Most of us probably have never even thought about asking ourselves these questions, yet we need to know the answers. We expect our clients to trust us, but should that relationship have trust flowing from both sides?
I am guessing most of you would first answer these questions with a resounding “YES”. After all, good customer service is one where we trust our clients and they trust us, right? Aren’t the best relationships built on trust?
Not exactly. When it comes to a real estate related business, trust should mostly be a one way street. There are businesses where trusting your clients is of utmost importance, but overtrusting in a real estate transaction can spell disaster. Just take a look at your recent transactions and you will likely see what I mean.
Most of you have undoubtedly spent grueling amounts of time establishing trust with your clients. You blog, excel in customer service, gather testimonials, and more in order to develop that relationship. The key to a successful transaction rests in your client having complete confidence in you. The overall transaction goes much smoother and your client will be much more stress free if they can trust you.
Real Estate Agents
Now that you have established a trusting relationship with your clients, certainly you would like to trust them to do their part. That would be misplaced trust in all likelihood, though.
How many clients have you dealt with, especially in today’s environment, that simply waste your time? You know, they are just “browsing” or are looking to time the bottom of the market. Maybe they are low-balling constantly and never seem to find the right home. Can you trust this type of client?
Then there are those that delay, delay, delay, for whatever reason. You know the ones, they receive a counteroffer and sit on it for days, if not weeks. You need to get in there and prod them constantly. What about those who fail to contact a mortgage professional to obtain that pre-approval? They lack motivation, so you have to be very motivating at times. Can you trust them to do things in a timely fashion throughout the transaction?
The good thing is that once the Purchase Agreement is signed and the transaction has begun, you’re finished, right? Hardly, as you all know. You have to stay on top of your clients to make sure they are doing what they need to comply with the requirements of the contract, a constant battle, especially if their mortgage professional isn’t up to the task either.
Speaking of mortgage professionals not being up to the task, let’s see where they tend to misplace trust. Most of us (yes, I fall into this category) do not get involved in the transaction until the borrower comes to us. How they come to us plays a big role in many of our opinions as to how much to trust this customer. If they are a referral, hopefully we have already gotten some insight on how well this customer can be trusted.
The mortgage professional’s role in the transaction could be considered the most important, after all, we control everyone’s money, including the real estate agent’s commission. If we fail to do our job, or let the customer fail to do their’s, everyone suffers. So, we cannot afford to be overly trusting of our clients or we, and everyone else, may not get paid.
As a mortgage professional, you undoubtedly will come across those who respond to every request in a timely fashion, some familiar with the way things work will even bring everything you need right from the start. We all know that most are not very responsive and that “life gets in the way” more often than not. That means we have to stay on top of the borrowers constantly, making sure we get the documentation we need, that everyone involved in the transaction is constantly updated, that the borrowers are getting the right inspections done on time, getting insurance in place, etc. The mortgage professional should be the focal point of the transaction and cannot afford to trust his clients to do things correctly or timely.
To Trust or Not?
Certainly, the best relationships are built on trust. However, in a real estate transaction, too many things can go wrong if any one person involved fails to do their part. Since clients are usually the least experienced, placing too much trust in them can prove costly to everyone involved. Some of you have long time clients who have done repeated transactions, such as real estate investors, and they can be trusted. Do not allow yourself to get complacent or transactions with inexperienced clients can go horribly wrong.