Tips for Realtors   


Nightmare prevention:

Avoiding Trigger leads

Create a "People Farm"

Why didn't we close on time?


Invasion of the Customer Snatcher: Not a Horror Movie - a Nightmarish Reality

March 21, 2006 by Secret Agent 360 - We’ve all heard of the dreaded Trigger Lead. You can almost hear the dark and eerie music, and see the villainous Big Bureau creeping out of the woods dressed in the appropriate Grim Reaper outfit.

You may laugh saying, “Is this for real?” The answer is yes it is for real!

The “Triopoly” of the big credit bureaus strikes again.  This time they are not just charging you more for a simple credit reissue that you already paid for once, they are actually selling your customers information as soon as they pull the credit report and before the proverbial ink even dries. 

How does this work?  Take the client you have been courting for the last 4 years and who finally began talking to you 6 months ago about handling a transaction. They are nervous, but it looks like a positive move in your estimation with what you know of their financial situation. You and your lender take the time to educate them on different scenarios, and options that might be smart approaches. You talk once or twice a week every week for the past six months. Then the magic day comes when they’ve found the perfect property with one catch; the house must close in 20 days - you need to move fast. So, first thing Monday morning you start with pulling credit and issuing a “worst-case” GFE. Being a professional, you want to check out a few lenders but as is your habit, you want to under promise, and over deliver.

Tuesday morning your phone rings. It is the client telling you, “You are ripping me off. I got calls from 4 other lenders today, and they all offered me a better deal than you.” You do your best to save the deal, but, sadly, you can not convince them on this deal that your experience, relationships, and education is what will close this deal in 20 days. They want faster and cheaper.


Seventy hours of your time, three postcards, 15 lattes, a couple of lunches, and one dinner, all thrown down the drain, so the bureaus can make a few extra bucks off of YOUR hard work and investment.

Trigger leads:

Do they benefit the borrower? More junk mail and more phone solicitations are generated, and oh what about that 20-day close?  Not going to happen. Not with 4 loan officers calling your borrower saying they can do a “better deal” but none of them having the experience and knowledge to actually close it. The borrower loses the deal because they dropped your tried and true lender and went with someone else who didn’t know enough about the deal and couldn’t close in time. You lose the customer. No one wins but the bureau. So what can you do about it?


Educate your borrower of the horror of this scenario and explain how opting out can benefit them. Aside from saving them tons of junk mail does your borrower really want the highest bidder to know their credit score, social security number, address and phone number? Hopefully, they work with you because they trust you.  It is in the best interest of the customer to keep their most private information PRIVATE. Explain how each time their credit is pulled by a different originator, it can cause a small ding to their credit score, and how that ding can mean ultimately higher costs to them depending on how many people have their mitts touching their credit file.

There are many reasons they should opt-out so take the time to educate your customer. 

So how can they do it? It is easy:

Have them call 800-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or fill out the opt out form at Let them know this will shrink the amount of junk mail and unwanted phone solicitations they will receive.  But be aware. The agencies have up to 5 business days to execute the opt out and remove your customer. You need to wait 5 business days before pulling your customers credit to avoid the fate of the trigger.

Many organizations are working on proving that this is an illegal practice infringing on the rights of the customer (you) and your borrowers. Until then, have your borrowers opt-out.

Create a "People Farm"

Why didn't we close on time?


Leo Linn

Pegasus Financial

800-200-9329 or 714-532-7495

DRE License #00791009