Refocusing on Realtor relationships post-refi boom

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Following the dramatic reshaping of the U.S. housing market, Wells Fargo is refocusing on building relationships with Realtors and moving away from refinancing – a move that brokers this side of the border have already found to be successful.
“Absolutely,” says mortgage agent Drew Donaldson, VP of sales with Safebridge Financial Group. “I always tell them in the office – invest and build a strong relationship with Realtors, and you will definitely grow your business.”
Wells Fargo, one of the survivors of the housing market crash of 2008, is already bracing for the end of the refinancing boom by building relationships with real estate agents – most notably through the Wachovia deal in New York, which it the nation’s biggest branch network of 3,400 new retail locations for a total of 6,200 nationwide.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, about 35 per cent of Wells Fargo mortgage production in 2012 came from home-purchase lending, 10 per cent above the industry average. While the top five lenders still have the same market share as before the financial crisis, Wells Fargo has leapfrogged past Countrywide, the top lender in 2007.
For Donaldson, the key is to find a select group of Realtors you can go to and depend on.
“It shouldn’t be a shotgun approach – you can’t service 105 Realtors,” he told “You should pick 10 Realtors, Realtors you share common interests in, and take them to lunch or go to a game. Once you build that confidence and trust, the deals will come.”
This approach to team building should be based on a symbiotic relationship, says Donaldson, and not commission.
“No relationship should ever start on money,” he cautions. “About 40 per cent of my business comes from Realtors, and it is based on helping each other.”
  • Tomas on 2013-04-04 8:27:05 AM

    When one guy is a hammer and the other is a nail, the nail gives up $300+ to get a deal.

  • Anthony on 2013-04-04 9:44:32 AM

    Not like Wells Fargo has any choice...the refinance market is dead in the U.S....there is no equity to refinance with...its now a matter of working on client retention/renewals and seeking new channels of mortgage loan origination...since the U.S. mortgage brokerage community lost as much as 70% of what was once an 70% to 80% market share of all U.S. mortgage origination (pre-2008), lenders are now choosing the shortest path to new business and that's referrals from realtors...and Wells Fargo pays realtors for referrals...something which was missed in the above article.

    I co-brokered a large purchase financing mortgage through a Florida mtg. broker in 2007 on behalf of a wealthy Canadian buyer and got to know the folks at their jumbo mortgage division well,,,they paid anywhere from 25 bps to 50 bps to Realtors back then and paid crazy 100 and up to 200 bps to mtg. brokers...but times they are a changing...

  • Matt on 2013-04-09 7:04:35 AM

    A relationship is built on trust, common interest and most of all clients needs/interest first. The concept of paying for referrals completely devalues the relationship building. More importantly it means you're looking out for YOUR best interest and not the clients. Someone who wants money for a referral isn't going to provide you with any loyalty, they're going to go to the highest bidder. Stop paying for referrals, put your clients needs above your own greed.

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