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ASK the Loan Man Hans Bruhner - December 2014 - What do you want?


ASK the Loan Man Hans Bruhner - December 2014 - What do you want?

by Hans Bruhner

And how do you want it? Those are the questions that all businesses should be asking their customers. We should also be asking people who bought from us or used our services why they did so.

When I got into lending in the early 90’s, there was no credit scoring system and no automated underwriting programs and we took the loan application and gathered the necessary documents and we submitted it to underwriting and made buyers wait in the dark for their approval. Realtors got the MLS listings in a book delivered to the office weekly and they took them everywhere and it was proprietary information.

Today, we live and die by the credit score which is a large part of the automated underwriting approval or denial and anyone with a smart phone can find out what it takes to qualify for a mortgage and how much that house down the street is and how many bedrooms and baths and size of the home. 

We still need Loan Officers and we still need Realtors to guide people along the path to home ownership but our roles have changed a bit and so has our customer. Home buyers are younger with 31% in Gen Y and 30% in Gen X and 16% being younger Boomers and 14% being older boomers. This means that the majority of buyers are in their 20’s to late 40’s and the average age of a Realtor today is 57. These numbers are all sourced from the National Association of Realtors.

I told a client the other day that she could use the fax cover sheet with the bar code on it and it will automatically and securely put sort her documents in her file (pretty high tech right?) and she said…”Wow, how old school, do people still own faxes?” and that prompted me to tell her that she could also upload a PDF right to her file as well. Some clients don’t want me to email them because they just don’t check it so please call or text. Some clients will contact me on facebook messenger or on my app and I need to figure out which communication mode works best for each client. I have discovered a radical way to illicit this information from clients, I ask them.

This is not just a reminder for Realtors and Lenders, it is a reminder for everyone. If you are not evolving, you are dying. We don’t need to get younger, we need to know how to serve a younger clientele. Many younger clients feel like the Realtor is simply the person who unlocks the door to the house for them and the lender is just the person who gives them the loan. They feel they can get all of the information about loans and homes online and they are dead wrong and need to be educated. We need to evolve but we also need to show people the value of our services so they can achieve their goals.

If we teach all clients how we work and what to expect from us and what we expect from them and ask how they communicate best we can all be successful. If you are stuck in your ways then I wish you luck in finding clients stuck in the same ways. And above all, HAVE FUN! It is contagious. 

Need to know more? Please send me your real estate and mortgage related questions. I am happy to answer you and it may become the topic of a future article.

Hans Bruhner (NMLS 243484) is a branch director for First Priority Financial, Inc (NMLS 3257). Both are licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the CRMLA.  If you have a question, please contact Hans at (707) 887-1275 or