On Monday, AAR posted the question: “What’s your biggest complaint when working with mortgage lenders?” on its Facebook page. And the comments rolled in. “Close of escrow seems to be a ‘suggestion’” commented REALTOR® and past AAR President Holly Mabery. Josh Gonzalez simply commented, “Underwriters!” and so on. When you really boil it down, REALTORS® are mostly frustrated by two things:
- Lack of communication; and
- Inability to close on time.
Among those chiming in was Robert Gilmour, a mortgage lender, at Stearns® Home Loans. AAR caught up with Gilmour to find out what could be done to remedy the rift between REALTORS® and lenders and found that the answer might be simpler than we think.
“We all really want the same thing,” said Gilmour. “[Mortgage lenders] don’t get paid unless the deal is done, just like REALTORS®. We want [transactions] to close just as bad.”
Gilmour, who has been in the investor relations and financial service industry for 20 years, can understand REALTORS’® frustrations. He experiences them on his end as well. He says he follows a strict schedule, “every Tuesday, I meet with my Processor. On Wednesdays, I phone in or email Loan Status Updates (LSUs). ” Gilmour says that the key to any successful transaction is the relationship between the REALTOR® and the lender.
Gilmour makes extra effort to start each transaction off on the right foot. “The first thing I do when I get a new contract is to phone the listing agent and make sure that they have all of my contact information.” He goes on to say that “You really have to know the REALTOR® well. It’s like any relationship. It’s easy when things are good, but when things are bad, it can be hard for some lenders to have that tough conversation.” While Gilmour might be the exception, he does have a great point: the relationship between the lender and the REALTOR® is the key to holding a transaction together.
“Inevitably,” he says, “something is going to happen. And it’s more important that you deal with it together. I always try to make sure that I explain what went wrong and what we’re going to do to fix it.”
Start Building Relationships at the Industry Partners Conference – Sept. 11, 2013
To help bridge the gap between REALTORS® and mortgage lenders, AAR presents the Industry Partners Conference. This annual event will be taking place on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at the Chaparral Suites in Scottsdale and will bring together lenders, REALTORS® and escrow agents for a day of learning and networking. Registration is only $79 until August 31. For more details or to register, click here.