Posted by: msundermier | August 13, 2015

Is What I Do Legal?

This is a blog post I’ve wanted to write for years, but haven’t had the audacity to do so…until now! Thanks in advance for reading it all the way through and please share your thoughts if you’d like.

Illegal

Working simultaneously as a mortgage professional and REALTOR over the last 12 years, I’ve often been asked by folks unfamiliar with my business model,
“Can you really be both a mortgage broker and real estate agent?”
“Is that legal?”
“Isn’t that a conflict of interest?”

To be frank, most of us are uncomfortable with what is unfamiliar, and my business model of offering both mortgage and real estate services certainly is unconventional in the industry. As a result, some naysayers assume it is uncommon because it’s unlawful. While this may be true for certain federally regulated bank employees, nothing could be farther from the truth for California mortgage brokers. In fact, I firmly believe our holistic approach to real estate services is a better way to serve a client’s needs than if their mortgage and real estate services were being handled by separate companies. Let me try to explain with an analogy…

My wife and I have considered putting a pool in our backyard. We love being outdoors, so its critical we have a pool that complements the rest of our backyard’s landscape design features. As a result, we want to find a pool contractor who knows not only how to build a beautiful pool, but who also is very familiar with landscape architecture and design. It just makes sense (right?) to have a single, capable, trustworthy consultant who is a master of both aspects to create the perfect outdoor living area. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

To us, a pool should be a complementary feature to the rest of its surroundings, similar to the mortgage services received when buying a home

To us, a pool should be a complementary feature to the rest of its surroundings, similar to mortgage services given to a client when buying a home

Well, guess how many contractors we’ve found that fit that description? Zip. Zilch. Nada. If you know of one please let me know!  Much like mortgage and real estate companies, pool contractors will often partner with landscape architects, but not one I’ve investigated is a master at both crafts.

Why?

There’s certainly nothing illegal about it. I just think certain folks are inclined to work with concrete and pools, and others with dirt and plants. They are two very different disciplines, yet so incredibly complementary to the final product.

This same paradox is true of offering services to find a home and obtain a mortgage; they require very different skills and inclinations, yet the service of one is interdependent on the other. And yet, very few real estate practitioners recognize the synergistic relationship, and even fewer have what it takes to deliver this type of bold, comprehensive service. Its not a matter of legality; just willingness and competence.

My incredible teammates and I are some of these few who are willing and able to be both your mortgage broker and REALTOR, and I can confidently say it is the best thing we can do for our clients. Perhaps that’s the reason 94% of my home buying clients also utilized us for their financing needs as well.  And of those clients who completed a survey, 89% of them were “completely satisfied” with our services (the other 11% were “mostly satisfied”), and 100% of them indicated our one-stop-shop model is a strength of our services.  Bottom line, clients take advantage of our multi-faceted services and are extremely happy.  Just like Mary’s and my vision for a beautiful backyard, our client’s transactions are well planned, executed, and cognizant of the many needs of a successful home purchase.

In short, what The Blue Waters Group does is perfectly legal. More importantly, our services are in the best interest of our clients to assure they have the best possible experiences and outcomes in their real estate transactions. Its not easy working a weekday mortgage operation that requires a high degree of analytic skill and a nights & weekends real estate outfit that requires interpersonal and negotiating skills. Ultimately, our model isn’t about doing what’s easy; its about doing what’s right, both in the eyes of the law and our valued clients.

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Responses

  1. Honestly, I thought this always made damn good sense and I was surprised to find that few, if any, offer both services. I never thought it might be illegal or unethical and I always thought it would be more like going to Burger King or McDonald’s and ordering a Happy Meal where everything you want comes in one box from the same drive-up window. The fact that only you understand and provide this unique approach to mortgage/real estate service only confirms what I’ve known all along about my nephew. You get it Matt. You see the big picture and look beyond standard business practices to meet all of your customers needs. They are a living testament to your mission statement.

  2. Thanks Uncle Charlie for the affirmation. Yes, I too have felt my model makes good sense, but have always been reluctant to proclaim why our model may be better. I’m glad I finally came around to making this post today.

  3. […] are striving for. No longer is our platform one that I need to defend with blog posts titled Is What I Do Legal; it is the one that’s copied by […]


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