To kick off our eight part series on mistakes not to make as you build your real estate team, let’s first focus on one of the most commonly overlooked areas of building a strong team: lender accountability. The majority of team leaders are working with one or more lender with the assumption that these lenders are skilled in working with and converting leads. Most of the time, these partnerships are built around a trusting relationship, and as long as no problems arise, agents assume they have chosen their lender(s) well. However, without some measures in place to improve lender accountability, you might be making huge mistakes that are totally avoidable. You need total transparency into all areas of your business to help you make informed decisions, and reach those goals of yours.
Here are some ways that you can make sure your lenders are performing to meet the needs of your team, maximizing lender accountability:
1. Lender Accountability: Timing Is Everything
Timing is everything in real estate, as you well know. Everyone on your team should be aware of how crucial it is for leads to be attended to as fast as possible. However, Luke the Lender might be responding in an average of two minutes, while Larry the Lender thinks that responding within one hour is just great. Studies have shown that leads that are responded to within five minutes are much more likely to be converted into clients, and really the faster the better. So, rather than sitting Larry down and letting him know that he needs to speed up his response time, hoping that things improve, why not put measures in place to be sure? That’s where your CRM should come in. Here’s how…
2. Use That CRM
Your CRM should be a platform for you to communicate directly with your lenders. Attempting to keep track of communication between you and your lenders is too big of a job for you to take on when so many other areas of your business are demanding your time. Your CRM should be able to not only store your communication with your lenders, but track all of their communication with leads as well. Communication is key to improving lender accountability, and your CRM is the perfect place to track all communication. This includes call tracking features that log time it took lenders to get in touch with their leads, how long they spoke, emails sent, and will even record phone conversations. This does two things for you: 1) It provides you with real data to assess how well your lenders are performing, and 2) It allows you to compare your lenders head to head based off of this data.
A quality real estate CRM should put a time limit on when lenders are allowed to claim leads (i.e. 30 minutes). If a lead is not claimed, that lead should automatically be sent to the next available lender. This way, all of your leads will be taken care of and no one will fall through the cracks. It should also prompt agents as well as clients to rate their lender for a variety of qualities, so that you are able to see where lenders are excelling and how they can improve. Also through your CRM, you should be able to sent leads to your lenders, and they should be able to send leads to you. This reciprocation keeps you working together toward a common goal, and keeps your team rock solid.
3. YOU Are Accountable For Your Lenders
It is important to remember that you are accountable for the lenders on your team. Lender accountability directly reflects the quality of your team. Poor performance reflects poorly on you. Excellent performance makes you look really good! According to a study conducted by Inman, 77% of agents are working with only one lender. This has its disadvantages, if you are not 100% sure (like, “backed up with real data” sure) that they are performing to your standards. Having more than one lender on your team allows you to be sure that someone is always available to attend to your leads. It also allows you to see how each lender is performing, and learn what is working best for your team. Lender accountability should be just as important as agent accountability. Home-buyers have so much information at their fingertips, and can easily find their own lender to work with if they choose. Make sure that your lenders are the best of the best. Remember, lenders WANT to work with you. Use this to your advantage. Make lender accountability a priority for your team, and be smart about how you accomplish this goal.
Once you have the proper systems in place to track lender accountability, the quality of your lenders will improve and you will find your entire business will be stronger.