UNLOCKING INVENTORY IN THE CURRENT MARKET

darren-nolander-houseIt’s something loan officers and buyers would like to do. Find more inventory! The market is tighter than it’s been in a long, long time and the pace of new construction isn’t exactly easing competition. It’s great that there’s so many buyers out there eager to fill out an application, but if they can’t find a home or, even worse, can’t get an offer accepted due to so much competition, then a lot of work is down the drain.

Finding a borrower a home faster also allows you to keep your pipeline clear for the next deal. In this market, however, it’s taking some buyers months to find a house. That requires a lot of your attention as you continually check in, answer questions, and engage in the typical back and forth. An elongated buying period is also risky in that a borrower may get frustrated and change their minds, or they may have their financial situation change, which can be a big surprise come closing time. 

So, how do you track down more inventory? Easy! You make sure the prospective borrowers you’re working with look as attractive as possible to the sellers. Arming yourself with top-notch referral partners – aka seasoned realtors who know how the game is played – is a good start. However, you can still do your part to free up inventory for these buyers.

Remain Flexible 

Borrowers who don’t have a hard deadline of their own would be wise to keep their schedules flexible, as some sellers prefer longer escrows, and even leaseback arrangements, while others need to close ASAP. Make sure your borrowers know you’re equipped to go at both speeds, and they should be too!

Understand Where the Seller’s Coming From

A good realtor will understand a seller’s motivation for selling. That should be conveyed to the borrower. You want to internalize these motivations as well, so you can ensure the borrower submits as attractive an offer as possible. 

Maintain a Stellar Reputation

You can unlock more inventory (re: business) for yourself by providing amazing customer service, racking up reviews and rocking the best reputation around. This gets listing agents’ attention. They can’t always trust the anonymous names behind the big online lenders, but if you’re a solid player in their region, they’ll feel comfortable accepting an offer from one of your borrowers. 

Remove Contingencies

Removing contingencies removes barriers to bidding in this competitive market. So have that talk with your potential borrowers. See how you can resolve any foreseeable issues up front. Keep a list of other referrals in your pocket like inspectors, appraisers, movers, etc., that can help borrowers feel more comfortable offering a few concessions. 

Get them Pre-Approved

There is so much interest in houses these days that your clients can’t afford to wait for approval. Make sure they know this, then get them started early with pre-approval. From there, you can get the ball rolling with a TBD loan so you’re ready to close ASAP when the time comes, which some sellers appreciate. 

Finding more business – whether that be houses, referrals or clients – requires a little legwork and a little creativity. With both, however, the sky’s the limit on where your business can go!

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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