By Kendall Baer
Most real estate professionals refer clients to only a select number of lenders. The way they choose those companies is based on the ease of doing business with them, their reputations, and the strength of those relationships, according to a survey commissioned by Freddie Mac.
The survey found that 84 percent of real estate professionals have a select group of lenders to which they generally refer their clients. Of this number, it was reported that 73 percent have 1-3 lenders in their network and 24 percent work with 4-6 lenders. Additionally, more than three-quarters, or 76 percent, say their clients always or often use their recommended lender referrals. The GSE reported that this number rises all the way to 87 percent among those who sell more than 20 properties per year.
To reach these conclusions, Freddie Mac commissioned a survey of licensed U.S. real estate professionals about a variety of topics facing the mortgage industry. These included the challenges of growing their business and their views on the role they play in the homebuying process.
What’s more, over 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. An additional 78 percent saw themselves as an advisor capable of assisting clients with their navigation of the homebuying process.
On the other hand, 35 percent of respondents said they feel challenged by clients' lack of understanding of the homebuying process. And 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.
Likewise, it was found that real estate professionals are marginally less confident when it comes to educating buyers on the mortgage process, sitting at 50 percent, and down payment assistance program options sitting at 30 percent.