Freddie Mac: Real Estate Professionals Influence Clients’ Mortgage Lender Choice

The First Rule of Real Estate Club: Be Nice to Your Real Estate Professional.

Freddie Mac, McLean, Va., said most real estate professionals refer clients to a select group of lenders and they choose those companies based on the ease of doing business with them, their reputations and the strength of those relationships.

The survey said 84 percent of real estate professionals have a select group of lenders to which they generally refer their clients. Of these, 73 percent have one to three lenders in their network and 24 percent work with four to six lenders. More than three-quarters (76 percent) said their clients always or often use their recommended lender referrals. This figure climbs to 87 percent among those who sell more than 20 properties per year.

The Freddie Mac survey of licensed U.S. real estate professionals asked about challenges of growing their business and their views on the role they play in the home buying process.

More than 80 percent of real estate professionals said their clients trust their knowledge of the area, their ability to help them find a home and their ability to show them the right homes for their needs. Seventy-eight percent see themselves as an advisor capable of assisting clients with their navigation of the home buying process. At the same time, 35 percent said they feel challenged by clients’ lack of understanding of the home buying process.

Only 38 percent of real estate professionals said their clients would find them to be a “trusted advisor” who could help refer them for housing counseling if they need or want more education on the process.

Real estate professionals reported being somewhat less confident when it comes to educating buyers on the mortgage process (50 percent) and down payment assistance program options (30 percent).

Asked to identify the challenges in their jobs:
Attracting potential buyers: 55 percent
Attracting potential sellers: 55 percent
Selling within the length of time planned: 32 percent
Establishing the right listing price: 28 percent
Helping potential buyers navigate the home buying process: 25 percent

When asked to identify challenges with potential homebuyers:
–Not enough homes available for buyers in their price range: 55 percent
–Clients having unrealistic expectations of what they can afford: 52 percent
–Clients not having enough money for a down payment: 42 percent
–Potential homebuyers not qualifying for a mortgage due to a poor credit history: 38 percent
–Clients’ lack of understanding of the home buying process: 35 percent