Shakeout Side Effect:  Better Service

A year ago, I could count on one hand the number of times a lender contacted me before I contacted them.

This year, it just happened three times — in one week.

Once, it was the Buyer’s lender letting me know — in my capacity as listing agent representing the Seller — that everything was on track just ahead of closing.

Another time, it was the Buyer’s lender introducing themselves to me (again as listing agent) immediately after the Purchase Agreement had been executed.

The third time, it was the lender updating me as the Buyer’s agent in advance of the Written Statement deadline (when the Buyer’s loan must be finally underwritten and their earnest money becomes non-refundable).

Rival Theories

What’s going on?

I can think of four possible theories.

One.  The transactions in question were for upper bracket homes, which are traditionally the province of more sophisticated, “hands-on” lenders.

Possible . . . except that the homes ranged in price from $200k to $800k.

Two.  Pure coincidence:  the Buyers and Seller simply chose better lenders.

Also possible, but no real way to tell with such a small sample size.

Three.  Increased competition.  With fewer Buyers out there, lenders are differentiating themselves by offering superior service. 

Definitely getting warmer . . .

Theory #4 

Which leaves theory #4:   survival of the fittest.

Namely, in an environment where something like 70% of all brokers disappeared in the last couple years, the ones who survived did so at least in part by being the most capable, proactive, etc.*

How nice if superior skill and service — along with being better capitalized, having lower costs, etc. — was actually an adaptive trait.

It would certainly make my job easier!

*Not too different from what’s happened with Realtors.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
1 Response
  1. Answer: End of the refi-boom from last year.

    – Lenders have more time to devote to these soft “yes, what we said in the approval letter is actually true” calls and other forms of (necessary, mind you) hand-holding.

    – In a non-refi environment, lenders know that they need purchase business, and the shortest distance between them, and more buyers, is real estate agent relationships. These calls get attention, as your post illustrates.

    The big shakeout in lending will continue – between compensation reform and rising rates you’ll see the industry shrink another 30%

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