When LemonBrew Lending (formerly SD Capital Funding) was founded 11 years ago in New Jersey, its team was laser-focused on client service and satisfaction because referrals were the main driver of its business.
Now, after expanding to 13 other states and cementing its place as Quicken Loans Mortgage Services’ top broker partner, the company has not changed its strategy.
The team discovered as long as it treats clients as partners, there will be more positive interactions, which will lead to more referrals.
“You hear horror stories, whether from banks or brokers, of terms and conditions changing at the last minute, not delivering on what was promised or not being able to close at all,” LemonBrew Lending President Jason Doshi said. “Our philosophies of being transparent, putting the client first and communicating throughout the process have helped build a lot of trust in our community.”
After a decade of being open and honest with clients, LemonBrew Lending found the horror stories cease to exist if team members go into transactions being transparent and holding themselves accountable.
When brokers are not buying leads, building relationships is the best way to generate business and treating clients right is the best way to retain them, Doshi explained.
Whether the referrals were from family members, friends or even professional relationships with real estate agents, attorneys and accountants – from day one the primary way LemonBrew Lending continued to source referrals was by maintaining their reputation of being brokers who do the right thing.
“We like to make ourselves accessible to help others. It is part of relationship building – that is the long-term strategy to growth – creating connections so you have a million well-wishers around you,” LemonBrew Lending Principal Samir Dedhia said.
As LemonBrew Lending was starting to grow, a new lender stepped into the broker space that was emphasizing a similar message around partnerships. QLMS, Dedhia said, was one of the first lenders they interacted with who referred to them as “partners.”
This allowed for a unique meshing of company cultures and led to both parties growing exponentially together. The idea of a broker-lender partnership was a change of pace from how the two parties interacted in the past.
“Back in the day, when you would talk to other lenders, they would never refer to you as a partner. They would call you the broker and they were the lender, and that caused some personality clashes because there was no goal for mutual success,” Dedhia said.
“Will two partners always see eye to eye? No, but at the end of the day the true meaning of partnership, especially with QLMS, evolved to a point where we could get onto a phone call and disagree with each other but, since we are partners, we don’t yell and scream. We are going to understand both sides of the issue and try to figure out a solution rather than focus on a problem.”
This type of reciprocal partnership is essential to the mutual success of both lenders and brokers.
There needs to be a good amount of give and take, and with that comes a greater understanding of each other. That is something that every broker should be translating to their client interactions.
“We take that same approach with our clients. They are not just clients, there is a partnership there. They came to us because they value our knowledge, experience and the information we provide, but we also value them because they are coming to us with their business and trusting us with one of the largest purchases of their life,” Dedhia said.
“We always want the client to know we are on their team. If we have to lose a little bit of money to get the deal done or if we have to work some extra hours, we’re going to do it.”
What LemonBrew Lending has clearly displayed over the last 11 years of experience is that partnerships, whether between brokers and lenders or brokers and clients, should be deeply valued as an integral part of anyone’s success.
They should be handled in the same way, with care, honesty and transparency, so all parties know what to expect and how to succeed.
By treating both lenders and clients as partners, brokers can build lasting relationships and generate referrals with partners they know they can trust.