5 Ways To Improve Your Service When The Market Turns

Posted On Friday, 15 July 2022 05:31

"Realtors should not give up their careers just because the market turns," according to Realtor Mara L.Sweets, Broker Owner of Arama Real Estate in Fontana, California. 

"This is a good time for Realtors to do what I did in 2009. Take a step back and ask themselves what they can do to provide better service to their clients," 

What she kept hearing over and over were questions regarding mortgage and closing expenses. I concluded that the most valuable service I could add would be the ability to answer mortgage-related questions and explain closing cost estimates line by line.

So she obtained a mortgage broker's license.  

Sweets said she knew that from that point on, she would need to take courses that helped her deliver better service, whether the course offered CE credit or not. 

Sweets leverages her mortgage service to help her clients get the best mortgage; sometimes, she does not get paid for that service.

Recently a builder offered her buyer a 6.2 percent rate with incentives. . Sweets had approved her buyer for a 4.2 rate without incentives, which the builder agreed to match. Her buyer needed the lower monthly payments to afford to buy the new home. 

Sweets earned the sales commission but was not paid for her mortgage service. "The fact is I served my client at the highest possible level. I never waiver." Sweets said. 

"On the other hand, when my builders' preferred lenders cannot make the loan, they call me. This kind of service puts me in a trusting relationship with my local builders that is hard to beat," Sweets said.

Neither does she miss the opportunity to improve her services. 

For the record, Sweets lists the following credentials behind her name:  MLO, ABR, SFR, SRS, NHCB & MBA, BA Real Estate

She recently earned the New Home Co-Broker (NHCB) certification. Why would a broker with 25 years of experience take a new home sales course? 

"When I saw that my MLS association was offering the course, I got excited. The last thing I felt I needed to learn was how to work with new home buyers and onsite sales consultants – and to do it better than I do now. 

Sweets works with a core group of five homebuilders in her market in addition to her 'by referral only' resale clients.

"It's all about the client. When buyers tell me they cannot afford new construction, I don't listen because my job is to help them find a new home if that is what they want. 

"I don't ask my clients to tell me what they can afford. I tell them."

One of her clients wanted to bid on a builder's lot. Sweets told her client to stay home. She would handle it. 

"The builder knew I would not be in line with 40 other bidders if I did not represent a motivated, qualified buyer. 

"After the bidding, mortgage rates increased, and the only lot that closed was mine. To my knowledge, no other buyer was represented by a Realtor. I credit this sale to my relationships with the builder, understanding the process, and understanding the money."

"About 90 percent of my business is referral driven, and I write about 80 percent of the mortgages.   

"Too many agents can't see beyond their commission. They are looking for a quick sale without understanding the entire process. As a result, they lose sales they should make. 

Sweets said Realtors don't need a mortgage license to understand closing estimates and statements, but they should make it their professional business to learn how. 

"How can you ask good questions if you don't understand the process?"

Five things to do to improve your service, according to Sweets:

    1. 1. Accept as a fundamental fact; your client needs to understand the money.
                                    1. 2. Understand that your client needs to understand the process.
                                    2. 3. Take courses that improve your service, not simply fulfill your CE credit requirements.
                                    3. 4. Partner with a mortgage lender who understands and accepts your service standards.
                                    4. 5. Strive to set the high bar of professionalism that Sweets set for herself. She never stops learning and putting her clients first, no matter what.

How did Sweets become so service driven?

"It never occurred to me to give up my career when real estate tanked the last time. We need to learn how to navigate through these times when they come.  

"After all, we are helping clients make the most important financial decision most will make in their lifetimes. They have a right to expect our best."

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