Certain things belong together; peanut butter and jelly, the Fourth of July and fireworks, military homeowners and the VA Home Loan. What about insurance brokers and real estate agents? A relationship between the people who put others into houses and those who give homeowners the insurance coverage they need seems only natural. Why is it then, that insurance brokers seldom approach real estate brokers in an effort to expand their client base? VA Home Loans Centers Chief Loan Steward Phil Georgiades says “not once have I ever been approached by an insurance broker.” Working relationships between these two groups could offer mutually appealing benefits. Insurance brokers would stand to see increased business via referrals from REALTORS®, while real estate agents and lenders could cut through the headaches created by working with sub-par insurance agents.
Homeowners insurance is a no brainer for anyone who owns. Protecting yourself against natural disaster, vandalism, theft and a bevy of other things is one of the most important things a homeowner can do. Beyond that, many insurance requirements are currently in place, varying by state. With all government mortgages, purchasing a house requires homeowners insurance at the time of closing. If the buyers purchase a townhouse or condo, the buyer is required to attain an HO6 insurance policy. A consumer need already exists, by cultivating a business relationship with a REALTOR® or lender, the insurance broker may gain access to an entirely new segment of potential buyers, thus eliminating a major obstacle; waiting for the client to approach the provider.
For REALTORS®, and perhaps more specifically lenders, partnering with insurance agents could be extremely advantageous. Show me a lender, and I will show you someone with an accompanying horror story about an insurance broker.
Working at VA Home Loan Centers, I’ve heard many different cautionary warnings about bungling insurance agents, ranging from not knowing all of the information relevant to a mortgagee clause, to a failure to properly conduct a replacement cost estimate. Mistakes emanating from the insurance provider are a nuisance, often, something as simple as getting a policy in on time turns into calamity. These annoyances slow down the entire sales process.
Buying a house is a time sensitive, difficult enough endeavor without the added stress of incompetent third parties. Fostering a partnership with specific insurance agents means knowing the desirability and reliability of who you are working with. In order for this relationship to be feasible, the referral would become contingent on the quality of the agent’s work.
Win-win situations are rarely this cut- and-dry, it baffles that such minimal rapport exists between two obvious allies.
Currently the CMS at VA Home Loan Centers, a VA sponsored lender helping service members with home loans and shorts sales. Noah resides in San Diego, following a cross country move from New York City. A proud Bostonian, Noah is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts.
Veterans interested in applying for the VA Home Loan may apply here.