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The gifts of giving with love to others with return to you a hundred fold. Thank you for a new level of life. Terry Murphy, Real Estate Speaker


Ask Wally

Do you have a question for Walter? Just click here to submit your question. Walter will personally answer your question. We’ll then share your question and Walter’s answer to help others, too!

Current Q & A
(To view our archives, please click here.)


Q: Hey, Walter!  Hope you had a great 2010 and are getting ready for a kick-butt 2011!  With that in mind, do you have any short tips that we can use for an article “11 Big Ideas for Building your Business in 2011” (working title).

I hope we can connect with do some business this year. According to the MBA, overall originations will go from $1.5t this year to under $1t next year. Sounds like crappy news until you hear that the purchase business will double in the next two years (2011 to 2012). Sounds like a great time for mortgage professionals to be ramping up their support of their real estate agents. 🙂


A:  The top real estate agents will be in charge of the ramped up purchase business.  They know the inventory and seek to sell it themselves for both sides of the commission.  They want to control the transaction in an industry in flux; therefore, they will strive to handle both ends.  Find the top real estate agents.  Ask them a lot of questions about their business and deliver systems that will be customized to their needs.  Start with the top thirty in your market and ignore the rest.  The rest will find you when they see their mentors using you.


Q: Hi, Walter.  I spoke with you briefly on the phone today. I’m curious about the “Needs Analysis” you’ve put together.  Do you really find that REALTORS®, especially top producers, will give you enough time to get through all of these questions?  It seems like a lot and I would be afraid of making the REALTOR® feel like he/she was being interrogated.  Any advice here?
Thank you.

Bill Mitchell
The Mortgage Centre

A:  Hi, Bill.  I enjoyed talking with you, and the new DVD is coming out to you….

On the meeting question — if you set it up with the calls, letters, and postcards, the agent will understand that you are trying to offer service like they have never experienced before.  You have to get your head around it first.   The guy who wins the job is the guy who read the annual statement.   How can you help a business unless you understand the business?  When you tell the agent, they will understand.

Here’s how it might go: “I have a desire to help some of the top agents in the area {appeal to their ego}.  I have learned that if find out where you are having challenges then I can develop solutions to help.  In order to accomplish this process, could I have 20 minutes of your time?  We can schedule it anytime that is convenient to you.  The questions that I ask will help us both concentrate on some of the most important and profitable systems in real estate brokerage.  Your answers will help me to concentrate my efforts where you need me the most.  When and where could we spend a few moments together?”

You will soon know more about the top producers in the area than anyone else!  You can then use my products to slowly “drip” ideas on them where they need it most.  It is the most effective way to turn a top producer in an annuity for you.

Thanks again!


Q: Hi, Walter.  I’m currently prospecting REALTORS® using your postcard, firecracker system, etc. When I place follow up calls to set the meetings, I’m getting nearly the same response each time, “Chad, thanks for your call, but I’ve been in the business for a long time now and have several lenders I use — and backups for those lenders….”

I don’t know what to say to this other than “Well, what I would like to do then is continue providing information for you that you’ll find helpful in your business.  I would hope that by doing this that should your primary relationship change, the first person you will think about is me!”

Any suggestions as to how I can overcome this objection to get a meeting?


A: Here’s what I would say, Chad — “Given your experience, I fully expected to hear you say that; however, that is why I choose some of the top agents to survey their business.  You see, I am different than your primary lender and your back-ups.  I really don’t want your business until I can make a difference in your business.  If you will allow me 20 minutes, I promise not to say one word about me, but will ask you 60 questions about your business to allow me, in the next months to come, to provide solutions to you for your business.  I don’t expect you to be an unpaid salesperson, giving me loans unless I am adding to the team effort.  Let me learn what needs you might have by letting me ask my questions, and if I can’t bring in new ideas to help you to the next level of production — then you will never see me again!  Would 4 or 4:30 tomorrow be more convenient?”


Q: I have just been reviewing several things as ideas to offer REALTOR® partners and in this section you write: “What do I say?  The $100 close magic question.”

Dumb question, but is there a magic question and what does the REALTOR® say or is it all of the questions on the 5 page survey that follows?  Please let me know.

Bill West
Clark, Welsh Mortgage Group, Inc

Indianapolis, IN

A: This refers to questions that a REALTOR® asks a buyer and another set of questions to ask a seller.  The reason for the $100 is that if the assistant asks all the questions and the transaction ends up closing then the assistant gets $100.  These lists of questions for buyers and sellers are two great items for a lender to give to an agent.


Q: Walter,

During a recent tele-conference call, you mentioned out of state tax records from title companies.  Do I want to get the records from people living out of my state?  Do I want those who get their info sent into the state or those who live outside my state and their tax bills are sent there?

Once I get those records, is that what I want to share among my core group of REALTOR® partners?

Thanks for everything, You’ve been an incredible help!

CJ Heringer
Strategic Lending

A: I want owners in your market area who get their tax bills sent out of state, thus making them better prospects for services that your REALTOR® client can offer them on a local basis.  Problem is most of the local REALTORS® will never get around to writing the letter to them or not be creative enough with the follow up call, so you have to give them that, too!  With the research, letter, and call all handed to them, they might actually do it and get a listing.  You will be a hero.  However, I don’t want you to do the work, unless you feel it is a good database for re-fi business.


Q: Hi, Wally!  In a lot of real estate contracts I’ve seen, the mortgage contingency (in the event that the buyer is unable to obtain a loan on given terms within a certain time frame) gives the seller a chance to get one for him on no worse terms within a like period of time after the buyer’s notice of his inability to obtain said loan. Have you or would you ever suggest to a seller you were working with that they enforce that language?

Given the condition of the markets these days, and given that not all lenders, mortgage brokers or loan officers are equally capable or equally equipped, it would seem to me that having a strong lending affiliate on one’s team would be a good way for a “selling” agent or broker to provide added value. I’d be very interested in reading your thoughts.

Juan Boldizsar
Pan American Mortgage
Chicago, IL

A: Hello, Juan!  If a buyer has tried and failed with a lender, you have a weary buyer and seller.  Enforcing such a clause becomes a real energy sucker.  I never wanted to get to that point.  That is why I sold my lender to each of my buyers and sellers.  My buyers and sellers signed contracts before I would work with them.  If my buyer signed a contract, one of the conditions was that they used my lender.  My sellers were sold on the concept of a counter offer in the case that their buyer would choose their own lender.  The counter offer would say something like: “Buyer to be pre-approved through Juan Boldizar.  After pre-approval, buyer is free to use any lender that provides written pre-approval with no contingencies.”

From my perspective as a top agent, I would rather have you up-front rather than clean up.  You need to convince the top agents in your town of this concept — which is not hard to do.


Q: Walter, I have been a long time follower of you and the articles you write regarding the RE industry. I am curious what you are telling your agents and loan officers who are dealing with the mortgage and foreclosure fallout right now. It seems like buyers are on the sidelines for a while. I know I would be. Plus jumbo loans are much harder to come by. Do you mind sharing your thoughts or linking me to an article?

Thank you,
Ty Youngblood
Tycor Mortgage

A:  Hello, Ty. Your question does mention some of the challenges that loan officers and real estate agents go through in a changing market. Here are my thoughts:

Loans won’t be given to people that can’t qualify for a Discover card.
Prices will go down.
Buyers will take longer to make a decision and will buy less often.

Therefore, lenders need to get the business from top real estate agents who know how to prosper during tougher times, and real estate agents need to triple or quadruple your listing inventory. Both lenders and real estate agents should be putting some money aside and buying at the bottom.  It is time you did a real estate seminar with me in your area to start building the relationship between you and the top real estate agents in your area.


Q: Walter, as always I love listening to you….I am writing because I have now heard you talk about this 4 or 5 times — “This is the time to buy income property!” My question is — is there something in your current materials to help in this process or what recommended reading do you advise? I have the desire and some funds but no knowledge. I’m too old to screw up my retirement but it does seem like the right time! Any pearls of wisdom would be appreciated.

Take care,
Mary Leaveck
Progressive Title Company

A:  You are a great client and friend! My book, Insider Investing for Real Estate Agents, should help you with your challenges.


Q: Hi, Cyndi. Does Walter have any suggested books or information on short sales and foreclosures? I would like to learn more about these types of transactions from the real estate agents perspective. In other words, if I were a REALTOR®, how would I go after this business? Thanks.

Adolph Collaso

A: Good to hear the pros adapt, improvise, and implement!

First, you get a list of all lenders making loans in your area of expertise and a list of all sales and refi’s made in 2005 or 2006 at 95% LTV or higher. On the first list, you send them our brochure (see the Letters 401: The Advanced Course book) on your new work out departments and how you can help from pre-foreclosure to marketing REO inventory and all in between. You then follow up on phone and meet the local work out department heads out to lunch or have it catered in their office.

On the second list, you send postcards to the owners letting them know there is a way to sell a property that is net-valued at less than the mortgage with damage to credit mitigated. Successful short sale negotiations will lead you to success with the work out manager whom in turn will offer REO inventory to you. That is the rough outline Adolph. Let’s do a seminar on tough market strategies next time!


Q: Walter,

On a personal level and for my own business, I was thinking about what you mentioned in your recent seminar — a checklist of questions to ask when hiring an affiliate. I love it, but with a bit of a twist. I would like to use it to show the REALTOR® that I am, in fact, the right affiliate by answering all of the questions and asking them if their affiliate could match the same (or better yet, is their affiliate offering to them now these services that I would offer them?).

I went back through everything I have from you over the years and could not find this checklist either. I would greatly appreciate it if you could have your staff forward this on to me.

Charlie E. Kiesel
Kiesel Mortgage Inc
Cooper City, Florida

A:  Hi, Charlie! Great question! Now that the market is more sluggish with REALTORS® and lenders looking for the next client who needs their expertise to achieve their goals, the lenders and real estate agents who will shine in tougher markets are usually the battle-toughened ones who have experienced down cycles in their career. These individuals can adapt using the tools they used to use during the last down cycle, and the newer agents and loan officers who pay attention to trainers, like me, can train on the hot market strategies and the melting market strategies.

One of the tough market strategies that I teach my coaching clients and seminar attendees is to utilize the relationship between a top agent and a top lender. The top people always survive, making more money in a down market than one going up. Whether the lender approaches the top agent or vice versa, it is important that you have a symbiotic relationship with top people. The agent can only use one lender in each major market area (1-4, FHA/VA, 5 or more, commercial, sub-prime). The lender, of course, wants 5-15 loyal top real estate agents. Here is the letter that I sent out to the top 10 lenders in my market place:

Company Name
City, ST ZIP


I am currently looking to establish a long term and committed business relationship with just one lender. I am currently working a business plan for this market. When implemented, this business plan is guaranteed to bring listings and the resulting buyers to the table. I will be happy to share it with you; however, I am deciding which lender affiliate to commit to. The commitment process to my lender involves the following steps:

1. Preparation of my sellers at the listing presentation — unless we use my lender for the buyer’s loan, it will be hard to guarantee the quality and timeliness of the close.

2. The automatic countering of any offer using another lender other than my lender with the clause, “Buyer to be pre-approved through (lender’s name) with (lender’s company). After pre-approval, buyer is free is use any lender of their choice.”

3. My chosen lender will be on my website under the “trusted affiliates” section with his or her picture, résumé, and hyperlink to his or her website.

4. My lender’s “loan suggestions” will be on every flyer and marketing piece produced on each of my listings.

5. My buyers will be required to work with my lender in order to be admitted into my “Buyers Success Club.”

6. I will work with my lender on joint lead generation systems that fill both of our pipelines.

7. I will provide testimonials to my lender on a regular basis.

8. My lender will be invited to speak at all of my “First Time Buyer” and “Rich Seller” seminars.

9. I will help my lender become the lender for other top agents.

10. I will regularly subscribe to and submit to my lender’s hot sheet that will be distributed to a database of the top 5% of all agents in the area.

I will require that my lender can operate in a team environment and I would like to make an appointment with you to discuss the following questions:

1. Would you spend an hour a week helping to solicit the loans from FSBO clients that I research?

2. Could you call or E-mail my potential seller clients, prior to my listing presentation, showing them the advantages of listing with me and showing them what your company can do for them should they list with me, your team member?

3. Would you pre-approve my buyers and give me a third-party endorsement over the phone within three hours of you receiving an E-mail of a potential buyer answering all of my questions?

4. Would you E-mail a series of custom loan updates to my database using my name in the body of the E-mail?

5. Would you update my buyers once a week on the status of their “in process” loan, also mentioning my name in the correspondence?

6. Would you solicit divorcing couples who own real estate to show them the advantages of refinancing and taking the vacating spouse’s name off the underlying loan documents?

7. Would you promise not to take any loans that you cannot close?

8. If you were a team member and privy to the workings of my business, could you agree not to share any information with any other real estate agents?

9. Could you update my sellers on the loan that the buyers are obtaining to purchase their home?

10. Can you send alerts to my past buyer clients when it would be profitable for them to refinance?

As you can see, I believe that we can make more money together than apart. With my loyalty to your business without your having to solicit my business, I believe that I can help you move to the next level. With your helping in training my assistant to understand the loan process added together with your help in joint lead generation systems, third-party endorsements, and enhanced customer service — I believe you can help me move to the next level. Please let me know what you schedule looks like this week. I am available (insert available days/times). I am looking forward to meeting with you!


Q: Hello, Walter. I feel like I know you. I have had the privilege over the last couple of weeks to be reading your newsletters that you sent out in the late 80’s early 90’s that a co-worker had. I really enjoy your thoughts and your energy.

I realize that you specialize in real estate; however, as the REALTOR® giant and now speaker that you are — I am asking what I can do as a loan officer to be “creative” in soliciting business for the REALTORS® in my area? I was a loan officer in Reno, Nevada for three years when the market was “hot,” and now due to my husband’s career, we have relocated to Washington state. I am blessed to be associated with a great team at Westate; however, I have to “start all over again”. With the market and the dark cloud that the media projects daily to the average consumer, what are your suggestions on where I can generate leads that I may turn over to REALTORS®? I have weeded out my REALTOR® contacts and would like to send them referrals and begin a terrific working relationship.

I would appreciate implementing any suggestions you may want to pass along and will be accountable as I respect your knowledge.

Linda Fairbairn Gonzalez
Westate Mortgage

A: Thanks for the great E-mail! In this market, it is easier to assemble a stable of REALTOR® referral partners, because there are fewer lenders. The REALTORS® who will be left will be those who understand loyalty to a lender team member. You need to find the best. Use unique methods to get an appointment and meet their needs. Please get products number 1, 2, 5, and 6, and you should be armed to do all that I mention. Number 5 contains my DVD program that trains lenders on how to obtain all the business from top real estate agents. I can offer you the seminar price, if you call Cyndi at 800-792-5837.


Q: Wally, I recently sent over a contract over for your services to speak at my seminar. I wanted to know if you could provide me with information on how I provide CE credits to the agents that attend. Would you be able to provide me with your course outline to be able to properly apply to the state and complete the necessary documentation there? Thanks!!!

A: Eleftherios, thanks for the confidence! We will knock their socks off. If you are absolutely clear that you want CE…the reason I hesitate is that if they want to come for clock hours rather than great info, they may not be the REALTORS® that you want. On the other hand, it does help fill the room. If you get us the paperwork, we will fill out and include a bio and an outline. We will then return to your for processing and handling the state details. Thanks for asking. Call 815.929.9258 if you have any further questions.


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