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First off I want to know they can do the loan my client needs. My clients often get rejected by big name lenders with lending overlays. I have direct lenders with few restrictions I work with a lot. Title Company Trial and Error, but Old Republic Title has been working fine for me. I imagine it is a local thing.
Recommendations from others may be more improtant than interviews. Follow the blogs of the master of referrals Joe Petrowsky to learn what a loan officer should provide.
Beth and Richard Witt
New York, NY
Gene has good answer,
Good answers here.
I use past performance.
More important to ask their clients about them and the experience.
Check their communication style and reputation with other agents.
Roy nailed this one!
I completely agree with looking for reviews online. As a lender I am sometime asked to refer a realtor. My first resource for that referral is to realtors I personally know and respect. If I have to refer out of my territory I always rely on online testimonies. I also call the realtor and asked them what their process was for new clients.
I follow recommendations and personal experiences after ending up on the other side of the transaction.
Roy Kelley took the words out of my mouth...
Fortunately, I had a CFL license many years ago, so when I left the loan business to focus on another opportunity, I had the knowledge and experience to determine whether a MLO or loan broker was a consummate professional and virtuous.
I was very fortunate to meet Hector Ramirez, now a MLO, about eight years ago and he is the only person I endorse and the the only one I would refer.
Regarding the questions to ask prospective MLO's or loan brokers, I would record and compare their answers to the same questions and their solutions to different types of loan scenarios and get their last 4 transactions' names and phone numbers and call them to verify their satisfaction.
We always give our clients 3 different companies to contact as we are not giving recommendations specifically. We do not want the liability of--"my Realtor said to use them and they screwed up who do I sue"? We can tell them what other clients have told us, i.e. they were happy or satisfied with the service. They need to have a discussion with these professionals to see who fits them.
I asked around the office and set up interviews accordingly. Found out what their costs were for lenders and title companies and then filtered down to the people who got the job done. I have gotten lenders that I thought were great from when I listed. Their communication impressed me. I always recommend people that my CLIENTS thought were great and communicated with them as well. It is always nice to be wooed ,but the client is the one paying for the actual service.
What questions should you ask and have answered?
"Who do I know in my office that you have closed deals with?"
Then you ask your peer about temperament, mutual aligned interests, communications, emotion, proactive, and whether they are a solutions provider or drama queen.
Now your friend, even your broker are in the line of ACCOUNTABILITY. Be aware if the lender or title company blows the deal and leaves you with the smoldering ruins of a relationship you spend $100,s to cultivate....'they don't care, they just move on." A chain of accountability helps. I've even had such culprits plead with me not to blog about their colossal $!!&*!
Make certain they understand there will be accountability.
The Lender I associate with is honest, knowledgeable, and you can believe anything he says. He keeps me in the loop and I do not recommend any one else. If something happened to him I would use one or two people here in the rain. I feel like I know them already, and they have left me with good impressions.
I prefer to get recommendations from my peers when selecting a title company or lender. They have been in the trenches with them and have personal experiences. When selecting a lender, ask a title company who their favorites are based on ease of transaction and closing on time.
Actually, I don''t ask them anything. I read their reviews. Everyone knows how to give the right answer upon request. But do they walk the talk? Reviews generally give me some sense of that.