Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Mr. Lender, Here is Hawaii Randy’s Tip for the Day

Mr. Lender, Here is Hawaii Randy’s Tip for the Day

In the last month or so, I have seen usually reliable lenders getting stacked up and unable to handle the recent surge of business with the same level of customer service as in the past.

Last year things were slow and the banks were cutting back on staff.  Many brokers closed their doors and now things are picking up again.  There are fewer players to compete today for that business.  A couple of lenders in our area who have been steady as the rock of Gibraltar are now stumbling.  They have also tightened up with more than normal conditions on loans before funding.  That was expected with the environment that they are working under.

I am not sure they really want my advice, but here it is anyway.

  • Remember who brought you to the dance.  Real estate agents like me bring you steady business, without compensation.  My only vested interest is to get my clients good service.
  • Make me look good.
  • Communicate with me and my clients.
  • Give us realistic timelines that you can meet.
  • Take Care of my Clients!

I depend on repeat and referrals.  Clients that are dissatisfied or merely satisfied will not refer their friends to me.  They need to be wowed by the experience of buying their home that includes your part of the process.  When I recommend a vender to my client they grade me on your performance also.

I keep a list of venders that I and my clients have had good experiences with.  It takes a lot to get on that list.  I know many loan officers and lenders and only a small select group makes my list.  That is the same with the other types of venders.  You can however be knocked off my list in an instant.  That is true of the rest of the real estate agents in our area.

Banks may be busy today with refinancing, but that will not always be the case.  When the surge of refis flush through the system, will you still be getting the home buyers through us?  If you drop the ball today, you will be back on the street trying to replace that lost future business.

That is Hawaii Randy's tip for the day.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 44 commentsRandy Prothero • April 12 2009 12:10PM


Randy.  This has always been a problem when interest rates get low enough to entice the refinance applicants. 

Any lender who misses a contract date with one of our buyers will not get any future business from us.  I get a commitment from them before sending the contract to process the loan application and then stay in touch with them throughout. 

I document every step of the way,

  • buyer pre-qualified
  • sent contract
  • loan app mad
  • screen print of appraisal ordered
  • processing for VA cert if needed
  • lock in doc
  • etc., etc., etc.

They know that I'm documenting every step.

"Leave with the guy that brung ya." 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I couldnt have said it better than Lenn just stated on her comment. I stay in close communication with the lender throughout the entire transaction.

Posted by Dom Naidoo, Malibu to the Marina Real Estate (Westside Properties) about 10 years ago

Randy, thanks for telling it like it is! I just got burned, and it still stings; and I was on the Seller's side. The lender kept giving untenable time lines, never met them, kept delaying, and made myself and the Buyer's agent look very bad to our clients. I'm sure I won't get any gold stars from my Seller on this one.

Posted by Michael S. Mackey, REALTOR ABR, CRS, GRI, RSPS (CENTURY 21 All Islands) about 10 years ago

Randy: Great post and I HOPE the lenders are listening!   UNTIL we get this housing market turned around.... nothing is going to change.  We NEED to sell re-sale and new construction. So BANKS; LISTEN to RANDY. Take care of HIS and OUR clients.

Posted by Kat DeLong, Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate ( (LakeView Realty Enterprises, Inc) about 10 years ago

WE need to listen to your post as it applies to us as agents, as well.  It's easy to pick the low fruit when we et busy, but it's the little guys who made us who we are.  Like our past client who refers their aging aunt to us, in a low priced home out of our area.  You take care of them just like you do your $800K buyer.  After all, they're the ones what brought US to the dance.

Posted by Sally Dunbar, Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale (Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area)) about 10 years ago

Fortunately, the three lenders I have been using since 2004 and earlier are all doing a great job. They are local, and one portfolios many of their own loans. They have saved my bacon numerous times, and I love service more than a 1/8th point rate cut. It does our clients no good if the rate is cheaper but the service is lousy. Lots of refi's these days can glut the system, but these three have had no layoffs. This is the brave new world of real estate finance.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 10 years ago

I communicate with my lenders and clients.  I EXPECT the lender to stay in communication with me.  I currently have a transaction working that is not the case.  I won't refer.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 10 years ago

Hi Randy,  Good job on the post.  If lenders want to stay in business they will pay attention.  And thanks to Lenn for her wisdom.

Posted by Leslie Bloss, Bellevue Real Estate Professional about 10 years ago


"Remember who brought you to the dance" pretty well sums it up in a day of hard work and preserverence.

Tom Braatz 

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) about 10 years ago

Randy, congrats on the well deserved star- feature!  Yes , the bankers should remember who brings them clients day in and day out.  I don't expect miracles, just truths.   Hey, thanks for the cows and horses and coconut trees lately.   I could use more goats. (I don't know why? but I only have 3)

Posted by South Austin Real Estate Blog (Sky Realty South Austin) about 10 years ago

Randy, making you look good is very important with ALL the partners you value on your list.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Brotha Randy,

You and I think alike...that's why we get a long...I agree with you that those vendors should be out there looking for referrals from us and the best way to do it is by following sort of your list....no sense not keeping in touch when you'll end up dropping off the map at a moments notice.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Follow up is key.  I have a couple lenders that my buyers choose now and they are so slow at getting back to me.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) about 10 years ago

You are so right..remember who brought you to the dance..I feel like all we do is follow up, follow up..but it must be done!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) about 10 years ago

Randy, Your advice to lenders is spot on. I have had the same couple of MBs for years now and it really frustrates me when one drops the ball. I do NOT want to change but sometimes we must. The customer must come first.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 10 years ago

We've had a heck of a time closing on time...and if they are unable to do their part and stay on top of things...it's no wonder how our contracts become a non issue for them. They don't give a hoot about time lines nor the lives they are upsetting when they can't follow through.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) about 10 years ago

Randy, purchase business has always taken priority not only with me, but with the Mortgage Company that I work for as well.  Bill McCue constantly hammers into everyone at the company that purchase business is what keeps us going, not refi's.

Any Loan Officer that puts refi's above purchase business deservise what will surely follow next.  My Realtor partners and their Buyers come before anything else, that is why I am busy.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 10 years ago

I feel the same way.  The banks are falling behind with keeping up with the business.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) about 10 years ago

You hit the nail on the head with this one. Hope you and your family had a Happy Easter.

Posted by Dan Gobis (Re/Max Newport Realty Corp.) about 10 years ago

Randy, the last time this happened I had a lender who just dropped me.  When times got slow he tried to get my business back but I didn't have warm fuzzies about being dropped again.

Since that time I have been blessed to have found a lender that follows your principles.  She is way busy with re-finances but her real estate agents clients come first.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) about 10 years ago

Randy: I recently had a conversation with a realtor who stated that I needed a little more pull. I don't think she understood that we were 13 days out in underwriting at the time. Yes, we underwrite our own files and we start with purchases before the appraisal is done to accomodate you. That being said, I'm telling all my realtors to write their deals for 45 days or less. If they don't listen, then the bottom line is we'll probably need at least one extension. We all do our best and communication is key. But everyone is backed up right now; no one expected the backlog. I urge you to have a little patience. We're doing the very best we can. Thanks!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) about 10 years ago

Randy - I'd say that is pretty good advice. In this day and age a good lender is even more precious than ever before. The customer service, in my mind, is what will set them apart, not the rates adn the hoopla about what they can do. Prove it.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 10 years ago

It is very important for the lender to keep a open line of communication with the agents and the buyers as well.

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) about 10 years ago

Randy - Loan docs are a week late, no call from the lender since last Tuesday, and now he's on vacation.  I hope he reads your post.....

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) about 10 years ago

Nice blog, Randy.

I (and the company I work for, Wells Fargo), always make sure that purchase transactions are a priority.  Up until recently, we had 90 day interest rate locks on our refinances for the simple fact that we want to satisfy our realtors and your clients because the refinance boom we are in will go away.  Not every homeowner needs to refinance every year like they were doing in the mid 2000s, but there are always going to be people that are moving and need to sell or buy homes.  If you are a Loan Officer living off just refinances, you will be looking for new work in 2010 once this refi boom ends.


Thanks Randy.

Posted by Paul W. Thompson, Going Above and Beyond... (Homestreet Bank) about 10 years ago

Lenn - Very sound advice

Dominic - As do I

Michael - That is a regular problem when you are representing sellers.  We have influence over the choice of lenders.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Kat - Those who are not listening will be feeling the pain soon.

Sally D - Excellent point

Joe P. - I have also had excellent luck with the local lenders.  I am now having problems with one of them.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Don & Judi - That lender is making a big mistake.

Leslie - There are many lenders who are no longer in business.  Those who do not clean up their act may join them.

Tom B. - I always believe in the rule.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Gail - Sent you some goats.  :)

Erica - I have similar stories from the same lender where I represented the sellers.  I also had a buyer who submitted an offer for an REO property owned by them.  They accepted our offer verbally.  12 weeks later they still had not opened escrow.  We finally withdrew our offer.

Gary W. - They is a big reason for loyalty to a vender.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Neal B. - They can be dropped off my list in a moments notice.  Just jam up my clients and see how fast it can happen.

Chuck - Follow-up is always key.  I do tell my clients what my experiences have been in the past with area lenders.  Clients do not want the grief either.

Dorie - I hate when I have to follow-up over and over, because someone else is not doing their job.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

B.B. - I am in agreement.  I hate to change, but my clients will always come first.

Sally - When they stop caring, they should leave the business.

George - That is what will keep you around when the others have moved on to a new career.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Russ - I can work with longer timelines in many cases, if they communicate that with us.  I can't work with no communication and moving targets.

Dan - I hope your family also had a great Easter.

Marchel - I is so important to us to have trusted loan officers who can make it happen.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Paul - I always write mine for 45 days or less.  That is proving in this case to not be enough.  I am pushing them hard to finish during the extension period.  When this one is done, I am sure there will be another blog post about customer service coming.

Jeff - I hear all the talk about the rates, but quite honestly, I see no real difference from one lender to another.  The big difference I see is service.

Roland - They not only need open communication, they need accurate information.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Norma - Let me guess.  He will not be getting any referrals from you either.

David M. - I hope my lenders all take it to heart.  I hope you had a good Easter also.

Paul T. - That is a good business practice.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Great tips for the lenders - now let's see if that choose to accept it.

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 10 years ago

Randy...many of the banking contacts I had are not as reliable as they once were.   That is also true for other areas in our business

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 10 years ago

Well, you have realtors, etc., chiming in. I look forward to finding out if any of the lenders respond. That's what you need!

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing about 10 years ago

Great post and telling it like it is. It can be very frustrating now and everyone needs to be on the same page! Responding is key. If they can't get to the client, let us know UP FRONT so we can plan accordingly.

Posted by Jessica Jones, Destin Sandestin 30-A Real Estate (Sandestin Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Cynthia - If they have long term thinking they will.

William - I am also finding that I have to change some of my vendors, not just loan officers.

Susie - Most of the lenders are not responding to their clients.  How will they find the time to respond to this?

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Jessica - You are right.  They need to let you know what to expect up front and then honor it.

Erica - It sounds like they do not have a lender now.  No GFE, no application?  If I were the buyer I would not be walking I would be running to another lender.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

It is good to be understanding too. There are many more people involved than just the lender. Appraisers, underwriters, junior underwriters , etc. and they are all over worked right now. I am having closings 45 days out right now because underwriting is taking 14 days or so. In one transaction I have going, we can't even get the appraiser to respond - it has been 21 days! All I can do is be my best for my clients and continue to make the phone calls daily and keep everyone informed.

Posted by Brian Solinsky, CDPE, CNE, ABR (Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Aloha Randy,

They forget when they are busy, Lenders and agents need to keep the lines open and provide service, or they will end up losing business when they need it.


Posted by Steven Nickens, R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii (Elite Pacific Properties Maui) about 10 years ago

Brian - It can be more than just lenders, but currently it is the lenders that are causing the bottlenecks.

Steve - One lender already lost some business from me, due to their recent bad service.  I have one more escrow with them and it is so bad, I get angry thinking about it.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Randy - Amen!  I have been having this problem too.  I have started telling buyers to expect that any mortgage rep I refer them too is having a problem keeping up with the business and it shouldn't be a surprise to have to wait for return phone calls.  It actually causes the buyers to perk up, as this is a positive sign that things are probably turning around and reassurs them that NOW is the time to buy - because everybody else is and the mortgage companies are just so busy to prove it.  

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) about 10 years ago

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