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 MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “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.”