I had to “FIRE” my favorite lender @ 20 years ago.
This loan originator was ON THE BALL!
She was uber responsive to the client AND to me (the Client’s REALTOR).
At the time, I was working almost exclusive with first time home buyers . . . LOTS of 1st time buyers, so I really needed a lender that I could consistently trust to get loans CLOSED and ON TIME.
She was masterful at creating financial scenarios which could get otherwise seemingly impossible loans to the closing table.
She “participated” financially in my marketing efforts.
She’s still in the business, and I am certain that she’s still working that magic with/for other agents daily.
Why, then, would I FIRE her?
What could she have done that was SO egregious that I would sever such an important relationship?
In search of more knowledge and a desire to learn how to be more efficient as a Real Estate Sales Professional (Hoping to reclaim a sliver of my personal life), I hired a Business Coach. The first step of his process was to assess my existing work habits, leverage (Processes, Tools, People), and “Allied Resources” (Lenders, Title Companies, Home Inspectors, Contractors, & etc).
He asked me 3 questions about each of these Allied Resource People:
- How many Home Buyers/Sellers have each of these folks referred to you in the past 2 years?
- Other than “Doing their jobs”, how do each of these people enhance/improve your processes?
- What, if anything, do you NOT like about what they do that may hinder the process?
That was my first “Homework Assignment” . . . I had a week to answers these 3 questions for each.
Because I felt SO supported by all these folks (Because they were all good at what they do), I couldn’t imagine what about them I wouldn’t like UNTIL I read the 1st question. Over time, I had referred nearly 100 clients to each of them resulting in LOTS of work (and income) that they would not have otherwise had. Heck, I remember one of them saying that my referrals paid their Kids’ tuition at school.
I could not tie a SINGLE transaction to ANY of these folks who had my allegiance.
Coach told me it was MY fault, because I had not asked (or required) them to refer business to me. I had not “trained them” how to refer business.
Shame on me!
My next assignment was to approach each one of them to ASK for referrals and developed a PROCESS around teaching them WHO to refer and HOW! My “instructions” were to fire any of them who would not play that game. This fabulous lender was the ONLY one who said that she would not promise any referrals to me “because she works with LOTS of REALTORS and didn’t think it would be fair to send me referrals.”
According to coach, that was reason enough to fire her, but that’s NOT why I fired her.
Why I fired this Mortgage lender . . .
My coach did a great service for me with these 3 questions. It caused me to look carefully at all of my business relationships more carefully. To some degree, I had maintained the relationships because they were more convenient . . . comfortable.
As I thought of this lender, I very quickly identified something that had been bugging me for a long time, but I had not acknowledged it as being a “problem.” For sure, it was irritating, but to do anything about would require upsetting the apple cart that seemed to be moving along just fine.
The “problem” was that I resented the fact that lender was crossing the line between Lender advice and Real Estate advice. She was giving my clients real estate advice that was unsolicited and sometimes contrary to advice I was giving. This is wrong on so many levels not the least of which was that she undermining my professional relationship with MY client whom I had referred to HER for the SOLE purpose of arranging the financing. Little did I know for those 2 years that many of the complications I had with various clients were a direct result of conflicting advice given by this lender.
Rather than fire her immediately, I decided to have a conversation with her on the chance that this was all a big misunderstanding.
That conversation didn’t go well . . . She was adamant that what she was doing was “for the protection of the (her) client” and that she would continue to do so.
3 strikes . . . She was OUT!