HW+ agent putting sign in the yard

The key to winning purchase business in 2022 remains as it was in 2021, the year before that, and the year before that – building and maintaining relationships with real estate agents. But in the most competitive purchase market in years, they’ll have to scrap, leverage social media and add a personal touch.

According to three loan originators speaking at a policy summit hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, LOs should focus on making inroads with real estate agents now, or else they will struggle to find their footing in a purchase market for years to come.

“I think it’ll be a broken record but Realtors, Realtors, Realtors,” emphasized Rafael Montano, an LO at Rocket Mortgage. “You have to understand that they’re part of the transaction and you have to leverage them.”

Montano added that the connection is key and that many LOs who have only been on the refi side may not understand that there is an additional person in the transaction. “The agent is crucial,” he added.

The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts that this year, purchase mortgage originations will grow by 9% to $1.73 trillion, while refinances will plummet by 62% to $860 billion from $2.26 trillion in 2021. An MBA report from early March found that the refi share of applications has dipped below 50% for the first time since June 2019. And rate lock activity in February suggests the mix is quickly becoming two-thirds purchase.

Christopher Medellin, vice president regional manager at loanDepot, said that LOs whose business mainly consisted of refis in 2020 and 2021 are now feeling the shift of the market.

“You’re really feeling it right now, you’re feeling it big time,” Medellin said. “You’re feeling price compression and you’re probably getting shopped more than you’ve ever been shopped.”

Rickey Green, community lending manager at Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, said that LOs can…

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