Your Problem is My Problem

For years and years, I’ve heard Credit Unions say “what do we need to do to get more Realtor business”. Or I’ve heard some say “I don’t want to work with Realtors because they steal my member .”

We take them donuts and send them rates sheets and try and try and try to get them to send us business. Sometimes it works, but often times it doesn’t.

Perhaps we’re going about it all wrong……

Remember the Realtor only gets paid when they sell a home. So they are probably hesitant to move to another lender if they’ve got a decent and dependable one.

But every Realtor has challenges or problems. Some may need help marketing. Some may need help with their continuing education. Some may need help understanding how changes in mortgage regulations could impact their home buyers. Some may need technology help. But just like everyone else, they all need help.

Be that help to a Realtor. Make their problem your problem. How do you do that? …Well, I’ve got four ideas:

1. Become an affiliate member of your local Board of Realtors. It’s usually pretty cheap and go start hanging out with Realtors.

2. Ask a Realtor what challenges they are facing. What makes it difficult for them to sell a home?

3. Register on the National Association of Realtors’ website and sign up for the NAR weekly email newsletter.

4. Every other month go read their Realtor Magazine online.

Try to understand the mortgage world from the Realtor’s view and think about what your Credit Union could do to make it easier for them to sell a home. Make their problems your problems and in doing so you’ll find a partner in the home buying world which will allow you to become more memberlicious.

6 thoughts on “Your Problem is My Problem

  1. Having just recently gone under contract for a condo (I close in 2 weeks!) I completely agree with your assessment. I live in DC where multiple offers is the norm, so my Realtor strongly pushed me in the direction of a lender that she knew would help me make the most competitive offer (14 day loan approval and assessment contingencies, 28 day closing). If I didn’t believe so firmly in the credit union difference, without a doubt, I would have gone with her lender recommendation.
    At the end of the day, like you said, the Realtor just wants the sale. Just like the borrower wants to be reassured by the Realtor about home choice, the Realtor wants to be reassured by the lender that the deal is going to get done. Even if a credit union can’t compete with closing times, it can try to do everything to reassure Realtors that credit unions can get loans approved that for-profits cannot.

    Thanks for the article Tim!

  2. Thanks Tim, great article! Having had the opportunity to work for one of the biggest credit unions as an outside loan officer I share with you my experience. They are very spoiled with membership refinance business with the in-house loan officers. They have great pricing as far as fees and interest rates. They are very limited to the number of investors they work with. They are not able to compete with the service levels offered to realtors and consumers through other lending companies. They are also limited in the amount of capital they can invest in soliciting realtor business. They for the most part are newbie’s in the purchase money business. Hopefully this is a wake up call for them since refinance business can no longer support them.

    I am seasoned in lending and have held positions as high as senior management in the lending and banking industry. I understand the purchase money business well. There is an enormous opportunity for credit unions to enter this market if they have the right management to blaze the trails for them.


    • Victoria – thanks for reading the blog and sharing your insight. The opportunity is there for credit unions and I’m seeing an expansion in what they can offer in the market to Realtors. While some are limited in terms of options, service and investors, many are not. Size doesn’t impact this – it’s more about wanting to serve the membership more effectively.

  3. Tim you are exactly right. I work with a lot of Credit Unions and talk to them about having the right tools in place. We all know that if you do not you may lose more than you gain. In my 17 years of working with agents (most of them in the field selling to agents) I’ve developed a standard sets of questions I ask Credit Unions.

    I ask what is their realtor strategy? Most do not have commissioned originators only branches/call centers waiting for members to apply. Most say they do not have a follow up plan once the member starts looking to communicate with the member and their agent. So I try to help them with the following questions to build success with Realtors.

    .*Do you have the RIGHT staff calling on REALTORS®? Trained Loan Originators who understand the Realtor needs.

    *How many Loan Originators do you have available to service this market? Are they available weekends and evenings when the realtor is working with the member?

    *Is your CU willing to participate in Person-to-Person marketing efforts?

    *Would your Credit Union be interested in any reciprocal advertising strategies with each agent?

    *What type of accountability programs does your Credit Union have in place to monitor referral exchanges?

    *What tools does your CU use to communicate with an agent and their customers when there is an application in process? Do you use:
    a. Email? b. Status sheets? c. Electronic updates? d. Fax?

    *Do you have a consistent method for communication to both the member and Realtor?

    As Credit Unions start to answer more of these questions with YES, they will have more success with Realtors.

So What Do You Think....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s