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Loan Officers: How to Leverage Refis into Long-Term Realtor Relationships

Refinancing rates are at an all-time low right now, but a lot of loan officers really hate refis. They think they’re a waste of time. Are they right?

I sat down recently with my dear friend, Paul Dolan, the co-branch manager (with his wife, Andrea) of Home Vantage Mortgage in Seattle, to discuss this very thing. Paul is a really smart guy who has figured out a way to turn refis into something way more profitable and long-term than just a one-and-done deal.

Taking Advantage of a Hot Market

It’s hotter than Arizona in the middle of summer right now in terms of the number of deals coming in, both purchases and refinances. You’ll hear a lot of loan officers saying to just ignore the refis, but we don’t hate money, so we’re not going to do that.

A year ago, when rates were higher, Paul’s branch was doing zero refis, so he had more time to cultivate relationships with real estate agents. Was there some way to bring these two things together? Could he somehow use refis to get more realtor referral partners?

Paul put his thinking cap on and asked himself this question: How can we leverage refis in a cool way to help us keep our relationships with our real estate agents and maybe even get new relationships out of the deal? And he came up with something pretty cool.

Call Those Buying Agents in Your Database

Agents are seen in the marketplace as having a knowledge of what a house is worth. They’re more in the market than we are as loan officers. So, when a request comes in about a client’s refinancing, Paul calls the buying agent. Here’s a sample script of the call:

“Hey, Jack. John just called me. He wants to refinance and get today’s amazingly low rates. One of the things we’re working on is how much the house might be worth. And I thought, since you’re an expert in this area, and John said you did an awesome job getting him his house, you could do a quick comp search for me and just see if I’m in the ballpark. My estimate of $500,000. Is that a good number, do you think?”

So, now we’re engaged (or reengaged), and we’ve got the perfect opportunity to ask for more business. “Hey, is there anybody else you know who could use my help?” Then you take it a step further and give them some value. “I’m going to give the client a call back now and tell them how helpful you were in this process.” So you close the circle with an agent you already knew, but now they know you, like you, and trust you even more. 

This Also Works For Agents You Don’t Know (Yet)

Most of the time, these refinances are for people in your past database. But sometimes a friend of Paul’s will call him up who didn’t use him for purchase but wants his help with the refi. Paul asks for the agent who helped them buy the house and gives that agent a call using the same script. Now he’s expanded his circle by one more agent. And, even if you’ve never spoken to this agent before, it’s not a cold call—it’s a warm call—because you’re calling with a purpose about a client you have in common.

What a great way to grow your web using refinances as your opportunity to branch out. There’s no harm in stroking these agents’ egos a bit—telling them the great things their client said about them, using phrases like “I wanted to get your expert opinion,” things like that. It’s the oldest trick in the book, hatched out of the evil schemery department. You’re prospecting instead of reacting, and that’s always a good thing. 

It’s our job, as the CEO of our mortgage practice, to look at how to continue to expand the number of people we can call in a cool way for a good reason with a daily success plan. This plan costs exactly nothing to implement and will absolutely work, as long as you have the capacity to take on the new business you’re going to get. And if you don’t have that capacity, it’s time to work on building your team

Refinances Can Be Whatever You Make Them

You really can take any situation and turn it into more business. You can shift with the times, and make even a pandemic work for you. This boom in refinances is expanding our networks of people who can refer us. Maybe you’re going to meet some agents who just aren’t being taken care of by their current lender. Maybe some loan officers are focused on those single checks from refinances, and not building relationships, and they’re going to have a tough time when this all slows down. 

Paul says one of the biggest things he’s learned as a loan officer is “don’t be a scaredy pants.” There’s so much fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, but that’s a waste of mental space. You’re going to get people rejecting your offers. It’s okay. You’ll find the agents who want to talk to you, and that will be all you need. 

Paul wants to come out of this refinance boom with more agents, more relationships, and more money, and he’s absolutely going to do it. You can too. If you’d like some help figuring out how, if you’d like one of our loan officer scripts for realtors, we’d love to chat with you. You can schedule a FREE call TODAY, and we’ll see where you’re at (not just with refis, but your whole business), where you want to go, and how you can get there. There are no strings attached. We just want to help. Don’t wait another minute. Give us a call!