After years of reading Rob Chrisman’s commentary, this past Saturday’s email was a first for me.
The subject line of his news commentary read, “Pretty quiet out there.” It’s overstating the obvious, but there is a reason for the silence. The industry is focused on reaching its goals this year.
So, while there is silence, the industry is determined to reach the millions of homes out there for sale.
Existing-home sales in 2018 are expected to reach 5.46 million homes, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. And homebuyer demand is still extremely strong. Are you doing everything it takes to capture your share of that 5.46 million homes being sold?
Here are three ways for you to scoop up market share:
- Sharpen your product line-up and skate fast
We all know that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to getting homeowners into their dream home. Home prices are increasing in markets like California, making it critical to have that competitive Jumbo. And for markets where Millennials are in bidding wars on the handful of homes that meet their price point, get them pre-qualified with low-to-no down payment options like VA, FHA, USDA and HomeReady. Have a high propensity for Veteran homebuyers? Then, make sure you have the most competitive VA loan offering in your market.
Know your buyers, review local data and understand marketplace inventory. It’s a race to the chase. You want to be sure you can fit your clients into the right product and get them to the closing table (aka Happiness Hour) as fast as possible, so they can get into their happy home.
- Make Realtors your best friends
You may have a lot of friends on Facebook, but your Realtor friends are like gold. Be on top of building and protecting your relationships with them. There are 1.3 million Realtors across the country. How many Realtors are you connected with and maintaining? Widening your Realtor network takes focus and diligence:
Outbound call Realtors – Current and prospective Realtors are looking for ways to move their clients. Regular calls with tips on how to fit their customers into the best loan products for the customer will give them the confidence to send loans to you.
Network locally and at tradeshows– Get involved in Realtor online communities, local events and tradeshows. This is where relationships are built. Have materials to share that show you deliver great service.
Get social – LinkedIn and Facebook are today’s online word of mouth. Populate your company page with daily content that you and your colleagues can share – demonstrate that you are on it – from products and price to technology and service. Every loan is up for grabs, so stay top of mind.
Be at the top of their inbox – Email is the most cost-effective and impactful marketing tool you have. Being in your Realtor networks inbox is important – sending messages about your great service, fast turn times, mortgage education, awards and more. Make sure you take care of their customers by selling your loans to a correspondent investor who will keep their customers happy.
- Protect your compare ratios like a newborn baby
Your compare ratios are critical to your growth strategy. Are you watching your ratios close enough? Does your correspondent investor use different servicing skillsets and processes for different types of loans? A 700 FICO government file can be serviced like a conventional A paper loan, but a 660 FICO or below government loan needs a different type of servicing. Don’t risk your compare ratio. A negative compare ratio will likely interfere with your ability to originate government loans (learn more about compare ratios here). Now is not the time to be restricted from offering products, especially ones that are in high demand.
The real news
There’s still a lot of activity in the market and demand for housing isn’t going anywhere! The lenders who outsmart the competition, deliver a tight and nimble product line up, widen their referral network and partner with correspondent investors (or as I like to call it “Carespondent”) who provide transparency and great service to your customers will win. It’s time to make your own noise and capture your fair share of the millions of homes being sold today.