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An Open Letter to the Austin Mortgage Broker who Emailed Me Yesterday

Hello Sir/Madam - In the interest of protecting your identity, I will not reveal your name on this post.  However, I did want to take a couple of minutes to give you my opinion of your spam email with the following subject:

"We can do the hard loans!"


Wow, that is an exceptionally creative means of marketing yourself.  Sorry for the sarcasm. 

I recall that during my very first year in the real estate business, I realized that every single mortgage professional that I had come in contact with via office sales meetings or lunches that they invited me to had the same line, and that was ELEVEN years ago.  Perhaps that is why I deleted your message without a second thought.  At least it's email, so it didn't cost you anything, right?

Since the mortgage crisis and ensuing fallout, I hadn't seen anyone attempting this particular method of advertising.  But you, brave soul, are clinging to the most archaic and tired line in the business. 

If this method manages to produce a single loan for you, I applaud you for trying.  I have often told my agents that virtually ANY means of marketing will work if performed consistently.  That being said, some things will probably not produce the desired results.  As real estate agents, we are bombarded with stuff from loan officers throughout the area and even some from other cities.  As such, you need to stand out somehow.

On a separate note, do you honestly understand how difficult some loans really are these days?  The first time I heard this spiel (in 1997, mind you), the "hard" loans really just required some extra work to get them placed with an investor/bank.  Today, the hard loans may be truly impossible to close.  I had a very close call recently with a borrower who had 20% down and FICO scores over 700.  None of us anticipated that this particular loan would be difficult, but it was delayed almost an entire month due to appraisal issues. 

My preferred lender (Gray Buffington of Buffington Mortgage) has been in business since the mid-1980's, and he was named as one of the Top Ten Mortgage Brokers in the entire state of Texas by Texas Monthly magazine, and he would still tell you that it took all of the resources at his disposal to get that deal closed and funded.

Banks have tighter guidelines - we all know that.  Zero down loans are essentially gone, as are subprime loans, right?  Wouldn't these fall under traditionally "hard" loans?  Can you do a subprime deal for me?  How about a zero-down investment product?  If so, maybe we really should talk.  Otherwise, my guess is that this is just an empty promise.

Over the years, I have worked with a good number of mortgage brokers and loan officers, some of whom I chose, and some which were chosen by my clients.  To be frank with you, the best and most professional mortgage people I have encountered are those who are quietly confident about their abilities.  Those who came clamoring into our office to promise the moon generally ended up botching the deal or making things worse.  Just FYI.

One thing that might help you is the concept of building relationships with agents, along with "soft selling".  Rather than shouting from the rooftops (emails) about how good you are and how you can get deals done that no one else can, try good old-fashioned networking.  If you are going to email, make it personal.  Better yet, try a handwritten note.  Even better than that, impress everyone by making the loan happen smoothly, then show up and get some face time at the closing with BOTH agents.  You can grow a real business this way. 

You are probably wondering what I like about Gray, my current mortgage guy.  I like his integrity, and the fact that he doesn't blow smoke about whether or not he can get a deal done.  Consequently, every single loan that he has actively started for us has closed.  Not a bad track record, huh?

I wish you well, and I sincerely hope that my perspective is helpful for you.

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