaded the buyer's agent to try his lender. She called and the that lender was very negative toward the buyer's agent because of an on the credit report for which she already had a letter correcting the error. The buyer's agent immediately called me and asked me if I would be willing to give it a try and the credit was O.K. (no need for the letter) and we got an approval. We have the file moved to the front of the line to try to close it on time and we won that business and hope to earn more of the listing agent's business.

The buyer's agent commented to me that she didn't think that the listing agent's lender cared much about him if he wasn't willing to step up and do everything he could do to help close that transaction. He is basically cherry picking the easy deals. We all like low hanging fruit, but we need to support our partners and do what we can for our potential clients. What do you think about all of this? I'd love to know your thoughts. Please post a comment.

2 comments:

Dianne said...

The reason I rely heavily on Jed's (and Richard's) expertise is that they ALWAYS have a ladder with them to pick the fruit from any part of the tree!! The low fruit may be easy but let's remember that the closer you get to the ground, the sooner you become "fruit sauce"!! What may appear to be a difficult transaction may easily become ordinary as you "peel back" the layers of the deal and solve the problems one at a time. Great job Jed! I know that buyer's agent is THRILLED to find a lender willing to handle the file and the listing agent should certainly be reevaluating their current lender relationship.

Jed said...

Thanks for the nice comment / compliment, Dianne.