New Industry Study Examines What Realtors® Really Want From Lenders

(EMERYVILLE, Calif.April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/) — Inman, the leader in independent real estate and technology news, today released the top-line findings from a new study entitled, “What Real Estate Brokers and Agents Want From Lenders,” that examines why real estate professionals choose to recommend a particular lender, what kinds of lenders they prefer and what behavior puts a lender in the penalty box. The study also explores the ineffectiveness of lender marketing, the chilling effect that RESPA is having on broker/lender relationships and their early opinions on big bank “listing” apps. The results of the survey will be presented today at the RESPRO Conference in San Diego.

Commissioned by Inman, the survey was conducted by 1000watt, a real estate brand, marketing and strategy firm, in April. Respondents were mostly real estate agents (74%), but 26% of respondents identified as real estate brokers. More than half of respondents (60%) were independent and unaffiliated with a particular real estate franchise. The remaining 40% were affiliated with top firms. In addition to the survey, individual phone interviews were conducted with real estate brokerage executives running companies with more than 500 agents.

Here are some of the highlights:

The Who’s and Why’s of Relationships

  • Nearly half of the Realtors surveyed said they prefer working with mortgage brokers over banks and non-banks.
  • Cultural fit and breadth of products are the number one and two reasons for selecting a mortgage partner.
  • Agents are mainly monogamous: 77% say they have one lender who they refer most often to clients.
  • Speed and responsiveness are the most important considerations to refer a lender.
  • Leads are not a two-way street: 79% aren’t getting leads from their lenders, but 74% would like them—from lenders they know and trust.

Lender Marketing: Does It Work or Not?

  • The largest percentage of respondents was unsure as to whether lender marketing was effective.
  • More than 35% felt marketing wasn’t effective in building relationships with agents; less than 30% felt it was.
  • Operations with in-house lenders believed that on-site presence was the most effective way to increase capture rates; followed by technology and training; less than 10% of respondents felt print or email marketing was effective.

Tying the Knot or Not?

  • Only 24% of brokers have Marketing Service Agreements (MSAs) with lenders.
  • Only 2% of brokers have Affiliated Business Arrangements (ABAs) with lenders.
  • 42% are now reluctant to enter into MSAs and/or partnerships with lenders due to RESPA concerns.

The Impact of Internet and Mobile Apps

  • Increasingly, clients are doing their shopping for a lender on the Internet and don’t need a recommendation from their Realtor.
  • Big bank efforts to promote mobile apps, like Chase’sMyNewHome orNationstar Mortgage’s get mixed reviews:
    • 38% were very uncomfortable with them.
    • 30% were somewhat uncomfortable with these proprietary mobile apps.

“Real estate agents wield an enormous amount of influence in purchase transactions, and so they are a critically important audience and referral source to lenders,” said Brad Inman, publisher and owner of Inman. “But, as this research shows, there’s a wide gap between ‘wanting a relationship’ with agents and brokers and building a successful one. Hopefully, this study will help lenders ‘crack the code’ to develop more effective partnerships.”

The complete study is available to Inman Select members at

About Inman
Inman is the leading source of independent real estate news, information, advice, research, technology, opinion and commentary for industry professionals and consumers alike. Inman’s award winning, unbiased and hard-hitting stories are known throughout the real estate industry. Agents and brokers globally trust Inman as their first source of accurate, innovative and timely daily real estate news. For more information, visit

About 1000watt
Based in Portland, Ore., and Oakland, Calif., 1000watt is the real estate industry’s leading brand, marketing and strategy agency. The firm has helped hundreds of real estate franchisors, brokerages and technology companies out-innovate their competitors. 1000watt provides message, marketing and product strategy, creative campaign ideation, visual design, copywriting, digital user experience and other services to clients throughout North America. 1000watt also provides qualitative market research, discovery and strategy services to companies seeking to enter the residential real estate industry. For more information, visit



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About Jeff Sorg

Jeff Sorg is a co-founder of OnlineEd®, an online real estate, mortgage broker, and vocational school founded in 1997, where he also serves as Chief Executive Officer, and School Director. Sorg holds vocational and post-secondary school instructor licenses in several states and has authored numerous real estate continuing education and pre-licensing courses and has been awarded the International Distance Education Certification Center's CDEi Designation for distance education. Memberships include ARELLO (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials), the National Association of REALTORS®, Oregon Association of REALTORS®, and Portland Metro Association of REALTORS®. Awards and service include REALTOR® Emeritus in the National Association, Life Member award in Portland Metro Association and Chairperson of the Oregon Real Estate Forms Committee. OnlineEd® provides real estate, mortgage broker, insurance, and contractor pre-license, post-license, continuing education, career enhancement, and professional development and designation courses over the Internet.