I have had many of my Realtor partners ask me what they can do to make their next open house productive and a winner. Having worked on the other side of the fence there’s nothing more frustrating than working an open house and watching potential clients walk away.
I spend at least one weekend day stopping by local open houses and introducing myself to the Realtors who don’t know me and one thing I have noticed since jumping ship and working the mortgage side of things is that the open house lookers are more at ease when a lender is on the scene. They’re not as reluctant to give me their information to me as they are a Realtor.
Once I have their information it’s relationship developing time, a note card goes out to them Monday morning with a little note and our business cards. Yes, I include the Realtors card as well as my own. Over the course of relationship building I’ll throw in things like “Hey Steve, Robby Realtor knows we’re working together and he just told me about this new listing that…” This is not only a confidence builder in the abilities of the Realtor with the client, it shows the client that Robby and I work together on a regular basis and talk frequently.
Lose the thought/feeling many Real Estate professionals have that open houses are too time-consuming. Frankly, they are time-onsuming. But your lending partner can provide assistance as a mortgage professional on hand to field many questions for you regarding financing options.
Even in a booming market, homes don’t sell themselves. A mortgage professional can be an ally for you and assist you at your open house events by providing answers to questions about financing on location. Most mortgage professionals are prepared (I know I am), to help you roll out the red carpet for your upcoming open houses with the following info-marketing materials:
- Pre-qualification on the spot
- Sample financing options for the property
- Current “Hot List” of loan programs
- Information about the credit scoring process
- Tips for credit cleanup
- First Time Home Buyer’s Guide*
As a follow-up, your lending partner can also provide pre-approval for prospects so they may shop as a cash buyer. Your seller will receive legitimate offers through this process, and you’ll will be able to weed out any unqualified prospects. Many mortgage professionals have a sophisticated database management system for follow up (I know I do), and we ask many questions about each prospect’s long-term goals. This enables the mortgage professional to get a clear picture of what type of financing is best for them, and work with them as an advisor rather than someone who simply quotes rates and provides the debt.
It is important for you to know your mortgage professionals policy. I.E. my policy is as follows: My job just begins when the client’s loan closes with me. I continue to monitor rates for the borrower and stay focused on helping them manage this debt. In addition, I send out a friendly quarterly newsletter, a financial newsletter, and follow up with an Annual Mortgage Planning Review. At any time throughout the life of their loan, my clients are advised to inform me of any changes which might affect their financial situation, at which point I provide them with spreadsheets to help them see what their options are.Let your lending partnre know when you would like them to work an open house with you, and provide them with the property information so they may prepare relevant materials to outline financing options for the home.
*RESPA laws require Real Estate professionals to pay a proportionate amount of the costs for co-op marketing and distribution. I have negotiated fair rates with my vendors, and I believe you will find the costs are reasonable. (See http://www.hud.gov to access RESPA ruling 24CFR3500.14.)
Category: Real Estate