Connect with us

Economic News

I wish my Realtor/Agent would …




13 things Loan Officers wish the agents they work with would consider, understand, do or NOT do.

Like marketing & sales, sometimes the relationships between agents and Loan Officers can be love & hate.  From an ecosystem perspective, they are essential to one another, yet there can be tension.

I chatted with some LO’s I know to get their top “I wish” list items.  They have an average of 16 years in the business, none with less than 12, so I think we can consider them experienced.  (Note: these are California based Loan Officers, so the loan process or relationship could differ based on where you live.)

Interestingly, a number of the comments revolved around communication.  I once had a boss that told me “it’s only effective communication if the other person understands it the way you intended”.  Very true.  And, communication is two-way, so it probably pays to clarify.

I wish the agent …

… understood calling me several times a day for status updates doesn’t actually speed things up.

… would NOT quote rates or recommend program types without speaking to me first.  If they get it wrong it’s an awkward start to a relationship with their client.

… knew that when I go back to the client time after time for additional paperwork to meet conditions, it’s the Lender asking time after time (and often at the 11th hour) … I have my stuff together!

… would tell me at the beginning of the transaction how best to communicate with them.  For example, do you want daily/weekly updates, or an update every time some event happens?  Each of your needs are different.  I’m not clairvoyant.  Tell me, please!

… believed I am just as committed to getting his/her deal closed to meet contract deadlines as they are.  I need to make a living too!!!

… knew I don’t blame them for not believing loan officers anymore.  The bad ones are gone now.  Don’t make me pay for their mistakes.

… would take into account that I am human, therefore fallible.  We all make a mistake now and again, and we all work to fix it.  Don’t burn a bridge with me for being human.

… considered us partners.  Our relationship is symbiotic …

… would be clear about what “a reasonable time to return calls” means to them.  It seems to differ depending on the subject matter.  Please let me know up front.

… believed the rate IS the rate.  I have given your client a GFE and have no intention of screwing them.

… would tell me if the client is shopping the loan.  Nothing would change from what I quote or the level of service, but it’s hard to put so many hours into a deal, only to have the rug pulled out from under me at the 11th hour.  You’d think a realtor would understand that!

… wouldn’t withhold information – especially regarding the property –  that could jeopardize the deal.  I mean, if there’s no sink or toilet, please tell me!

… understood I don’t have ANY control over the appraisal.  I can’t schedule it, change it or influence it.

I hope you’ll consider this view from the other side of the fence helpful.  Please weigh in below with anything you’d want Loan Officers to know.

Photo credit

Brandie is an unapologetically candid marketing professional who was recently mentioned on BusinessWeek as a Top Young Female Entrepreneur. She recently co-founded consulting firm MarketingTBD. She's held senior level positions with GE and Fidelity, as well as with entrepreneurial start-ups. Raised by a real estate Broker, Brandie is passionate about real estate and is an avid investor. Follow her on Twitter.

Continue Reading


  1. Joe Loomer

    July 23, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Sooo true Brandie. A great post and what should be required reading for all agents.

    What are the chances you’ll follow this up with a “I Wish My Loan Officer/Lender Would…..” post from the agent side?

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Lani Rosales

    July 23, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Interesting that communication is the biggest complaint, it seems to me that it’s the same from the real estate end. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Benn almost have to kick down doors to get a response, and if the LO is in another state, FORGET IT.

    I don’t profess to specialize in LO/Realtor relations, but it seems like LOs could have some sort of website tracking like FedEx so agents and buyers/sellers can see where everything is in the process, does this exist?

  3. Brandie Young

    July 23, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Thanks, Joe. I can follow it up with “I wish LO’s would”. I bet it would get some interesting feedback!

  4. David Gibbons

    July 23, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Awesome post but a word of warning: your relationship with your client is more important than your relationship with your favorite lender. There’s more than one piece of advice listed here that suggests that lenders (or at least these lenders) would prefer to have it the other way around. IMO, agents should be weary of some of these “tips.”

    1) Unfortunately, “the bad ones are gone now” is not remotely true. The “bad ones” made money hand over fist and are not going quietly … and since nationwide Loan Officer licensing has not been rolled out yet, most States still have no way of keeping the “bad ones” out of the marketplace if they are ever identified in the first place.

    2) Considering a lender a “simbiotic partners” is not smart; in fact it’s a one-way street to a Respa violation — don’t even use the word “partner.” A lender is a vendor to your client; no more, no less. It’s your responsibility to know & recommend reputable vendors; not to partner with them.

    3) A good lender should assume that a good Realtor will recommend that their client shop their loan around to multiple lenders (but it wouldn’t hurt to also tell the lenders that.) Lenders have discretion in their margins and rates and fees absolutely will become more attractive in a competitive scenario. A good loan officer can compile a detailed mortgage quote in less than a minute so you’re not exactly wasting anyone’s time by requesting multiple quotes. As a broker once told me; “if you’re calling me, the rate’s going up. If I’m calling you, the rate’s going down.”

    4) “The rate is the rate” is an oversimplified way of thinking about mortgage rate quotes which doesn’t really help anyone. Brokers make part of their margin by earning “yield spread premium” which comes from discretionary increases in the quoted rate from today’s PAR rate. And despite what you hear, all brokers do not have access to the same loan products and investors. Rates and fees can and do vary substantially from one lender to the next and when you throw lenders’ variable margins into the mix, I think it becomes imperative that home buyers shop their mortgage around to as many reputable lenders as possible.

    It’s important to have a great working relationship with the lenders you work with but that doesn’t mean you have to be naive about the mortgage market. I think you should rather look for lenders who are eager to educate you about the inner workings of their world.

  5. Brandie Young

    July 23, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Lani – as usual genius idea … I don’t think that exists. I think some of the processing softwares can auto send event emails, but they need to be manually created (which event goes to whom). The other snag being now each loan is so different requiring such discreet conditions – often demanded at the 11th hour.

    I thought the communication piece was interesting too. I see both sides. I do think a conversation setting expectations up front could help mitigate that in some cases. But like any relationship, it takes some time to get to know the other person …

  6. John De Souza

    July 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Has anyone surveyed customers with that question: “I wish my agent would”? Thinking it would yield different answers compared to most traditional surveys.

  7. Brandie Young

    July 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    John – interesting approach to a customer service servey. It would also be interesting to see how the answers differ between a first time buyer and those with experience.

    Hi Dave – thanks for the input – I really appreciate the time it took to put them together.

    To be clear – the folks I heard this from do NOT work for lenders. They are Loan Officers that work for independently-owned Brokerages. These are not bankers. It could be regional vernacular … but I wanted to make the distinction.

    That said, I agree, your relationship with the client is vital. But LOs consider these folks their client as well, and value that relationship just as much. (the ones I spoke with – I can’t speak universally)

    Re: #2 I do disagree with you on the partnering aspect. Financing is essential. Having a partner-like relationship with experts in loan programs, ones you can trust to treat the client as you would and give them the best advice seems smart.

    Re: #3 The LOs I chatted with DO shop the file to multiple lenders. The point in their comment was getting deep into the process then being dumped. They don’t work under a contract like agents do, so it’s not rare to have an LO spend many, many hours with a client, then have them walk.

    Re: #4 YSP are clearly outlined in the GFE so a client will know what the LO earns. The comment was intended to mean they are not pulling a bait/switch, or neglecting to present a program someone may have “heard” about.

  8. David Gibbons

    July 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Brandie,

    Understood (and I’m also primarily talking about Loan Officers at brokerages.)

    #2 — I totally appreciate the spirit of what you’re recommending — it’s important to develop good working relationships with lenders that you trust — but in the world of Respa, “partnership” and “symbiotic” is very dangerous language for describing your relationship with a lender; it’s best avoided.

    #3 — I can’t help feeling that someone is pulling the wool over your eyes on this issue. Regardless of the fact that any brokerage typically has access to multiple investors, you still need to shop the loan around to multiple brokerages. Do not trust a loan oficer who says they’ll shop it around for you. SERIOUSLY. No one broker has access to ALL investors and ALL products and YSP & fees can vary greatly from one broker to the next.

    #4 I think we’re on the same page here but note that not all brokerages broker all products. Again; shop the loan around.

  9. Ken Jansen

    July 23, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Brandie,

    Great Post! I wish all the LO’s I worked with had the same opinion on how to work as your article outlines. Whenever possible I suggest the clients worry more about customer service than an extra dollar here or there. I have worked with some great LO and some LOsers too. 🙂



  10. Brandie Young

    July 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Ken – thanks for the shout out, and for cracking me up … LOsers! ha ha. I’m going to try to remember that one! Yeah, the folks I were speaking with have been around and seen a number of markets. The list wasn’t exhaustive … but I thought 13 was enough!

  11. Brandie Young

    July 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    David – we chat again. Yay. Regarding RESPA and your thoughts I think we’re safe from the RESPA police. It was casual conversation among friends.

    As for the wool – none there. I’m fairly familiar with the process, understand no single broker is approved with all lenders (the ones left standing) and fees vary.
    As for shopping the loan among different mortgage brokerages, and having LOs compete based on rate, I’m going to defer to Ken Jansen’s comment “suggest the clients worry more about customer service than an extra dollar here or there.” Just like a good agent, a good LO will assess the individual’s needs and make sound recommendations based on them. It would be akin to an agent showing a buyer all 462 listings in an area to make sure “they’ve explored all options”.
    In fact I surveyed this topic while I was at GE, and we found that consumers working with LO’s (as opposed to visiting a branch of B of A, etc.) did not request specific lenders or loan programs (number was over 95%). They may have asked about ‘features’ of programs (i.e. no fees) but at the end of it all, their concern was payment 1st then rate.

  12. Ken Montville - MD Suburbs of DC

    July 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I have to say, I’m with Dave on this one. I can’t count how many loan officers have courted me over the years. Everyone from LOs that my Broker had an ABA with to the children of past clients who decided to become LOs to old friends who decided to change careers.

    For whatever reason, I’ve never developed that “special” relationship with a LO to the point where everything went smoothly and I was the “preferred Realtor”. A lot of my buyer clients come with their own lender and those that don’t shop ’til they drop. Even when I tell my “fave” LO that they’re shopping it doesn’t seem to make a difference. For many of the reasons Dave points out (the YSP, etc.), these LOs don’t compete well.

    One last point, in today’s tighter credit market with stricter underwriting standards and appraisal issues it is more important than ever to find a LO that can execute and perform. It’s easy to say, “It’s not my fault. It’s the new appraisal system. It’s underwriting.” A good LO will know the system they’re working with and be able to say what they can do and do what they say.

    As an agent…I wish my LO would…tell me if a marginal or borderline client can or can’t get done. Don’t string us along thinking you might “shoehorn” the borrower into something, maybe, if the underwriter is in a good mood that day. If it ain’t gonna work. Tell me. Oh. And give us a good GFE, up front.

    I could go on…..

  13. Brandie Young

    July 26, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Hiya Ken – It’s too bad to hear you have yet to connect with an LO you trust. I hope one day you will. I think it’s difficult on both sides of the fence and there are equal and valid concerns on both sides as well.

  14. Anna Ruotolo

    July 26, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I love the thought process. I love the comments. As a 25 year veteran in the mortgage business, I think you hit on some valid points.

    A few things I’d comment on:
    1. Loan officers should learn to set up communication standards with their Realtor partners. Some of the items you hit on are perfect for a “get to know eachother” coffee. Thus, a loan officer can ask the Realtor, how often would you like to be updated, what form of communication do you prefer, how often would you like rates, etc….

    2. You are absolutely in the legal limits of using the words “partner” and “symbiotic” – RESPA makes no statement in their regulations on this.

    3. Realtors need the loan officers to keep them informed of new regulations. A lot has hit our industry, and the Realtors hear about it, but I’m not sure many of them know “what it means to them or their clients”. Thus the loan officers need to educate their partners on HVCC, New TILA laws that take place next week, etc.

    thanks for the great stuff – you are fantastic!

  15. Esko Kiuru

    July 26, 2009 at 8:17 pm


    Good reading. Clarifying up front how often to communicate goes a long way toward a smooth transaction. Another thing is what medium to use. Is it the phone or email or text? Email has become quite popular lately, not only between mortgage lenders and agents, but also with customers.

  16. Brandie Young

    July 26, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Esko – thanks for chiming in. You make a great point re: the communication medium.

  17. Jim Gatos

    July 26, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    This total jerk of a loan officer from a nationally known (and rather screwed up) lender (in THIS agent’s opinion) had every reason in the book NOT to respond in a timely manner and so on and so forth. For years he’s been after my business. Hesitatingly, I gave him a client who actually gave him his mother and his wife’s impending real estate transactions.. This loan officer hardly ever kept in contact with either myself or the client and when he did, usually it was to ask for an extension. Fed up with the horrible customer service my client yanked both loans away from him and gave them to another loan officer who incidentally was more “trustworthy” for my client and at least would respond to voice messages. Upon hearing this another real estate agent who happens to be friends with the bad service loan officer chastised me. I laughed in HIS face when he told me the loan officer is the best and he knows his business, he just doesn’t have good customer service. Oh yeah? People don’t care how much you know UNTIL THEY KNOW how much you care! DUH!

  18. Brandie Young

    July 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Anna – thanks for stopping by! Great feedback, thanks. Especially the need for LOs to keep agents up-to-date on changes in the industry!

  19. Brandie Young

    July 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Jim – eeek, that sounds like a horrible experience! I’ve never heard someone say someone is “the best, but doesn’t have good customer service” about a service provider. Well, at least you know who you won’t be recommending!

  20. John Vrooman

    September 11, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Great post and dialog for both Realtors and Loan Officers. I think this topic form both the Realtor and Loan Officer should be expanded on/maintained/organized, etc. so that lots of Realtors and Loan officers can offer tips, suggestions, “do’s & don’t’s I like it when, I hate it when, Realtors should and shouldn’t, Loan officers should and shouldn’t…basically have a place where an ongoing dialog of giving and taking can take place over time. After every 100 posts or so a Best of list of tips and suggestions could be culled from the feedback for all to review and put to use.

    Latest headache… Negotiated a deal based on one loan program/pre-approval letter…. get an accepted offer then the loan officer “does the client a favor” and encourages the buyer to go for a loan that requires a seller’s concession. Nothing like trying to re-negotiate a deal and try to work in a seller concession and coach everyone through the process. The story is worse and more involved, but that’s the short version.

  21. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm


    Another great post. Crap, now I’m going to have to go real ALL of yours!

    I sent this to my favorite Mortgage Broker to get his reaction.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?



NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

>>>>>Click to continue reading…<<<<<


Continue Reading

Economic News

Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement

The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.



young executives

job openings

Job openings hit a high point

To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.

The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.

Good news, bad news, depending on your profession

That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.

Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.

What’s next

If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.

If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.

Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.


Continue Reading

Economic News

Gas prices are down, so are gas taxes about to go up?

Do low gas prices mean higher gas taxes are on the way? Budgeting for 2015 just got a bit more complicated, if some politicians have their way.



gas tax


Gas taxes and your bottom line

Many industries rely heavily on time in their vehicle, not just truck drivers and delivery trucks. Sales professionals hop in their vehicles throughout the day, as do many other types of professionals (service providers like plumbers, and so forth). For that reason, gas prices and taxes are a relevant line item that must be budgeted for 2015, but with politicians making the rounds to push for higher gas taxes, budgeting becomes more complicated.

Gas prices are down roughly 50 cents per gallon compared to a year ago, which some analysts say have contributed to more money in consumers’ pockets. Some believe that this will improve holiday sales, but others believe the timing is just right to increase federal taxes on gas. The current tax on gas is 18.40 cents per gallon, and on diesel are 24.40 cents per gallon.


Supporters and opponents are polar opposites

Supporters argue as follows: gas prices are low, so it won’t hurt to increase federal gas taxes, in fact, those funds must go toward improving our infrastructure, which in the long run, saves Americans money because smoother roads mean better gas mileage and less congestion.

Gas taxes have long been a polarizing concept, and despite lowered gas prices, the controversial nature of the taxes have not diminished.

While some are pushing for complete abolition of federal gas taxes, others, like former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell (D) tell CNBC, “Say that cost the average driver $130 a year. They would get a return on that investment” in safer roads and increased quality of life, he added.

The Washington Post‘s Chris Mooney points out that federal gas taxes have been “stuck” at 18 cents for over 20 years, last raised when gas was barely a dollar a gallon and that the tax must increase not only to improve the infrastructure, but to “green” our behavior, and help our nation find tax reform compromise.

Is a gas tax politically plausible?

Mooney writes, “So, this is not an argument that a gas tax raise is politically plausible — any more than a economically efficient tax on carbon would be. It’s merely a suggestion that — ignoring politics — it might be a pretty good idea.”

Rendell noted, “The World Economic Forum, 10 years ago, rated us the best infrastructure in the world,” adding that we “need to do something for our infrastructure, not in a one or two year period, but over a decade.”

Others would note that this rating has not crumbled in just a few years, that despite many bridges and roads in need of repair, our infrastructure is still superior to even the most civilized nations.

Regardless of the reasons, most believe that Congress won’t touch this issue with a ten-foot pole, especially leading up to another Presidential campaign season starting next year.

“I think it’s too toxic and continues to be too toxic,” Steve LaTourette (the former Republican congressman best known for his close friendship with his fellow Ohioan, Speaker John Boehner) tells The Atlantic. “I see no political will to get this done.”

Whether the time is fortuitous or not, and regardless of the positive side effects, many point to a fear of voters’ retaliation against any politician siding with a gas hike, so this matter going any further than the proposal stage is unlikely.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!